The work being done in cancer epigenetics not only introduces substantial complications into the scientific understanding of cancer, and of genetics in general, but perhaps even more substantial complications of the politics and policy of cancer because of the way it shifts attention back towards the nexus of genes and their environments.
This divergence between embryology and genetics appears to have occurred for legitimate scientific reasons, but also as “a struggle for power and authority.” These disciplinary differences coincided with the eventual sides taken in the Second World War. That genetics ultimately emerged as the hegemonic victor in science just as the U.S. emerged as the global hegemon after the war, is not merely coincidental.
Waddington’s diverse background, including his unorthodox politics, will be shown to have a significant influence in his ‘discovery’ of epigenetics, and also provides clues as to why epigenetics was as ignored it was until fairly recently.
by Shea Robison (@EpigeneticsGuy) Mosaic Epigenetic Dysregulation of Ectodermal Cells in Autism Spectrum Disorder Authors: Esther R. Berko, Masako Suzuki, Faygel Beren, et al. Journal: PLosGenetics Publication Date: May 29, 2014 This week’s paper deals with trying to trace the biological causes of Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). The authors begin by noting that one of the … Continue reading Mosaic Epigenetic Dysregulation of Ectodermal Cells in Autism Spectrum Disorder
by Shea Robison (@EpigeneticsGuy) As discussed in the previous post in this series, if epigenetics had been accepted into the mainstream of genetics at this early stage of its development, epigenetics likely would have been incorporated into the overall theoretical structure of genetics without too much disruption. Instead, for many years the field of modern genetics disqualified epigenetics … Continue reading History, Part II: Epigenetics and the Politics of Science