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A key feature of epigenetic changes is that they are heritable, with epigenetic marks being carried forward through cell divisions or even from one generation to the next. For example, research suggests that the epigenetic state of your DNA could be affected by your grandparents' lifestyle. Understanding how epigenetics contributes to trait variation adds yet another layer of complexity to what ultimately decides what phenotype an organism displays.

 

Extracting epigenetic information from cells

In the same way that we can learn genetic information via sequencing, there are several methods available to investigate the epigenetic state of DNA:

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