Environmental genomics: a key to understanding biology, pathophysiology and disease.
Recent advances in human and molecular genetics provide an unparalleled opportunity to understand how genes and genetic changes interact with environmental stimuli to either preserve health or cause disease. The fields of environmental genetics and environmental genomics has enormous potential to affect our ability to accurately assess the risk of developing disease, identify and understand basic pathogenic mechanisms that are critical to disease progression, and to more precisely phenotype disease subtypes. However, the application of genetics and genomics to problems in environmental health is only the beginning yet, by itself, represents a potentially effective strategy to substantially impact morbidity and mortality. Collaborative approaches that team together environmental scientists with molecular biologists, geneticists, physiologists and physician scientists are critical to the investigation of environmental aspects of human health. Moreover, exploiting eukaryotic model systems (yeast, Caenorhabditis elegans, zebrafish, Drosophila and rodents) will accelerate our understanding of environmental exposures on human health.
Schwartz, DA; Freedman, JH; Linney, EA
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