After 27 years, Australia's Lorne Conference on the Organization and Expression of the Genome witnessed a first on Sunday: a session dedicated to the joys of linkurl:epigenetics; . The session kicked off with Carmen Sapienza from the Fels Institute for Cancer Research and Molecule Biology, Temple University School of Medicine, who showed using a combination of database analysis and lab work that imprinted chromosomal regions are historical hot-spots for recombination. Looking specifically at chromosomes 11 and 14 he showed that linkage dysequilibrium increases closer to imprinted gene clusters. Peter Laird from the Norris Comprehensive Cancer Center in Los Angeles followed this with a look at DNA methylation in human cancers, discussing the potential value of DNA methylation-based cancer detection at different stages of tumor formation--from risk assessment to monitoring of recurrence. Laird paid particular attention to a technology called MethyLight, a set-up based on real time PCR, which he said...

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