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Epigenetic Inheritance has traditionally been called Lamarckian Evolution, the inheritance of an acquired trait. Defined broadly as any heritable variation that is not linked to a difference in coding of the nuclear DNA, epigenetic inheritance can be inclusive of any other possible heritable factors (e.g.: changes to chromatin in germ-line cells, inherited differences in mitochondrial DNA or in the egg’s cytoplasm, different ecological conditions, different internal symbiotic bacteria, ecological niches and even distinct cultural influences). Any papers that examine non-genomic sources of inheritance are included herein.  

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  1. Aristotle on Epigenesis.Devin Henry - 2018
    It has become somewhat of a platitude to call Aristotle the first epigenesist insofar as he thought form and structure emerged gradually from an unorganized, amorphous embryo. But modern biology now recognizes two senses of “epigenesis”. The first is this more familiar idea about the gradual emergence of form and structure, which is traditionally opposed to the idea of preformationism. But modern biologists also use “epigenesis” to emphasize the context-dependency of the process itself. Used in this sense development is not (...)
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  2. Organism and Environment in Auguste Comte.Ryan McVeigh - forthcoming - History of the Human Sciences:095269512091790.
    This article focuses on Auguste Comte’s understanding of the organism–environment relationship. It makes three key claims therein: Comte’s metaphysical position privileged materiality and relativized the intellect along two dimensions: one related to the biological organism, one related to the social environment; this twofold materiality confounds attempts to reduce cognition to either nature or nurture, so Comte’s position has interesting parallels to the field of ‘epigenetics’, which sees the social environment as a causative factor in biology; and although Comte ultimately diverged (...)
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  3. Thinking Embodiment with Genetics: Epigenetics and Postgenomic Biology in Embodied Cognition and Enactivism.Maurizio Meloni & Jack Reynolds - forthcoming - Synthese:1-24.
    The role of the body in cognition is acknowledged across a variety of disciplines, even if the precise nature and scope of that contribution remain contentious. As a result, most philosophers working on embodiment—e.g. those in embodied cognition, enactivism, and ‘4e’ cognition—interact with the life sciences as part of their interdisciplinary agenda. Despite this, a detailed engagement with emerging findings in epigenetics and post-genomic biology has been missing from proponents of this embodied turn. Surveying this research provides an opportunity to (...)
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  4. What’s All the Fuss About? The Inheritance of Acquired Traits is Compatible with the Central Dogma.M. Polo Camacho - 2020 - History and Philosophy of the Life Sciences 42 (3):1-15.
    The Central Dogma of molecular biology, which holds that DNA makes protein and not the other way around, is as influential as it is controversial. Some believe the Dogma has outlived its usefulness, either because it fails to fully capture the ins-and-outs of protein synthesis (Griffiths and Stotz, 2013; Stotz, 2006), because it turns on a confused notion of information (Sarkar, 2004), or because it problematically assumes the unidirectional flow of information from DNA to protein (Gottlieb, 2001). This paper evaluates (...)
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  5. Connection Experiments in Neurobiology.John Bickle & Aaron Kostko - 2018 - Synthese 195 (12):5271-5295.
    Accounts of causal explanation are standard in philosophy of science. Less common are accounts of experimentation to investigate causal relations: detailed discussions of the specific kinds of experiments scientists design and run. Silva, Landreth, and Bickle’s account of “connection experiments” derives directly from landmark experiments in “molecular and cellular cognition.” We start with its key components, and then using a detailed case study from recent social neuroscience we emphasize and extend three features of SLB’s account: a division of distinct types (...)
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  6. Anthropocene: The philosophy of Biotechnology.Valentin Cheshko, Glazko Valery & Ivanitskaya Lida - 2018 - Moscow, Russia: Kurs INFRA-M.
    The theory of evolution of complex, including the humans system and algorithm for its constructing are a synthesis of evolutionary epistemology, philosophical anthropology and concrete scientific empirical basis in modern science,. In other words, natural philosophy is regaining the status bar element theoretical science in the era of technology-driven evolution. The co-evolutionary concept of 3-modal stable evolutionary strategy of Homo sapiens is developed. The concept based on the principle of evolutionary complementarity of anthropogenesis: value of evolutionary risk and evolutionary path (...)
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  7. Hierarchy Theory of Evolution and the Extended Evolutionary Synthesis: Some Epistemic Bridges, Some Conceptual Rifts.Alejandro Fábregas-Tejeda & Francisco Vergara-Silva - 2018 - Evolutionary Biology 45 (2):127-139.
    Contemporary evolutionary biology comprises a plural landscape of multiple co-existent conceptual frameworks and strenuous voices that disagree on the nature and scope of evolutionary theory. Since the mid-eighties, some of these conceptual frameworks have denounced the ontologies of the Modern Synthesis and of the updated Standard Theory of Evolution as unfinished or even flawed. In this paper, we analyze and compare two of those conceptual frameworks, namely Niles Eldredge’s Hierarchy Theory of Evolution (with its extended ontology of evolutionary entities) and (...)
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  8. Epigenetic Lacunae: Response to Meloni’s Political Biology.Melinda Bonnie Fagan - 2018 - History of the Human Sciences 31 (1):109-115.
  9. Maurizio Meloni’s Political Biology : The hour of political biology: Lamarck in a eugenic key?Steve Fuller - 2018 - History of the Human Sciences 31 (1):97-103.
  10. Epigenetic Modifications of Cytosine: Biophysical Properties, Regulation, and Function in Mammalian DNA.Jack S. Hardwick, Andrew N. Lane & Tom Brown - 2018 - Bioessays 40 (3):1700199.
    To decode the function and molecular recognition of several recently discovered cytosine derivatives in the human genome – 5-hydroxymethylcytosine, 5-formylcytosine, and 5-carboxylcytosine – a detailed understanding of their effects on the structural, chemical, and biophysical properties of DNA is essential. Here, we review recent literature in this area, with particular emphasis on features that have been proposed to enable the specific recognition of modified cytosine bases by DNA-binding proteins. These include electronic factors, modulation of base-pair stability, flexibility, and radical changes (...)
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  11. Lamarckism and Epigenetic Inheritance: A Clarification.Laurent Loison - 2018 - Biology and Philosophy 33 (3-4):29.
    Since the 1990s, the terms “Lamarckism” and “Lamarckian” have seen a significant resurgence in biological publications. The discovery of new molecular mechanisms have been interpreted as evidence supporting the reality and efficiency of the inheritance of acquired characters, and thus the revival of Lamarckism. The present paper aims at giving a critical evaluation of such interpretations. I argue that two types of arguments allow to draw a clear distinction between the genuine Lamarckian concept of inheritance of acquired characters and transgenerational (...)
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  12. Political Biology: In Search of a New Epistemic Space Between STS and Biopolitical Theory- A Response.Maurizio Meloni - 2018 - History of the Human Sciences 31 (1):136-142.
  13. The Task of Sisyphus? Biological and Social Temporality in Maurizio Meloni’s Political Biology.Chris Renwick - 2018 - History of the Human Sciences 31 (1):104-109.
  14. Epigenetics as a Driver of Developmental Origins of Health and Disease: Did We Forget the Fathers?Adelheid Soubry - 2018 - Bioessays 40 (1):1700113.
    What are the effects of our environment on human development and the next generation? Numerous studies have provided ample evidence that a healthy environment and lifestyle of the mother is important for her offspring. Biological mechanisms underlying these environmental influences have been proposed to involve alterations in the epigenome. Is there enough evidence to suggest a similar contribution from the part of the father? Animal models provide proof of a transgenerational epigenetic effect through the paternal germ line, but can this (...)
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  15. Visual Metaphors in the Sciences: The Case of Epigenetic Landscape Images.Jan Baedke & Tobias Schöttler - 2017 - Journal for General Philosophy of Science / Zeitschrift für Allgemeine Wissenschaftstheorie 48 (2):173-194.
    Recent philosophical analyses of the epistemic dimension of images in the sciences show a certain trend in acknowledging potential roles of these images beyond their merely decorative or pedagogical functions. We argue, however, that this new debate has yet paid little attention to a special type of pictures, we call ‘visual metaphor’, and its versatile heuristic potential in organizing data, supporting communication, and guiding research, modeling, and theory formation. Based on a case study of Conrad Hal Waddington’s epigenetic landscape images (...)
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  16. Chromatin Priming Elements Establish Immunological Memory in T Cells Without Activating Transcription.Sarah L. Bevington, Pierre Cauchy & Peter N. Cockerill - 2017 - Bioessays 39 (2):1600184.
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  17. Extending Epigenesis: From Phenotypic Plasticity to the Bio-Cultural Feedback.Paolo D’Ambrosio & Ivan Colagè - 2017 - Biology and Philosophy 32 (5):705-728.
    The paper aims at proposing an extended notion of epigenesis acknowledging an actual causal import to the phenotypic dimension for the evolutionary diversification of life forms. “Introductory remarks” section offers introductory remarks on the issue of epigenesis contrasting it with ancient and modern preformationist views. In “Transmutation of forms: phenotypic variation, diversification, and complexification” section we propose to intend epigenesis as a process of phenotypic formation and diversification dependent on environmental influences, independent of changes in the genomic nucleotide sequence, and (...)
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  18. Genetic, Epigenetic and Exogenetic Information in Development and Evolution.Paul Edmund Griffiths - 2017 - Interface Focus 7 (5).
    The idea that development is the expression of information accumulated during evolution and that heredity is the transmission of this information is surprisingly hard to cash out in strict, scientific terms. This paper seeks to do so using the sense of information introduced by Francis Crick in his sequence hypothesis and central dogma of molecular biology. It focuses on Crick's idea of precise determination. This is analysed using an information-theoretic measure of causal specificity. This allows us to reconstruct some of (...)
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  19. Review of Are We Hardwired by Clark and Grunstein (2000).Michael Starks - 2017 - Philosophy, Human Nature and the Collapse of Civilization Michael Starks 3rd Ed. (2017).
    This is an excellent review of gene/environment interactions on behavior and, in spite of being a bit dated, is an easy and worthwhile read. They start with twin studies which show the overwhelming impact of genetics on behavior. They note the increasingly well known studies of Judith Harris which extend and summarize the facts that shared home environment has almost no effect on behavior and that adopted children grow up to be as different from their stepbrothers and sisters as people (...)
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  20. An Epigenetic Resolution of the Lek Paradox.Melvin M. Bonilla, Jeanne A. Zeh & David W. Zeh - 2016 - Bioessays 38 (4):355-366.
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  21. Eine neue Sicht der Evolution: Ist es nur der Zufall, der sie leitet?Paul Gottlob Layer - 2016 - BRIEFE Zur Orientierung Im Konflikt Mensch - Erde, Evangelische Akademie Sachsen-Anhalt E.V 121 (4):16-24.
    Nach neodarwinistischem Verständnis der Evolution entstehen neue Organismen letztlich durch rein zufällige Mutationsprozesse auf genetischer Ebene. Ihre Überlebenschancen werden dann durch die jeweilig herrschende Umwelt begünstigt oder unterdrückt. Die Evolution ist demnach nur vom reinen Zufall geleitet. Neuere Einsichten aus Entwicklungsbiologie (EvoDevo) und Epigenetik haben unsere Sicht der Evolutionsabläufe jedoch deutlich erweitert. Dabei kommt der Umwelt eine lenkende Rolle zu, der reine Zufall verliert an Bedeutung. Damit lässt sich naturwissenschaftliches Verständnis wieder besser mit herkömmlichen Schöpfungsbildern versöhnen.
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  22. Wie Epigenetik unser Weltbild ins Lot bringen kann.Paul Gottlob Layer - 2016 - BRIEFE Zur Orientierung Im Konflikt Mensch - Erde, Evangelische Akademie Sachsen-Anhalt E.V 121 (4):25-33.
    Seit der Aufklärung versucht der Mensch, Gott abzuschaffen. Dabei fällt der Zufälligkeit, und damit auch der Ziellosigkeit in der darwinistischen Sicht der Evolution besonderes Gewicht zu. Diese weithin akzeptierten Dogmen stehen diametral gegen jahrtausendealte Vorstellungen, die letztlich in allen Kulturen und Religionen hervorgebracht wurden, daß die Natur eine Schöpfung Gottes sei, in der der Mensch das höchste, Gott-ebenbildliche Wesen sei. Nach Erkenntnissen der klassischen Genetik schienen Gene an die Stelle von Gott getreten zu sein: sie haben absolute Gewalt und beherrschen (...)
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  23. Metaanalysis of psychoanalysis.Andrej Poleev - 2016
  24. Epigenetics: Ambiguities and Implications.Karola Stotz & Paul Griffiths - 2016 - History and Philosophy of the Life Sciences 38 (4).
    Everyone has heard of ‘epigenetics’, but the term means different things to different researchers. Four important contemporary meanings are outlined in this paper. Epigenetics in its various senses has implications for development, heredity, and evolution, and also for medicine. Concerning development, it cements the vision of a reactive genome strongly coupled to its environment. Concerning heredity, both narrowly epigenetic and broader ‘exogenetic’ systems of inheritance play important roles in the construction of phenotypes. A thoroughly epigenetic model of development and evolution (...)
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  25. Multiple Dimensions of Epigenetic Gene Regulation in the Malaria Parasite Plasmodium Falciparum.Ferhat Ay, Evelien M. Bunnik, Nelle Varoquaux, Jean-Philippe Vert, William Stafford Noble & Karine G. Le Roch - 2015 - Bioessays 37 (2):182-194.
  26. Developmental Systems Theory.Paul Griffiths & Adam Hochman - 2015 - eLS:1-7.
    Developmental systems theory (DST) is a wholeheartedly epigenetic approach to development, inheritance and evolution. The developmental system of an organism is the entire matrix of resources that are needed to reproduce the life cycle. The range of developmental resources that are properly described as being inherited, and which are subject to natural selection, is far wider than has traditionally been allowed. Evolution acts on this extended set of developmental resources. From a developmental systems perspective, development does not proceed according to (...)
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  27. Annual Meeting of the EpiGeneSys Network of Excellence - Advancing Epigenetics Towards Systems Biology.Jon Houseley, Caroline S. Hill & Peter J. Rugg-Gunn - 2015 - Bioessays 37 (6):592-595.
  28. Development of Cultural Consciousness: From the Perspective of a Social Constructivist.Gregory M. Nixon - 2015 - International Journal of Education and Social Science 2 (10):119-136.
    In this condensed survey, I look to recent perspectives on evolution suggesting that cultural change likely alters the genome. Since theories of development are nested within assumptions about evolution (evo-devo), I next review some oft-cited developmental theories and other psychological theories of the 20th century to see if any match the emerging perspectives in evolutionary theory. I seek theories based neither in nature (genetics) nor nurture (the environment) but in the creative play of human communication responding to necessity. This survey (...)
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  29. Intrinsic Estimates of Fitness Affect the Causal Structure of Evolutionary Change.J. H. van Hateren - 2015 - Biology and Philosophy 30 (5):729-746.
    The causal structure of Darwinian evolution by natural selection is investigated. Its basic scheme is reproduction resulting from a feedback loop driven by internal and external causes. Causation internal to the loop connects genotype, development, phenotype, and fitness, with environmental constraints on the latter preventing runaway reproduction. External causes driving the core loop are environmental change and genetic change. This basic causal structure is complicated by modern additions such as control of mutation rate, niche construction, interactions between evolution and development, (...)
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  30. An Evolutionary Ockham's Razor to Reciprocity.Irene Berra - 2014 - Frontiers in Theoretical and Philosophical Psychology 5:01258.
    Reciprocal altruism implies delayed payoffs by definition. It might therefore seem logical to assume that limited memory, calculation, and planning capacities have constrained the evolution of reciprocity in non-human animals. Here I will argue that this is not the case. First, I will show that the emotional track of past interactions is enough to motivate and maintain reciprocity over longer timespans. Second, I will propose a developmental pathway of this system of emotional bookkeeping. In particular, the neuropeptide modulation underlying mother-infant (...)
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  31. Experimental Evidence Needed to Demonstrate Inter- and Trans-Generational Effects of Ancestral Experiences in Mammals.Brian G. Dias & Kerry J. Ressler - 2014 - Bioessays 36 (10):919-923.
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  32. Epigenetics and the Environment in Bioethics.Charles Dupras, Vardit Ravitsky & Bryn Williams-Jones - 2014 - Bioethics 28 (7):327-334.
    A rich literature in public health has demonstrated that health is strongly influenced by a host of environmental factors that can vary according to social, economic, geographic, cultural or physical contexts. Bioethicists should, we argue, recognize this and – where appropriate – work to integrate environmental concerns into their field of study and their ethical deliberations. In this article, we present an argument grounded in scientific research at the molecular level that will be familiar to – and so hopefully more (...)
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  33. The Evolution of Epigenetics.Gary Felsenfeld - 2014 - Perspectives in Biology and Medicine 57 (1):132-148.
    Since the early days of embryology, a central puzzle for biologists has been how a fertilized egg can execute a clearly defined and reproducible program that leads ultimately to a complex organism. It was clear that all of the information necessary to create the adult must already reside in the zygote, but how that information was translated into a complex organism was obscure. Even as recently as the late 1940s, the molecular mechanisms associated with early development were unknown and, in (...)
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  34. Les nouvelles biotechnologies en questions. Préface de Jean Audouze. Paris, Éditions Salvator , 2013, 127 p. [REVIEW]Philippe Gagnon - 2014 - Laval Théologique et Philosophique 70 (1):205-208.
  35. The Genome as a Developmental Organ.Ehud Lamm - 2014 - Journal of Physiology 592 (11):2237-2244.
    This paper applies the conceptual toolkit of Evolutionary Developmental Biology (evo‐devo) to the evolution of the genome and the role of the genome in organism development. This challenges both the Modern Evolutionary Synthesis, the dominant view in evolutionary theory for much of the 20th century, and the typically unreflective analysis of heredity by evo‐devo. First, the history of the marginalization of applying system‐thinking to the genome is described. Next, the suggested framework is presented. Finally, its application to the evolution of (...)
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  36. Coal Mining Meets Chromatin Research: Digging for Mechanisms in Epigenetic Control of Gene Expression.Ann Ehrenhofer-Murray, Hemmo Meyer & Wolfgang Nellen - 2013 - Bioessays 35 (2):141-144.
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  37. Social Epigenetics and Equality of Opportunity.Michele Loi, Lorenzo Del Savio & Elia Stupka - 2013 - Public Health Ethics 6 (2):142-153.
    Recent epidemiological reports of associations between socioeconomic status and epigenetic markers that predict vulnerability to diseases are bringing to light substantial biological effects of social inequalities. Here, we start the discussion of the moral consequences of these findings. We firstly highlight their explanatory importance in the context of the research program on the Developmental Origins of Health and Disease (DOHaD) and the social determinants of health. In the second section, we review some theories of the moral status of health inequalities. (...)
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  38. Waddington's Epigenetic Landscape and Post‐Darwinian Biology.Bernhard Horsthemke - 2012 - Bioessays 34 (8):711-712.
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  39. The Molecular and Mathematical Basis of Waddington's Epigenetic Landscape: A Framework for Post‐Darwinian Biology?Sui Huang - 2012 - Bioessays 34 (2):149-157.
  40. The Species Problem: A Philosophical Analysis. By Richard A. Richards. (Cambridge UP, 2010. Pp. X + 236. Price £50.00.).Catherine Kendig - 2012 - Philosophical Quarterly 62 (247):405-408.
    Book review of Richard A. Richards' The Species Problem: A Philosophical Analysis.
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  41. Inheritance Systems.Ehud Lamm - 2012 - The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy (Spring 2012 Edition).
    Organisms inherit various kinds of developmental information and cues from their parents. The study of inheritance systems is aimed at identifying and classifying the various mechanisms and processes of heredity, the types of hereditary information that is passed on by each, the functional interaction between the different systems, and the evolutionary consequences of these properties. We present the discussion of inheritance systems in the context of several debates. First, between proponents of monism about heredity (gene-centric views), holism about heredity (Developmental (...)
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  42. Longevity and the Long Arm of Epigenetics: Acquired Parental Marks Influence Lifespan Across Several Generations.Shanshan Pang & Sean P. Curran - 2012 - Bioessays 34 (8):652-654.
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  43. Epigenetics Meets Mathematics: Towards a Quantitative Understanding of Chromatin Biology.Philipp A. Steffen, João P. Fonseca & Leonie Ringrose - 2012 - Bioessays 34 (10):901-913.
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  44. Epigenetics and the Brain: Transcriptome Sequencing Reveals New Depths to Genomic Imprinting.Gavin Kelsey - 2011 - Bioessays 33 (5):362-367.
  45. Three Epigenetic Information Channels and Their Different Roles in Evolution.Nicholas Shea, Ido Pen & Tobias Uller - 2011 - Journal of Evolutionary Biology 24:1178-87.
    There is increasing evidence for epigenetically mediated transgenerational inheritance across taxa. However, the evolutionary implications of such alternative mechanisms of inheritance remain unclear. Herein, we show that epigenetic mechanisms can serve two fundamentally different functions in transgenerational inheritance: (i) selection-based effects, which carry adaptive information in virtue of selection over many generations of reliable transmission; and (ii) detection-based effects, which are a transgenerational form of adaptive phenotypic plasticity. The two functions interact differently with a third form of epigenetic information transmission, (...)
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  46. Epigenetics and Parental Effects.Laurent Kappeler & Michael J. Meaney - 2010 - Bioessays 32 (9):818-827.
  47. Genes Versus Genomes: The Role of Genome Organization in Evolution.Ehud Lamm - 2010 - Dissertation, Tel Aviv University
    Recent and not so recent advances in our molecular understanding of the genome make the once prevalent view of the genome as a passive container of genetic information (i.e., genes) untenable, and emphasize the importance of the internal organization and re-organization dynamics of the genome for both development and evolution. While this conclusion is by now well accepted, the construction of a comprehensive conceptual framework for studying the genome as a dynamic system, capable of self-organization and adaptive behavior is still (...)
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  48. Epigenetics: A Survey of Unorthodox Inheritance. [REVIEW]Luis Ramírez-Trejo & Linda Speybroecvank - 2010 - Biological Theory 5 (1):96-99.
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  49. Epigenetics: A Survey on Unorthodox Inheritance: Epigenetics C. David Allis, Thomas Jenuwein, Danny Reinberg, Eds Cold Spring Harbor, NY: Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory Press, 2007 Epigenetics Jörg Tost, Ed Norfolk, UK: Caister Academic Press, 2008.Luis Ramírez-Trejo & Linda Van Speybroeck - 2010 - Biological Theory 5 (1):96-99.
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  50. Returning to the Stem State: Epigenetics of Recapitulating Pre‐Differentiation Chromatin Structure.Mehdi Shafa, Roman Krawetz & Derrick E. Rancourt - 2010 - Bioessays 32 (9):791-799.
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