COLD SPRING HARBOR, N.Y. Mad cows, cloned embryos, cocaine addicts, calico kittens, and identical twins: all of these living creatures have epigenetics to credit for some quirky characteristics. Epigeneticsthe study of heritable traits that are not attributable to alterations in DNA sequencehas provided substantial insight into fundamental biological processes, including the development of stem cells, the mechanics of gene regulation, and the basis of some human diseases. This burgeoning field is the subject of a comprehensive new bookEpigeneticsjust released by Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory Press.
Edited by preeminent scientists David Allis, Thomas Jenuwein, and Danny Reinberg, together with Marie-Laure Caparros, Epigenetics includes 24 chapters written by experts in the field. Contributors include John Gurdon and Rudi Jaenisch (nuclear transplantation), Azim Surani (stem cells), Adrian Bird (DNA methylation), Denise Barlow (genomic imprinting), Arthur Beaudet (human diseases), and Robert Martienssen (RNA interference), among others.
The overriding motivation for deciding to edit this book was the general belief that we and all the contributors to the volume could transmit this excitement to future generations of students, scientists, and physicians, most of whom were taught genetic, but not epigenetic, principles governing inheritance and chromosome segregation, explain the editors in the third chapter.
Geared towards advanced undergraduates, graduate students, and professional scientists, Epigenetics is the first textbook on this topic and will serve as a valuable reference and educational tool. Its conceptual nature will appeal to students and instructors, while scientists involved in epigenetics-related research, such as cancer biology, stem cell research, and developmental biology, will find the book502 pages in lengthan informative and comprehensive reference.