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Impact of Toxicogenomics

Tamara Zemlo t.zemlo at scienceboard.net
Wed Aug 6 22:40:17 EST 2003

I wanted to share the results from a recent poll conducted by The 
Science Advisory Board regarding the impact genetic information 
identified through toxicogenomics research will have on our lives:

Living Safer, Healthier Lives Through Toxicogenomics
The Science Advisory Board recently polled its members as to how they 
believe that genetic information from toxicogenomics research will 
most directly impact their lives. Toxicogenomics is an emerging 
scientific field that explores how genomes respond to environmental 
stressors. "Scientists already know that many human diseases are 
causatively associated with exposure to environmental pollutants," 
states Tamara Zemlo, Ph.D., MPH, Director of Scientific & Medical 
Communications for The Science Advisory Board, "however translating 
this knowledge into tangible improvements to human health requires an 
understanding of how these pollutants affect one's genes."

Out of the almost 1,000 responses to the online survey, 35% believed 
that toxicogenomics will significantly transform the practices of 
risk assessment. In contrast, 30% of respondents felt that this new 
field would be most useful for managing known risks followed closely 
by 29% who thought it would instead be helpful in identifying 
hazards. Another 16% stated that environmental regulation would 
benefit the most from toxicogenomics research.

Elucidating the mechanisms by which genes influence one's response to 
environmental toxins depends upon sophisticated genomic and proteomic 
approaches. Bioinformatics is also necessary to understand the role 
gene-environment interactions play in causing disease.
This multi-tiered investment in advanced technology has the potential 
to reduce toxicant testing from weeks to a few days-saving money and 
speeding up regulatory decisions.

Furthermore, the need for laboratory animals will be greatly reduced. 
While members of The Science Advisory Board are divided over which 
aspects of public health and safety will be impacted the greatest, it 
is clear that this "genetic revolution" in the toxicological sciences 
has the potential to affect all our lives.

The original source of the article is located at:
Tamara Zemlo, Ph.D., M.P.H.
Director, Scientific & Medical Communications
The Science Advisory Board
2111 Wilson Boulevard
Suite 250
Arlington, VA 22201
TEL: (703) 778-3080 x 25
FAX: (703) 778-3081
t.zemlo at scienceboard.net
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