On this day in 1958…

The paper “Epigenetic Control Systems” by D.L. Nanney is published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America. In this paper, Nanney asks “Can any available operation, or combination of operations, yield an unambiguous. classification of cellular regulatory systems into genetic and epigenetic categories?” After cataloging the many ways this operational distinction is problematic, Nanney also concludes that recognition of these two distinct systems could still be useful “in avoiding confusion in discussing cytoplasmic inheritance, developmental alterations, inheritance of acquired characters, mutation, and genetic recombination.”

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