Environmental OMICS: Current Status and Future Directions
2013 (English)In: JOURNAL OF INTEGRATED OMICS, ISSN 2182-0287, Vol. 3, no 2, 75-87 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Applications of OMICS to high throughput studies of changes of genes, RNAs, proteins, metabolites, and their associated functionsin cells or organisms exposed to environmental chemicals has led to the emergence of a very active research field: environmental OMICS.This developing field holds an important key for improving the scientific basis for understanding the potential impacts of environmentalchemicals on both health and the environment. Here we describe the state of environmental OMICS with an emphasis on its recent accomplishmentsand its problems and potential solutions to facilitate the incorporation of OMICS into mainstream environmental and healthresearch.Data sources: We reviewed relevant and recently published studies on the applicability and usefulness of OMICS technologies to the identificationof toxicity pathways, mechanisms, and biomarkers of environmental chemicals for environmental and health risk monitoring andassessment, including recent presentations and discussions on these issues at The First International Conference on Environmental OMICS(ICEO), held in Guangzhou, China during November 8-12, 2011. This paper summarizes our review.Synthesis: Environmental OMICS aims to take advantage of powerful genomics, transcriptomics, proteomics, and metabolomics tools toidentify novel toxicity pathways/signatures/biomarkers so as to better understand toxicity mechanisms/modes of action, to identify/categorize/prioritize/screen environmental chemicals, and to monitor and predict the risks associated with exposure to environmental chemicalson human health and the environment. To improve the field, some lessons learned from previous studies need to be summarized, aresearch agenda and guidelines for future studies need to be established, and a focus for the field needs to be developed.Conclusions: OMICS technologies for identification of RNA, protein, and metabolic profiles and endpoints have already significantly improvedour understanding of how environmental chemicals affect our ecosystem and human health. OMICS breakthroughs are empoweringthe fields of environmental toxicology, chemical toxicity characterization, and health risk assessment. However, environmental OMICS is stillin the data generation and collection stage. Important data gaps in linking and/or integrating toxicity data with OMICS endpoints/profilesneed to be filled to enable understanding of the potential impacts of chemicals on human health and the environment. It is expected thatfuture environmental OMICS will focus more on real environmental issues and challenges such as the characterization of chemical mixturetoxicity, the identification of environmental and health biomarkers, and the development of innovative environmental OMICS approachesand assays. These innovative approaches and assays will inform chemical toxicity testing and prediction, ecological and health risk monitoringand assessment, and natural resource utilization in ways that maintain human health and protects the environment in a sustainable manner.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2013. Vol. 3, no 2, 75-87 p.
OMICS; Environmental; Health; Chemicals; Toxicology; Genomics; Proteomics; Metabolomics; Biomarkers; Metagenomics; Risk Assessment; Biomarker.
Bioinformatics and Systems Biology
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-115901DOI: 10.5584/jiomics.v3i2.141OAI: oai:DiVA.org:liu-115901DiVA: diva2:797197