What’s the difference between “genetic” and “epigenetic”? How is human development “plastic”?

Genetic and epigenetic phenomena refers to alterations in the genetic material (DNA) of an organism that may or may not be heritable, but which can influence the development of a phenotype. Genetics is the study of how DNA-level changes affect biological processes such as reproduction, growth, disease susceptibility, etc., while epigenetics is the study of how environmental and other factors interact with these basic genetic programs to alter gene expression (Barrios-Rodiles et al., 2015). While both genetic and epigenetic mechanisms can lead to phenotypic traits in humans, their underlying causes are quite distinct.

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