17. November 2016

Publication fireworks from the Epigenome Consortium Publication fireworks from the Epigenome Consortium

Scientists from the LIMES Institute involved

Scientists at the International Human Epigenome Consortium (IHEC) have now displayed their combined power by publishing a total of 41 articles in prestigious technical journals. Scientists from the LIMES Institute of the University of Bonn also participated in these publication fireworks.

LIMES-Epigenetik-Internet-COLOURBOX103941954.jpg
LIMES-Epigenetik-Internet-COLOURBOX103941954.jpg - Genes can be switched on and off, which is why only part of the blueprint is read during the development of different cells. These are the questions being adressed by epigenetics. © Photo: COLOURBOX.de

One of the greatest biological mysteries is how a single cell with a single DNA sequence can develop into the great variety of different cells found in our bodies. So far, science has been able to answer this question only in part.

The identity of each cell is determined by additional molecules that activate or deactivate certain areas of the genetic material (genome). Like a blueprint, this epigenome makes the individual development of the cells possible. The epigenome can be influenced by the environment; as a result, diseases can also develop.

The goal of the International Human Epigenome Consortium (IHEC) is to give scientists free access to human epigenome data. This approach is designed to facilitate research into the underlying mechanisms of the epigenome and effects upon diseases. Scientists from Canada, Europe (including Germany), Japan, Singapore, and the USA were involved in the current publications.

"With a topic as complex as research on the epigenome, scientific progress is best achieved, through comprehensive cooperation among the widest possible variety of disciplines", says Prof. Dr. med. Joachim L. Schultze of Genomics & Immunoregulation at the LIMES Institute. The wealth of current publications in prestigious technical journals shows how successfully the international consortium is working.

The publication from Bonn:
http://www.cell.com/immunity/fulltext/S1074-7613(16)30433-2

All publications:
http://www.cell.com/consortium/IHEC

Information on the IHEC:
http://ihec-epigenomes.org

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