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Detail of an epigenome.
Detail of an epigenome.
Markus C. Schulte von Drach

MUNICH — The field of epigenetics is being lauded for its discoveries, which some describe as revolutionary. There's talk of a wide range of scientific textbooks being rewritten. But are the findings really that groundbreaking?

First, what is epigenetics? It is any additional information that gets tacked on top of the genome. Epigenetics refer to changes in genetic activity that don't change the DNA itself. Among the field's potential wide-ranging effects are the ways that experience of an animal or human affects its offspring, even if those experiences took place before the offspring's conception.

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Two Ukrainian soldiers at a military base on the outskirts of the separatist region of Donetsk

Lisa Berdet, Lila Paulou, Anne-Sophie Goninet and Bertrand Hauger

👋 Halito!*

Welcome to Wednesday, where the first war crimes trial against a Russian soldier since Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine gets underway in Kyiv, Kim Jong-un slams North Korean officials’ response to the coronavirus outbreak and Mexico’s National Registry of Missing People reaches a grim milestone. Meanwhile, Ukrainian news outlet Livy Bereg looks at the rise of ethnic separatism across Russia’s federal regions.

[*Choctaw, Native American]

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Central to the tragic absurdity of this war is the question of language. Vladimir Putin has repeated that protecting ethnic Russians and the Russian-speaking populations of Ukraine was a driving motivation for his invasion.

Yet one month on, a quick look at the map shows that many of the worst-hit cities are those where Russian is the predominant language: Kharkiv, Odesa, Kherson.

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