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date: 10 July 2020

Abstract and Keywords

Every cell within a given organism contains the same DNA blueprint; in the case of humans, this means that the same DNA code can give rise to hundreds of different cell types with very diverse functions. The genome accomplishes this feat by organizing the DNA into domains that are transcriptionally active or inactive given the particular cell type and function. This occurs by modification of the DNA and the proteins bound to it; methylation of cytosine residues, DNA methylation, is one such “epigenetic” modification and is the focus of this chapter. The role of epigenetic influences on cultural diversity is poorly understood. Given the natural links between environment and biological function, epigenetic processes are poised to play a critical role in new approaches to understanding the biological underpinnings of culture.

Keywords: Epigenetics, culture, social behavior, DNA, genome

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