Genes to Brains to Mind to Me's John Fossella has a good overview of epigenetics, if you need to brush up on the topics after learning it's all the rage. He includes some cartoon sketches showing the methyl groups attaching to residues and how epigenetic marks affect cognitive development. "Epigenetic effects can be difficult to disentangle from true (changes in the A,G,T,C sequence) genetic effects because – for one reason – a mother’s experience can exert an effect on the methylation of her child’s genome. ... Thus, it looks like there is a behavioral genetic variant being passed from one generation to the next, but such a genetic variant need not exist," he writes. "It's an epigenetic phenomenon."
Dec 17, 2009