epi·​ge·​nome | \ˌe-pə-ˈjē-ˌnōm \

Definition of epigenome 

: the complement of chemical compounds that modify the expression and function of the genome Access to the genes is controlled by the epigenome, a layer of millions of proteins and other marks that attach themselves to the genome.— Nicholas Wade Working out which genes are switched on or not involves looking at the epigenome, or the chemical "methyl" tags attached to genes.New Scientist

Examples of epigenome in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

Meticulous tinkering with the epigenome, otherwise known as the control panel for our genes, has yielded a number of significant findings of late—but perhaps none so surreal as those reported in a recent report by Newsweek. Lauren Valenti, Vogue, "Scientists Have Found a Way to Reverse Wrinkles and Hair Loss, According to an "Unprecedented" New Study," 23 July 2018 Environmental factors such as diet, stress, and sun exposure can affect the epigenome. Marcia Desanctis, Vogue, "Can the Genes Responsible for Aging Be Altered by a Face Cream? These Skin-Care Companies Say Yes," 21 July 2018 The researchers who have developed base editing even dream of reaching into the epigenome. The Economist, "BiotechnologyGene editing takes another step forward," 26 Oct. 2017 During fetal development, chemical triggers called epigenomes cause cells to differentiate, so that some become muscle and others become bone, nerves, skin, or tissue. Anya Groner, Longreads, "Twinless in Twinsburg," 9 June 2017 The epigenome itself is controlled by agents that add or subtract chemical groups, known as marks, to its proteins. Tad Friend, The New Yorker, "Silicon Valley’s Quest to Live Forever," 24 Mar. 2017

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'epigenome.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of epigenome

1991, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for epigenome

epi- + genome, after epigenetic

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Last Updated

30 Nov 2018

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Time Traveler for epigenome

The first known use of epigenome was in 1991

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