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Surrounding the DNA in all our cells are molecular systems that tell those genes when to turn on or off. As researchers learn more about these so-called epigenetic mechanisms, they’re increasingly looking to use them to modify problematic genes.

More than 20 drugs designed to block epigenetic proteins are in clinical trials now, following earlier drugs already on the market. And a new company aims to target one aspect of epigenetics — chromatin winding — to try to treat first cancer, and then other disorders.

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