DNA Methylation Analysis and Missing Heritability

DNA, the dogma goes, is the code of life, determining everything from hair color to our susceptibility to diseases. But many traits passed down from generation to generation are untraceable in the genome – a source of “missing heritability”. DNA methylation plays an important role in regulating gene expression. Aberrant DNA methylation has been implicated in many disease processes, including cancer, obesity, and addiction. DNA methylation is also a common subject of agrigenomic investigations into responses to drought, temperature extremes, and other environmental changes. High-throughput technologies such as next-generation sequencing (NGS) and microarrays enable researchers to perform genome-wide methylation profiling. These technologies offer new ways to understand the significance of DNA methylation, providing novel insights into the functional consequences of variation.

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