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Annals

From Epigenesis to Epigenetics

Edited by Edited by Linda Van Speybroeck (Department of Philosophy and Moral Science, Ghent University, Ghent, Belgium), and Gertrudis Van de Vijver and Dani De Waele (Ghent University, Ghent, Belgium)
From Epigenesis to Epigenetics

Published: December 2002

Volume 981

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Today, epigenetics not only offers spectacular new insights concerning gene regulation and heredity in molecular biology, but also profoundly challenges the way we think about genetics, evolution, and development. Questioning the idea of the genome as the \"ultimate causal layer\" in living systems, epigenetics demands a more thorough reflection on how to interpret the genome and how to integrate its multiple surrounding contexts -- such as the nuclear and intracellular contexts that directly impinge on the genome, but also intercellular, organismic, and environmental contexts in which a functional genome is embedded -- into a comprehensive theory of life.This volume has the triple aim of (1) highlighting the current status of epigenetics in biology, (2) explicating its resonance with historical viewpoints, and (3) articulating the main epistemological and ontological differences between a (classical) genetic and an epigenetic perspective.