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Allergy and Genetics

Human health is determined by the complex interplay between genetic susceptibility and environmental exposures.

 

Rapid advances in molecular genetic technologies are providing new opportunities to understand the genetic basis for individual differences in susceptibility to environmental exposures.

Postdoc running gel
A NIEHS postdoctoral researcher prepares to analyze polymerase chain reaction (PCR) products by gel electrophoresis.

 

NIEHS is expanding its research program on genetic susceptibility to environmentally associated diseases such as asthma through the new Environmental Genome Project initiative.

 

This project, which will make use of technology developed by the NIH Human Genome Project, is aimed at:

  • the identification of allelic variants (polymorphisms) of environmental disease susceptibility genes in the U.S. population
  • developing a central database of polymorphisms for these genes
  • fostering population-based studies of gene-environment interaction in disease etiology.

 

By identifying those genes and functional allelic variants that affect individual response to environmental agents, scientists can better predict health risks and assist regulatory agencies in the development of environmental protection policies.

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