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Beyond Genes: Epigenetics, Environment and Health


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Full course description

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MiniCourse Overview

This MiniCourse is self-paced and takes 1 to 3 hours to complete. The biology of epigenetic modifications to the genome is receiving great public attention recently because of environmental and health relevance.  At the end of this MiniCourse you will be able to identify environmental causes and consequences of epigenetic changes in human and mouse model studies.

You will receive a certificate for completing the MiniCourse. In order to claim a certificate or badge for this MiniCourse, you must go through the Core Content module and take the self-review quiz (scoring at least 70%).

The following topics will be discussed:
  • Genetic and epigenetic modes of inheritance and functions
  • Gene expression and development of specialized tissues and organs
  • Genetic and epigenetic modifications
  • Environmental causes and consequences of epigenetic changes
  • Inferences from Human Exposures and Mouse Model Studies

Learning Outcomes

By the end of the MiniCourse, you will be able to:

  1. Distinguish between genetic and epigenetic modes of inheritance and functions with regard to gene expression and cell identity
  2. Identify the basic epigenetics underpinning selective gene expression and development of specialized tissues and organs
  3. Determine how environmental agents might affect both genetics and epigenetics
  4. Critically evaluate possible effects of adverse environmental exposures on epigenetic marks in human cells and tissues
  5. Examine criteria to determine if effects on humans of adverse environmental conditions can be linked causally to epigenetic changes observed in offspring of exposed individuals
  6. Distinguish between paternal and maternal environmental exposure effects on offspring and/or future generations
  7. Identify agents that have been implicated in transfer of epigenetic information from parent to offspring
  8. Recognize the limitations of studies that investigate how environmental agents, such as diet and stress, affect epigenetics
  9. Appraise current, relevant research highlights

Target Audience

This MiniCourse is designed to meet the needs of undergraduate, graduate and postdoctoral students, teachers and others with a biology background who are interested in epigenetics.

About our Education Offerings

Founded in 1929, The Jackson Laboratory (JAX) is an independent, nonprofit biomedical research institution with more than 2,300 employees who are passionate about our mission: to discover precise genomic solutions for disease and to empower the global biomedical community in the shared quest to improve human health.

While we are not an accredited higher education institution, we offer a variety of education programs — including our non-credit bearing MiniCourses — designed to educate current and future scientists and to provide critical resources, data, tools and services to researchers worldwide.

MiniCourses are created and reviewed by multiple JAX faculty, scientists, educators and other experts, and include interactive content based on the live lectures delivered in our on-campus Courses, Conferences and Workshops.

MiniCourses are available to learners individually and in topical program collections, which are organized around both foundational content and the research areas in which The Jackson Laboratory has earned a reputation for scientific leadership and excellence.

Hardware and Software Requirements

  • Audio speakers or headphones
  • Screen resolution of 800X600 or higher
  • Adobe Reader 5.0 or higher
  • JavaScript enabled
  • 1GB of RAM
  • 2GHz processor

Check the basic computer specifications and supported browsers.

Should you have questions regarding the content of the MiniCourse or if you need technical support, please email Online and Digital Education at The Jackson Laboratory.