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Environmental Factor, August 2012

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Upcoming workshop on human genomic plasticity

By Eddy Ball

National Academies Emerging Science for Environmental Health Decisions logo

An innovative program continues its 2012 workshop series with an exploration of “Exploring Human Genomic Plasticity and Environmental Stressors: Emerging Evidence on Telomeres, Copy Number Variation, and Transposons” Oct. 4-5 in Washington, D.C.

The workshop, which is part of the National Academies Emerging Science for Environmental Health Decisions series, is free and open to the public. Registrations for onsite attendance are now being accepted and webcast registration will soon be available.

Genomic plasticity triggered by environmental exposures

Genomes have the characteristic of plasticity, which makes it possible to adapt quickly in order to survive changes in environmental conditions. Along with epigenetic modifications, mobile and evolving elements, such as telomeres, transposons, and copy number variants, are important factors in understanding the potential effect of our environment on human health.

The genomic plasticity forum will look beyond random mutation and discuss the fundamental changes in genomic alterations that can contribute to disease and aging, as well as new technologies and tools to identify and study genome plasticity events. Confirmed speakers include NIEHS grantees Kenneth Ramos, Ph.D., and Joseph Shaw, Ph.D., as well as David Gilley, Ph.D., John Moran, Ph.D., and Thea Tisty, Ph.D.

Sponsored by NIEHS, the program holds three workshops per year on the use of new discoveries, tools, and approaches for guiding environmental health decisions. The workshops provide a public venue for communication among government, industry, environmental groups, and the academic community.

The October workshop is the twelfth in the series, which began in July 2009 with a workshop on "Use of Emerging Science and Technologies to Explore Epigenetic Mechanisms Underlying the Developmental Basis for Disease." Past presentations are archived online, and videos are available for several recent workshops. 

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