Dictionary of Human Evolution and Biology

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1. pertaining to the sequential interaction of genetic factors and the developmental pathways through which the genotype is expressed, but that may be modified by parallel gene-based elements, or by agents in the environment.

2. the plural form (epigenetics) refers more specifically to the study of the genetic causes of development, especially those mechanisms affecting the timing and interaction of gene expression and staged tissue induction.

See small RNAs and genomic imprinting.

Cf. new epigenetics.

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