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Blinded by ScienceThe Social Implications of Epigenetics and Neuroscience$
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David Wastell and Susan White

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9781447322337

Published to Policy Press Scholarship Online: September 2017

DOI: 10.1332/policypress/9781447322337.001.0001

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Human epigenetics prematurely born(e)?

Human epigenetics prematurely born(e)?

Chapter:
(p.177) Eight Human epigenetics prematurely born(e)?
Source:
Blinded by Science
Author(s):

David Wastell

Sue White

Publisher:
Policy Press
DOI:10.1332/policypress/9781447322337.003.0008

This chapterr shifts the focus from animals to humans, and examines the extant literature on the human epigenome. It reviews seminal work on the impact of natural disasters (such as the Dutch Hunger Winter) on the epigenetic profile of those subject to these calamities. It describes how gestation and early infancy are reconfigured as a site of risk. It interrogates the nature of the claims made within the literature and also examines the thought style and presuppositions, particularly in those studies which seek to translate findings from laboratory to the clinic and public health policy. The small size of the effects on human populations is also highlighted, compared to other influences such as social deprivation.

Keywords:   epigenetics, Developmental Origins of Health and Disease, Dutch hunger winter, Dutch famine, surveillance, poverty, foetal programming

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