The phenotype is someone's appearance which is determined by the genotype (stable and heritable) and the environment (nutrition and other lifestyle factors) which give place to the epigenotype (heritable, labile and rapid)
Epigenetics is the study of changes in gene activity that do not involve alterations to the genetic code but still get passed down to at least one successive generation.
In other words, phenotype is your genes plus what you do to yourself. Genes can be switched on and off. Epigenetics are things you trigger by what you do to yourself that can be passed on to your kids.
Most of these articles focus on how the changes that occur due to your environment and what you do to yourself, can be passed down to your kids. And what your parents did, may have been passed down to you. So maybe they didn't get acne, but things they did changed their epigenotype which was pass to you.
Why Your DNA Isn't Your Destiny
Epigenetics: DNA Isnâ€™t Everything
Epigenetics: 100 Reasons To Change The Way We Think About Genetics
Traumatizing Your DNA: Researcher Warns That It Isn't 'All in the Genes'
'Epigenetic research suggests that the effects of stress and environmental pollution can be passed on to future generations without any obvious change or mutation in our DNA. The problem, Prof. Jablonka points out, is that we have no idea of the extent these effects will have on the human genome of the future.' and a bunch more stuff about stress and environmental pollution--pesticides and what not.
Epigenetics is the study of changes produced in gene expression caused by mechanisms other than changes in the underlying DNA sequence â€“hence the name epi- (Greek: ÎµÏ€Î¯- over, above) -genetics. Examples of such changes might be DNA methylation or histone acetylation, both of which serve to suppress gene expression without altering the sequence of the silenced genes.
These changes may remain through cell divisions for the remainder of the cell's life and may also last for multiple generations. However, there is no change in the underlying DNA sequence of the organism; instead, non-genetic factors cause the organism's genes to behave (or "express themselves") differently.
Edited by alternativista, 15 June 2012 - 06:34 AM.