What is Epigenetics?

Epigenetics is the term given to describe heritable changes in gene expression when the genetic blueprint does not involve changes to the underlying DNA sequence. Epigenetics causes changes in the phenotype without altering the genotype. This can be influenced by several factors including environment, lifestyle, age and disease state. These epigenetic changes are initiated by one of three known mechanisms; DNA methylation, histone modification and non-coding RNA (cRNA)-associated gene silencing.