What is the epigenome?
The epigenome is a mixture of chemical compounds and proteins that attach to DNA and tell the genome what to do. It turns genes on or off, controlling the production of proteins in a particular cell.1 These chemical compounds modify cell division, and may be inherited. Recent studies, however, show that environmental influences, such as diet and exposure to pollutants, can alter the epigenome.2 The epigenome is what makes each individual unique. It is what makes some of us have darker or lighter skin, controls the color and texture of our hair, and explains why some people are more introverted while others are extroverts.3