Epigenetics is talk topic



BAR HARBOR — Mary Ann Handel will speak on Friday, March 22, at noon at Birch Bay Village Inn as part of Acadia Senior College’s lunch and lecture series, Food for Thought. The event is open to the public.

Handel will discuss the differences between genetics and epigenetics, how epigenetics shapes expression of genes and affects our health, and how epigenetics may be shaped by environmental input such as diet, stress or pollutants. Examples will be drawn from studies of the effects of environmental exposures on human health as well as experimental analyses using model organisms.

Handel is a scientist at the Jackson Laboratory, where her research focuses on genetic control of reproduction, particularly risk factors for producing offspring with an abnormal number of chromosomes such as Trisomy 21 or Down syndrome. Before coming to the Jackson Laboratory, she was for many years on the faculty at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, where in addition to conducting research, she taught genetics and developmental biology.

A hot buffet lunch is offered at 11:30 for $12. The lecture begins at noon and is free. Reservations are required for the lunch and/or the lecture and must be received by noon on Wednesday, March 20. Contact Acadia Senior College at 288-9500 or learn@acadiaseniorcollege.org.

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