Research in Epigenetics Experiencing Exponential Growth

dna methylation research epigenetics growing field

Publication growth in epigenetic-related research attests to the exponential expansion of this field since 2000 according to GENRports (GENReports: Market & Tech Analysis, Produced by Enal Razvi). The yearly published articles related to epigenetics are sharply increased from about 1000 in 2000 to more than 11,000 in 2012 (See Figure: “Growth of Epigenetics-Focused Publications in PubMed”).

epigenetic_growthAround 50% of the research is focused on DNA methylation and 25% is for non-coding RNA studies, while another 25% is related to histone modification and chromatin remodeling. Methylation assays (DNA/RNA/histone) will be the most prominent interest of study in the near future as this spans across most diseases. Currently, cancer is the primary driver of the epigenetic research space (>70%).

Major tools used for epigenetic research in turn are DNA bisulfite conversion method (57%), next-generation sequencing (50%), methylation-related restriction enzymes (49%), histone modification enzyme assays (40%), chromatin immunoprecipitation (38%), DNMT enzyme assays (24%), and methylated DNA immunoprecipitation (18%).

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