Researchers now have a unique resource for identifying new biomarkers of environmental exposures in early life and understanding their health effects.
Researchers now have a unique resource for identifying new biomarkers of environmental exposures in early life and understanding their health effects. This is thanks to a study led by the Barcelona Institute for Global Health (ISGlobal), an institution supported by “la Caixa” Foundation, which systematically documented all associations between a wide range of early life exposures and molecular profiles at different levels, including the epigenome (DNA methylation), transcriptome (gene expression) and metabolome (metabolites). The findings, which are part of the EU-funded project ATHLETE, have been published in Nature Communications and are publicly available in https://helixomics.isglobal.org .
Our health depends greatly on the environment we live in. In fact, 70 -90% of the risk of developing a disease is determined by our exposome: a multitude of environmental factors (i.e. non-genetic factors) to which we are exposed throughout our life. And yet, we still have limited knowledge on which are these environmental hazards, how they interact, and what biological processes they trigger.
“Early life is a particularly important period, since exposures during these developmentally vulnerable periods may have pronounced effects at the molecular level, which may not be clinically detectable until adulthood,” explains Martine Vrijheid, Head of the Childhood and Environment Programme at ISGlobal.
Read more at: Barcelona Institute for Global Health
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