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Related to epigenesis: Epigenetics


1. Biology The theory that an individual is developed by successive differentiation of an unstructured egg rather than by a simple enlarging of a preformed entity.
2. Geology Change in the mineral content of a rock because of outside influences.


1. (Biology) the widely accepted theory that an individual animal or plant develops by the gradual differentiation and elaboration of a fertilized egg cell. Compare preformation2
2. (Geological Science) the formation or alteration of rocks after the surrounding rock has been formed
3. (Geological Science) alteration of the mineral composition of a rock by external agents: a type of metamorphism
ˌepiˈgenesist, epigenist n


(ˌɛp ɪˈdʒɛn ə sɪs)

a. the stepwise process by which genetic information, as modified by environmental influences, is translated into the substance and behavior of an organism.
b. the theory that an embryo develops from the successive differentiation of an originally undifferentiated structure (opposed to preformation).
2. ore deposition subsequent to the original formation of the enclosing country rock.
ep`i•gen′e•sist, e•pig•e•nist (ɪˈpɪdʒ ə nɪst) n.
ep`i•ge•net′ic (-dʒəˈnɛt ɪk) adj.
ep`i•ge•net′i•cal•ly, adv.


1. the appearance of a secondary symptom in a disease or illness.
2. the secondary symptom itself. See also biology; geology. — epigenetic, adj.
See also: Disease and Illness
the biological theory that germ cells are structureless and the embryo develops through the action of environment on the protoplasm. Cf. preformation. See also birth; disease and illness; geology. — epigenetic, adj.
See also: Biology
the formation of a cell as a new product and not as the result of development from some existing cell. — epigenetic, adj.
See also: Cells
the process of metamorphism. See also biology; disease and illness. — epigenetic, adj.
See also: Geology
the theory that embryonic development is totally controlled by the cell’s environment. Cf. syngenesis.epigenesist, n. — epigenetic, adj.
See also: Birth
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Noun1.epigenesis - a geological change in the mineral content of rock after the rock has formed
metamorphism - change in the structure of rock by natural agencies such as pressure or heat or introduction of new chemical substances
References in periodicals archive ?
Against this preformationist view and its powerful clerical support, Buffon proposed his own, empirically based theory that, if not a complete account of epigenesis (the assembly of the embryo from substances in the fertilized egg), was nevertheless a rational and courageous step toward it.
the whale identifies itself with the ocean and devours and digests that ocean, so as to shower water over itself out of emptiness, wine, Plato's epigenesis.
Third, there is a developmental principle, the principle of epigenesis.
24 Like Harvey, Locke here favors the theory of epigenesis over that of preformation.
This temporal development follows the basic embryological law of epigenesis (which Aristotle argued for and which modern biology currently affirms).
The epigenesis of political communities at the international level.
that is, antihomosexual bias has become an intrinsic aspect of the socialization process and, in this way, has a critical impact on epigenesis.
In contrast to the biopsychosocial model, the probabilistic epigenesis approach postulates that phenotypic traits such as behaviour and symptoms associated with Schizophrenia can be explained through the reciprocity between different levels of reciprocity of influences between developmental levels (neuro-genetic activity, behaviour, social, physical, and cultural influences) and gene-environment interaction (Gottlieb, 2007).
El cambio evolutivo debe ser, en consecuencia, entendido como una epigenesis probabilistica (Piaget, 1977).
FARSHID BAGHAI, "The Epigenesis of Pure Reason: Systematicity in Kant's Critical Philosophy.
This volume contains 13 chapters on aspects of human reproductive genetics, including basic genetics and cytogenetics; the application of whole genome technologies like microarrays and next generation sequencing; meiosis; the incidence of chromosomal abnormalities, underlying mechanisms, and consequences for development; transgenerational epigenesis and imprinting; retrotransposons as new determinants of male fertility; chromosomal causes of infertility; genes and infertility; genetic counseling and gamete donation in assisted reproductive treatment; genetic testing for infertile patients; preimplantation genetic diagnosis; epigenetics and assisted reproductive technology; and ethical considerations.
COHEN, Kant on Epigenesis, Monogenesis and Human Nature: The Biological Premises of Anthropology, "Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences" 37 (2006) 675-693.