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Exosomes: we’ve known about them for decades now, but the recent discovery that they contain epigenetic information could have huge implications for our current understanding of genomic effects, epigenetic inheritance, and disease processes.

Denis Noble, biologist, researcher, former Chair of Cardiovascular Physiology at the University of Oxford, and contributing author of an up-and-coming book called Exosomes in Health and Disease offers an eye-opening and compelling discussion about the world of exosomes. For example, since every exosome—which is a mere fraction of the size of even the smallest bacteria—is cell-specific, bone exosomes contain different information than heart exosomes, and heart exosomes contain different information than liver exosomes, etc. Why is this so important? It means that exosomes have the ability to provide important, cell-specific information on specific disease states that affect specific areas of the body, which make them strong diagnostic tools.

He also discusses the techniques for extracting exosomes from blood plasma, explains how they have the ability to control the genome of other cells, and provides a glimpse of the content he’s contributing to the soon-to-be-released book, which focuses on the transmission of epigenetic information through the germline.

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