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Definition of Epigenetics and a Reflection of the Video (Reaction Paper Sample)


The Reaction Paper Assignment
You will be writing a 1,000 word Reaction Paper in this course using the instructions and links found below. You will be completing the following tasks and gathering the following information for your paper:
Watch the epigenetics video from PBS. Begin your paper by defining epigenetics in your own words and discussing your reaction to the video.
Interview your family members and complete the Family History-Dr. Oz.pdf. Find out which disease(s) you are most at risk for.
Research and locate one article on epigenetics and whatever disease you are most at risk for (select a study on research conducted on humans) from a reputable academic source:
Reputable Sources:
journal articles
government publications based on research
Do not use:
magazines of any sort, whether they are on paper or online
Websites of any type, including epigenetics websites
How to Perform Your Research
Use the College Library in person or online (log in with your new MDC ID number (the one that is all numbers). Your password is the last four digits of that same MDC ID unless you have changed it.
Read the epigenetics article you find. Continue your paper with a discussion of the epigenetics article. Be sure to paraphrase (put things in your own words) and be sure to cite the author(s) of the article you find using APA style (see the section below on using APA style). Aim for about a page for this part of your paper.
Discuss the concept of epigenesis in light of your family history and the article you read. Aim for one page for this section of your paper.
Complete the Living to 100 Questionnaires. Integrate your findings on the questionnaire into your discussion. Aim for another page.
Discuss how you can improve your health and longevity in light of your findings in this questionnaire, your understanding of epigenetics, and your knowledge of your family history. This should be your final page.


The Concept of Epigenetics
Institution Affiliation:
The Concept of Epigenetics
Definition of Epigenetics and a Reflection of the Video
It is remarkable that identical twins originate from the same DNA but often turn out to be different as they grow older regardless of the genes having a significant genetic component. Epigenetics can better explain this conundrum. This is the study of hereditary shifts in the expression of active and inactive genes that doesn't necessarily revolve around the changes in the fundamental DNA sequence which can be described as the change in phenotype while not interfering with the genotype thereby influencing the manner through which genes are perceived by cells (Wang, Chang & Lu, 2017). The video about epigenetics in PBS offers an engaging elaboration of what the concept of epigenetic modification entails through giving an account of several identical twins and the differences in the onset of diseases. It reveals that epigenetic changes mark as regular as well as natural occurrence but can be affected by other factors such as disease state, environment, age as well as lifestyle. The modifications in epigenetics often manifest through cells regeneration into skin cells, brain cells or liver cells among other fundamental cells in the body. In the same way, the epigenetic modification can lead to more damaging consequences such as the onset of diseases like Cancer. Through the contents of the video, it is revealed that there are mainly three systems associated with the silencing of a gene which is further considered in the initiation and sustaining of epigenetic modification. They revolve around, DNA methylation, non-coding RNA as well as histone modification.
An Article on Epigenetics
In an article by Feinberg & Fallin (2015), epigenetics is defined as the information shared through cell division rather than in the DNA sequence and further marks as the manner through one can differentiate stem cells from somatic cells, identical twins from each other as well as one organ from another. The authors further provide vivid illustrations that expound on the concept of epigenetics. For instance, they reveal that DNA methylation involves a covalent change in the nucleotide cytosine that is assimilated into the cell division by the sustaining enzyme DNA Methyltransferase at CpG dinucleotides.
According to Feinberg & Fallin (2015), compared to the system of DNA sequence, the epigenome is prone to yielding to environmental factors and stochastic interference as time goes by thereby increasing the diversity in phenotype among families. This further explains the differences among identical twins despite their origination from the same DNA and having genes with the significant genetic component. An excellent example offered by the authors revolves around the environmentally changed phenotype belonging to the agouti gene that is responsible for coat color as well as weight regulation in mice and which further manifests by epigenetic modification (Feinberg & Fallin, 2015). According to the authors, a recurrent DNA variant in the Agouti gene leads to its activation in a non-regulatory manner thereby giving a rise in obesity among the yellow coated mice. It was found that there's a close correlation between nutrition among humans in their early life during the modulation of the epigenome. For this reason, it can be established that individuals can experience DNA methylation modifications in their genes if their parents or grandparents experiences harsh environmental factors. Lastly, the authors reveal that the prediction or risks is not dependent on a structured appliance as a sequence of genetic markers can be used to predict people at risk of getting a risk disease and determine the prevention and treatment approach.
Family History Discussion
Upon deeper reflection of my family history as depicted in Family History-Dr. Oz's Work Sheet (see Appendix A) the concept of epigenesis can be traced. Although there a

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