Severe acute childhood malnutrition presents in two clinically distinct forms: edematous severe acute malnutrition (ESAM) and non-edematous SAM (NESAM). Children with ESAM tend to show body swelling and extensive dysfunction of multiple organs, including liver, blood cells and the gut, as well as skin and hair abnormalities. NESAM, on the other hand, typically presents with weight loss and wasting. BCM researchers and colleagues looked at these conditions from a molecular perspective. Specifically, they investigated whether DNA methylation differed between ESAM and NESAM. Their findings suggest novel opportunities for improving these conditions in the future.