Adult stem cells carry their own baggage: Epigenetics guides stem cell fate

Adult stem and progenitor cells may not contain a clean genetic slate after all. A new report shows that these cells have unique “epigenetic signatures,” which change once a cell differentiates. Epigenetic changes do not affect the make up in a cell’s DNA, but how that DNA functions. Epigenetic changes have demonstrated a role in a range of diseases, as well as to be heritable from mother to child.

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