Scientists gather for gene talks

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SCIENTISTS have met in the Capital to discuss how behaviours and life experiences can influence our genetics.

The meeting on epigenetics – the study of how particular mechanisms influence whether certain genes are turned on or off, or modify a gene’s activity – will contribute to understanding the implications epigenetic changes have for social policies on parenting, poverty, obesity and health.

Entitled Social Science and Epigenetics: Opportunities and Challenges, the symposium met at City Chambers to examine how co-operative research might help provide answers to societal concerns, including why deprivation has such an impact on child development.

Professor Steve Yearley, director of ESRC Genomics Policy and Research Forum, said: “Scotland has long been at the forefront of life sciences and social science research. It is fitting that such a high-profile event should be hosted here.”