The Epigenomics Database can be accessed at http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/epigenomics/ and is overseen by the National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI). The database was launched in June 2010 at the National Institute of Health. It is for public access with no log in required and serves as a community to map the occurrence and locations of epigenetic modifications in the human genome. Genome-wide epigenetic factors for stem cells and primary ex vivo tissues that play a part in human development and disease are included.
Epigenomics is an up and coming field in science that focuses on modifications in DNA and DNA-associated proteins. These modifications cause changes without affecting the original DNA sequence. A genome is a complete set of DNA in a cell, which carries all the instructions necessary to produce proteins that render each individual organism unique. Epi- means above in Greek, which makes epigenome literally mean "above" the genome. Epigenome contains chemical compounds that aren't a part of the genome, but modify or mark the genome to direct the function, location, and timing of its DNA. This can be passed on from generation to generation (5).
Roadmap Epigenomcs Program
The NCBI Epigenomics database is a part of the NIH Roadmap Epigenomics Program, which focuses on how DNA modifications affect development and occurrence of diseases. This program focuses on genome wide mapping of modifications in a variety of human cells (stem cells and primary cells included). Furthermore, the NIH Roadmap Epigenetics Program, as a member of the Human Epigenome Consortium (IHEC) is a part of a global effort to understand and map epigenome.
Purpose of Epigenomics Maps
Permit scientists the opportunity to:
1) Hypothesize functions of certain genomic regions.
2) Pinpoint the most informative epigenomic modifications to map.
3) Study how epigenomes differ in various cell and tissue types.
The Epigenomic Database of the National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI) at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) was launched in June 2010 as a means to collect maps of epigenetic modifications and their occurrence across the human genome. This database provides a publicly available resource for maps in stem cells and primary ex vivo tissues that detail genome-wide landscapes of epigenetic factors that occur in human development and disease.
How to Use (Example) Edit
1. Google NCBI.
2. Search for epigenonomics in the search box and click on search nih.gov.
3. Click on the first link that comes up in the search.
4. Under Epigenomics Tools, select Browse Samples or Browse Experiments.
5. Select Homo Sapiens under Species, embryonic stem cells under Biological Source, and DNA Methylation under Feature Type (see Figure 2).
6. Click on the Sample ID hyperlink near the bottom.
7. Click View on Genome under Biological Properties section (see Figure 3).
8. Search for tracks on the entire chromosome or a specific chormosome.
The NCBI Epigenomics database allows you to search for the genomes of specific organisms, specific cells of the organisms, and a specific feature of the cell type such as DNA methylation. Once you know what specific genome you're looking for, you can view the genome, save it, and/or download it for future use.
1. Epigenomics Overview. Date accessed: Dec 6 2014.
2. NCBI - Epigenomics Help. Date accessed: Dec 6 2014.
4. Wikipedia article: NCBI Epigenomics. Date accessed: Dec 6 2014.
5. National Human Genome Research Institute - Epigenomics. Date accessed: Dec 6 2014.