Exploring Epigenomics

Courtesy: National Human Genome Research Institute

Epigenomics is the study of the functions and locations of chemical compounds and proteins that modify the genome by influencing gene expression and regulation. DNA methylation and histone modification are examples of these heritable modifications, which are natural processes involved in tissue differentiation and development and can be affected by environmental and lifestyle factors. Thanks to previous research and the ENCODE Project, the technological advances in next generation sequencing have catalyzed data output and created new possibilities for disease treatment. Here we present a few resources to assist researchers with exploring the field of epigenomics.

  • The Roadmap Epigenomics Project (REP) is a Common Fund-supported program from the National Institutes of Health. It aims to map epigenomic modifications across the human genome and help (1) identify the most informative epigenomic modifications, (2) predict functions of specific genomic regions, and (3) discover differences between distinct tissue and cell epigenomes. The REP website provides links to a data browser, epigenome mapping centers, protocols and standards, downloadable tools, complete epigenomes, and relevant publications. Resources of note include the Human Epigenome Atlas, EpiGenome Gateway, and REP Data Listings.
  • The International Human Epigenome Consortium (IHEC) is a worldwide effort to coordinate and freely disseminate epigenome mapping and experimental characterization standards. The IHEC website includes information on international projects, reference epigenome standards, publications, and a Data Portal that allows searching by consortium, tissue, or assay category, as well as a data grid, dataset download section, and a UCSC Genome Browser mirror with preloaded IHEC tracks.
  • EpigenomicsNet is an online community for epigenomics researchers in industry and academia. This free-to-join portal is a networking forum for editor- and user-generated news, discussion, and opinions via postings and videos. It covers select content from the journal Epigenomics, clinical trials, drug target and design, methods, and more.
  • The HSLS-licensed HSTalks contains over 100 videos on epigenomics from more than forty experts, which are included in series such as Epigenetics, DNA Methylation, and Cancer Genetics.

~Carrie Iwema