• Researchers unveiled the map of the "epigenome" in the journal Nature on Wednesday, alongside nearly two dozen related papers. The mapping effort is being carried out under a 10-year, $240 million U.S. government research program, the Roadmap Epigenomics Project, which was launched in 2008.
  • The human genome is the blueprint for building an individual person. The epigenome can be thought of as the cross-outs and underlinings of that blueprint: For example, if someone's genome contains DNA associated with cancer, but that DNA is "crossed out" by molecules in the epigenome, the DNA is unlikely to lead to cancer.
  • Because scientists involved in the project have been depositing their findings in a public database as they went along, other researchers have been analyzing the information even before the map was formally published.

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