A slew of papers focused on an epigenome roadmap and the nature of gene regulation were published this week, highlighting the increasing importance of understanding not just genes but the switches that control them.  The focused effort of more than 200 scientists that authored the publications was the topic of a New York Times article today. Understanding the organization of the genetic switches within the human genome remains the basis of a much larger effort within the research community .  epigenome roadmap
Eric Lander, director of the Broad Institute, a genetic research center affiliated with Harvard and M.I.T, likened the complex problem to sorting out where people lived based on which subway lines were shut down (no doubt a nod to the snow problem Boston is currently having) and cross referencing that to which people failed to get to work.   Similarly, when a genetic switch was shut down, certain genes would be turned off.  Scientists are calling the 24 papers published by Nature Publishing a leap towards the much needed epigenome roadmap to help understand these important genetic controls.  Learn more about epigenomics here and the epigenome roadmap here