New journal explores the environment in which our genes live

October 30, 2008

The composition of our DNA is not the only thing that determines how our genes behave. A new journal launched today by the open access publisher BioMed Central, Epigenetcs and Chromatin, will enable researchers at all levels to discuss the heritable changes that do not alter DNA sequence, but rather involve stable modifications of chromatin, DNA or protein conformation.

The journal's co-Editors-in-Chief, Steven Henikoff and Frank Grosveld, are excited about this field's potential. According to Henikoff, "The field of epigenetics is at an exciting stage, one that seems comparable to the field of genetics before the elucidation of the structure of DNA and the genetic code. We know most of the parts, but we are still unclear as to how they work together as a system to faithfully maintain gene expression states. As our understanding of epigenetic inheritance and chromatin-based interactions progresses, we expect that Epigenetics & Chromatin will become a key scientific resource".

Articles in the first issue exemplify the type of high quality research that the journal will publish. A study by Elizabeth Blackburn, John Sedat and colleagues applies new methodology for 4D imaging to document a previously undescribed behavior of human telomeres. Another study by Neil Brockdorff and colleagues provides a comprehensive answer to a long-standing question of the role of the RNAi pathway in X inactivation.

Grosveld said, "I'm thrilled to be part of the launch, particularly because this is an open access journal that fulfils the need for a resource that reflects the breadth of epigenetic research. The positive response by colleagues around the world who have participated in this venture has been fantastic."
Notes to Editors

1. Please name the journal in any story you write. If you are writing for the web, please link to the journal. All articles are available free of charge, according to BioMed Central's open access policy.

2. Epigenetics & Chromatin is a peer-reviewed open access online journal, which will publish articles that provide novel insights into epigenetic inheritance and chromatin-based interactions. The journal's website is

3. BioMed Central ( is an STM (Science, Technology and Medicine) publisher which has pioneered the open access publishing model. All peer-reviewed research articles published by BioMed Central are made immediately and freely accessible online, and are licensed to allow redistribution and reuse. BioMed Central is part of Springer Science+Business Media, a leading global publisher in the STM sector.

BioMed Central

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