epi- | ˈɛpi | (also ep-) prefix 1 upon: epigraph. 2 above: epicontinental. 3 in addition: epiphenomenon. ORIGIN from Greek epi ‘upon, near to, in addition’.
Genetics seems to be part of the public consciousness. We are sensitive to discussions about GM crops or animals; we say that our innermost convictions or tendencies are ‘in our DNA’. Genomics and genomes are themselves quite commonly discussed, either in terms of testing or, recently, in terms of editing. DNA is, quite literally, everywhere. The Nuffield Council on Bioethics has recently published several reports in which genetic themes loom large (see, for example, genome editing and non-invasive prenatal testing). So, a recent Council workshop dedicated to the topic of epigenetics was an interesting contribution to the wider discussion of ethics in the context of human biology, health and imagined futures.(more…)