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Scientists take early steps toward mapping epigenetic variability
Date:8/14/2009

humans, including cancer.

"Scientists have already found out it is critical to look at genetic variation to diagnose disease," said Brock Christensen, a postdoctoral research associate at Brown University's Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine. "What we are trying to do is complement that by looking at what is normal and how much variation in epigenetics exists."

Christensen said that more tissue samples and data are needed to allow for a thorough mapping of epigenetic variability in cells.

That endeavor is important, as scientists need to gauge normal human epigenomic variability as part of the broader mapping process, said Karl Kelsey, corresponding author and a Brown professor of community health and pathology and laboratory medicine.

"The real importance of the work has to do with beginning to define what is normal in different tissues," Kelsey said. "And then you dig deeper to see what is the same and different about different people."

The study involved analysis of 217 nonpathologic human tissue sampless including blood, lung, head and neck, and brain tissue.


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Contact: Mark Hollmer
Mark_Hollmer@brown.edu
401-863-1862
Brown University
Source:Eurekalert  

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