Epigenetics is the study of changes in gene activity that do not involve alterations to the genetic code and which are passed on to the next generation. The epigenome tells which genes to switch on or off, and whether to speak loudly or to whisper. It is through epigenetic markers that environmental factors like diet, stress, prenatal nutrition can imprint our genes.
This field is rapidly gaining favor as a way to study genetic diseases. DNA-binding proteins can be studied using the Illumina’s state-of-the-art system for identifying potential chromatin binding events across the entire genome (ChIP-Seq). The Illumina Platform also allows the quantification of changes in the DNA methylation at single sites throughout the whole genome.