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Poised at a critical turning point in the history of genetics, postgenomic research in epigenetics and genomic plasticity obliges us to critically reexamine many of our most basic concepts. This essay argues that genomic research supports a radical transformation in our understanding of the genome. The postgenomic era instantiates a shift from an earlier conception of the genome as an effectively static collection of active genes to one of a dynamic and reactive system dedicated to the context specific regulation of protein coding sequences.

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