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Rare diseases of epigenetic origin: Challenges and opportunities

by informer
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Rare diseases (RDs), more than 80% of which have a genetic origin, collectively affect approximately 350 million people worldwide. Progress in next-generation sequencing technology has both greatly accelerated the pace of discovery of novel RDs and provided more accurate means for their diagnosis. RDs that are driven by altered epigenetic regulation with an underlying genetic basis are referred to as rare diseases of epigenetic origin (RDEOs). These diseases pose unique challenges in research, as they often show complex genetic and clinical heterogeneity arising from unknown gene-disease mechanisms. Furthermore, multiple other factors, including cell type and developmental time point, can confound attempts to deconvolute the pathophysiology of these disorders. These challenges are further exacerbated by factors that contribute to epigenetic variability and the difficulty of collecting sufficient participant numbers in human studies. However, new molecular and bioinformatics techniques will provide insight into how these disorders manifest over time. Read the full article here.

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