If you have secretly longed for Genome Biology to publish an entire issue dedicated to epigenomics, featuring articles on topics ranging from epialleles to epitranscriptomes, then you are in luck. Because that is exactly what we have done with our latest issue, which is now published in full. The epigenomics special issue is Guest Edited by Alexander Meissner, who provides a thoughtful introduction to the field in his Editorial, and is packed with treats for both the epigenomics enthusiast and the casually curious.
From ciliate genome gymnastics to repeat elements in heart disease, the issue includes a large number of research articles whose findings will surprise, provoke or intrigue the epigenomics community. The issue has much to offer those interested in disease epigenetics – with articles on cancer, stem cells, heart disease and aging. But we also cater for those interested in core biological disciplines, such as evolution or genome organization, with articles on plant genome evolution and transcription factor regulation of chromatin accessibility, as well as on the methylation battle between endogenous retroviruses and genes.
"A good kick in the rear"
When The Scientist asked Paul Sternberg to comment on one of two special issue articles reporting the discovery of DNA methylation in unexpected phyla, his response was frank: "This is just a good kick in the rear to keep an open mind about all of these mechanisms, and to look harder for methylation in other species." To find out more about these articles, see either our accompanying Research Highlight or our blog post.
The special issue includes a number of novel computational and wet lab methods to both improve and simplify the study of the epigenome. For the lab bench, we present a gel free protocol for RRBS, to make the sequencing of DNA methylation easier, quicker and cheaper than ever before, as well as a highly sensitive mass spec method for resolving histone modifications. A detailed overview of the new computational methods included in the issue can be found in our Editorial.
The past, present and future of epigenomics is addressed in a number of Review, Opinion, Research Highlight and Editorial articles that complement the new research and methods in the special issue. The topics covered include stem cell epigenomes, plant epialleles, twin epigenetics, epitranscriptomics and 5hmC in cancer, and the articles are contributed by leaders in the field.
Review, Opinion and Research Highlight articles can only be accessed with a subscription to Genome Biology, but we will make one special issue subscription article free to read. The article will be chosen by Twitter vote – please Tweet the @GenomeBiology handle alongside details of your chosen article by tomorrow (November 6th) to cast your vote.
Pick up a print copy
Promotional print copies of the issue will be available at a number of epigenetics and genomics conferences over the coming months, starting with this month's ASHG meeting in San Francisco. Those attending ASHG should head over to the BioMed Central stand to pick up a free copy.