A gibbon is swinging across a river within an epigenetic landscape, which regulates compaction and expression of our DNA. The arid desert illustrates loosely packed DNA containing actively expressed genes, whereas the tropical forest represents densely packed chromatin. The gibbon genome is similar to ours, but many regions were heavily rearranged during evolution. Still, even the rearranged genes keep their original epigenetic landscapes because the shuffling has occurred at boundaries between these regions – like a river separating distinct landscapes.

I made this illustration for a recent Genome Research paper from the Carbone lab. Check out their fascinating story!

Epigenetic Landscape
A gibbon within a epigenetic landscape, swinging across a histone jungle and a DNA desert.