Biomarkers are key molecular or cellular events that link a specific environmental exposure to a health outcome. Biomarkers play an important role in understanding the relationships between exposure to environmental chemicals, the development of chronic human diseases, and the identification of subgroups that are at increased risk for disease. Much progress has been made in identifying and validating new biomarkers that can be used in population-based studies of environmental disease.
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As part of the new Genes and Environment Initiative, the NIEHS is supporting the development of new technologies that will enable scientists to study how the body responds to environmental agents. Such technologies include sensitive biomarkers that can measure subtle changes in inflammation, oxidative damage , and other pathways that can lead to disease.
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