News from CREAL
Developmental periods in early life may be particularly vulnerable to impacts of environmental exposures. Research on this topic has generally focused on single exposure-health effect relationships until now. Researchers from Spain, France, Greece, United Kingdom, Netherlands, Norway and Lithuania have just published an article in the Environmental Health Perspectives, in which they describe a novel study focused on the exposome that encompasses the totality of exposures from conception onwards.
The study, entitled HELIX (Human Early-Life Exposome), is a collaborative research project that aims to implement novel exposure assessment and biomarker methods to characterise early-life exposure to multiple environmental factors and associate these with omics biomarkers and child health outcomes, thus characterizing the “Early-Life Exposome”.
Dr. Martine Vrijheid, from the Centre for Research in Environmental Epidemiology (CREAL, an ISGlobal research centre), and coordinator of HELIX, adds that “characterisation of the exposome in early life can provide very effective tools for disease prevention, given that interventions at that time can reshape biological programming and shift the body’s developmental track to the normal function”. This makes early life a major starting point for development of the exposome.
Vrijheid M, Slama R, Robinson O, Chatzi L, Coen M, van den Hazel P, Thomsen C, Wright J, Athersuch TJ, Avellana N, Basagana X, Brochot C, Bucchini L, Bustamante M, Carracedo A, Casas M, Estivill X, Fairley L, van Gent D, Gonzalez JR, Granum B, Grazuleviciene R, Gutzkow KB, Julvez J, Keun HC, Kogevinas M, McEachan RRC, Meltzer HM, Sabido E, Schwarze PE, Siroux V, Sunyer J, Want EJ, Zeman F, Nieuwenhuijsen MJ. The Human Early-Life Exposome (HELIX): Project rationale and design. Environ Health Perspect 2014 (in press)