Researchers, professors, medical experts and writers from throughout the United States gathered at Mizzou's Bond Life Sciences Center for the 11th annual Life Sciences and Society Symposium. Titled "The Epigenetics Revolution: Nature, Nurture and What Lies Ahead," the three-day event explored the branch of science that studies the regulation of genes and other genetic material. Topics included parental and prenatal stress, neurological conditions, nutrition, cancer and the history of early beliefs about inherited traits.

A related exhibit, "Generations: Reproduction, Heredity and Epigenetics," continues in the Ellis Library Colonnade through March 30.

Scientists mingling at a reception.

Presenters Tracy Bale and Shanna Swan, front, and Oliver Rando, back left, talk epigenetics at the reception for MU Life Sciences and Society Symposium. Photo by Hannah Baldwin, Bond Life Sciences Center.

Shanna Swan

Shanna Swan, professor of preventive medicine at Mount Sinai School of Medicine, explains how BPA and other phthalates affect male and female reproductive health. The epidemiologist studies these chemicals, which are common in the environment, to see the effects on development of embryos. Photo by Roger Meissen, Bond Life Sciences Center.

Joya Chandra

According to Joya Chandra, associate professor of pediatrics at the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, distinct epigenetic features distinguish leukemia in children from leukemia in adults. She spoke about the epigenetics of pediatric cancers at the 2015 MU Life Sciences and Society Symposium on epigenetics. Photo by Caleb O'Brien, Bond Life Sciences Center.

Student with microphone.

An audience member asks presenter Joya Chandra a question during the epigenetics symposium. Photo by Caleb O'Brien, Bond Life Sciences Center.

Jack Schultz, Mary Shenk, Bowen Loftin

Bond Life Sciences Center Director Jack Schultz, right, and MU's Life Sciences and Society Program Director Mary Shenk, left, speak with MU Chancellor R. Bowen Loftin, center, during a break. Loftin later spoke to attendees, praising the collaborative nature of research at MU. Photo by Hannah Baldwin, Bond Life Sciences Center.

Massimo Pigliucci and Oliver Rando

Presenters Massimo Pigliucci, left, and Oliver Rando caffeinate before embarking on a day of presentations and panel discussions. Photo by Caleb O'Brien, Bond Life Sciences Center

Massimo Pigliucci and fellow panelists.

Massimo Pigliucci, right, professor of philosophy at the City University of New York, answers audience questions with fellow panelists Oliver Rando and Tracy Bale. Photo by Roger Meissen, Bond Life Sciences Center.

Irva Hertz-Picciotto

Irva Hertz-Picciotto, a professor of public health sciences at the UC Davis, speaks at the symposium. Hertz-Picciotto is an environmental epidemiologist focusing on the effects of environmental toxins on human disease. Photo by Roger Meissen, Bond Life Sciences Center

Tracy Bale and fellow panelists.

Tracy Bale, center, a professor of neuroscience and animal biology at the University of Pennsylvania, responds to audience questions with fellow panelists Oliver Rando and Annie Murphy Paul. Bale uses mouse models to study the development of human neuropsychiatric diseases such as schizophrenia and autism. Photo by Roger Meissen, Bond LSC.

Annie Murphy Paul's book "Origins."

A copy of Annie Murphy Paul's book Origins lies on the floor of Monsanto Auditorium during her keynote address to symposium attendees. The book, published in 2010, focuses on how a mother's lifestyle and environmental factors may impact her offspring. In her presentation, she gave advice to the audience about how to respond to the public's reactions to epigenetic research. Photo by Hannah Baldwin, Bond Life Sciences Center.

Ted Koditschek

Ted Koditschek, professor of history at the University of Missouri, explores the history of epigenetics. Photo by Caleb O'Brien, Bond Life Sciences Center.

Shuk-mei Ho

Shuk-mei Ho talks about Charles Darwin, the scientist who started it all, on the last day of the symposium. Photo by Caleb O'Brien/Bond Life Sciences Center

Exhibit of books.

As part of the 11th Annual Life Sciences and Society Program, the Epigenetics Exhibit "Generations: Reproduction, Heredity and Epigenetics" is held at the Ellis Library Colonnade through March 30. Photo by Paige Blankenbuehler, MU Bond Life Sciences Center.

Figure.

As part of the 11th Annual Life Sciences and Society Program, the Epigenetics Exhibit "Generations: Reproduction, Heredity and Epigenetics" is held at the Ellis Library Colonnade through March 30. Photo by Paige Blankenbuehler, MU Bond Life Sciences Center.