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Bioinformatics and Biology Insights

Integrating Epigenomics into the Understanding of Biomedical Insight

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Bioinformatics and Biology Insights 2016:10 267-289

Review

Published on 04 Dec 2016

DOI: 10.4137/BBI.S38427


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Abstract

Epigenetics is one of the most rapidly expanding fields in biomedical research, and the popularity of the high-throughput next-generation sequencing (NGS) highlights the accelerating speed of epigenomics discovery over the past decade. Epigenetics studies the heritable phenotypes resulting from chromatin changes but without alteration on DNA sequence. Epigenetic factors and their interactive network regulate almost all of the fundamental biological procedures, and incorrect epigenetic information may lead to complex diseases. A comprehensive understanding of epigenetic mechanisms, their interactions, and alterations in health and diseases genome widely has become a priority in biological research. Bioinformatics is expected to make a remarkable contribution for this purpose, especially in processing and interpreting the large-scale NGS datasets. In this review, we introduce the epigenetics pioneering achievements in health status and complex diseases; next, we give a systematic review of the epigenomics data generation, summarize public resources and integrative analysis approaches, and finally outline the challenges and future directions in computational epigenomics.



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