Why You Should Care About Exposomics

One of the first blogs I ever wrote was about an emerging field called “exposomics.”  Exposomics looks at the cumulative effects of environmental contaminants on our health.  The exposome encompasses the food we eat, drugs we take, pollutants in water and air, radiation from sunlight and other sources, bacteria living in and on us, and even noise pollution.

Interest in this area has surged.  Researchers are using exposomics to research the global decline of honey bee populations and the rapid rise of non-contagious diseases.

Agilent Senior Scientist Anthony Macherone recently authored an article in life sciences magazine STAT.  Dr. Macherone recommends linking the exposome to the genome in order to better understand and improve human health.  (The genome is an organism’s complete set of DNA and genes.  The human genome includes 3 billion base pairs of DNA!)

Dr. Macherone argues that we know very little about how chemical exposures may influence chronic diseases such as cardiovascular disease, diabetes, asthma, Alzheimer’s and cancer.

“It is becoming increasingly evident that genetic factors alone may not be the main cause of disease,” Dr. Macherone writes.  “A better understanding of the exposome… will help identify how nongenetic factors influence biological reactions and possibly the development of chronic diseases.”

Agilent supports exposome and environmental health research with leading analytical products and solutions.  We help researchers gain a deeper understanding of how chemical exposures affect biological processes and disease causality.

Agilent Senior Scientist Anthony Macherone, PhD

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