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Gene Environment Interactions - 1st Edition - ISBN: 9780128196137, 9780128197974

Gene Environment Interactions

1st Edition

Nature and Nurture in the Twenty-first Century

Author: Moyra Smith
Paperback ISBN: 9780128196137
eBook ISBN: 9780128197974
Imprint: Academic Press
Published Date: 14th January 2020
Page Count: 438
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Gene Environment Interactions: Nature and Nurture in the Twenty-first Century offers a rare, synergistic view of ongoing revelations in gene environment interaction studies, drawing together key themes from epigenetics, microbiomics, disease etiology, and toxicology to illuminate pathways for clinical translation and the paradigm shift towards precision medicine. Across eleven chapters, Dr. Smith discusses interactions with the environment, human adaptations to environmental stimuli, pathogen encounters across the centuries, epigenetic modulation of gene expression, transgenerational inheritance, the microbiome’s intrinsic effects on human health, and the gene-environment etiology of cardiovascular, metabolic, psychiatric, behavioral and monogenic disorders.

Later chapters illuminate how our new understanding of gene environment interactions are driving advances in precision medicine and novel treatments. In addition, the book's author shares strategies to support clinical translation of these scientific findings to improve heath literacy among the general population.

Key Features

  • Offers a thorough, interdisciplinary discussion on recent revelations from gene environment interaction studies
  • Illuminates environmental factors affecting disease-gene etiology and treatment
  • Supports the clinical translation of gene environment interaction findings into novel therapeutics and precision medicine


Human geneticists; human genomicists; translational researchers in medical genetics, genomic medicine, epigenetics, neuroscience, toxicology, public health, and environmental science; life science researchers; developmental biologists; pharmacologists in industry and academia

Table of Contents

1. Interacting with the environment receiving and interpreting signals
• Sensory receptors, channels
• Touch, Hearing, Vision physiological functions and examples of impairments
• Recognizing micro-organisms. Immune system, pattern receptors
• Conveying signals from the cell surface to the nucleus to modify gene expression
• The internal environment, sensing nutrients metabolites and modifying gene expression

2. Environment as Provider
• Nutrition and Growth
• Genetic factors and height
• Requirements for specific minerals e.g. calcium, iron, and related defects
• Requirement for other soil components, e.g. iodine and related defects

3. Human Evolution and adaptations to environments and to pathogen encounters
• Modern Human and their relationship to archaic humans
• Ice-age and its impact on populations
• Genomic variations
• Introgression of genomic segments from Neanderthal in Modern Human
• Brain evolution
• Adaptations to pathogen encounters

4. Genetic mechanisms in environmental adaptations
• Main mechanisms, variations in gene expression level, epigenetics, mutation
• Monogenic and polygenic mechanisms of adaptation
• Skin Pigmentation, geographic location, environment, genetic variations
• Nutrition variations locations, customs, including adult lactose tolerance
•  Location, high altitude and adaptations
• Adaptations to pathogenic organisms through genetic variation and immune factors

5. Epigenetics and the regulatory genome
• Epigenetic processes: DNA and histone modifications
• Writers, readers and erasers
• Chromatin architecture and remodeling
• Linking environment to gene expression through epigenetic pathways
• Sensing the Internal Environment: Metabolites and Epigenetic modifications

6. The microbiome: The external life forms within
• Culture independent methods of organism classification
• The Microbiome in the perinatal period
• Microbiome and immune system development
• Gut microbiome and metabolite generation
• Microbiome and chronic diseases
• Microbiome and impact of antibiotic usage

7. Human development, behaviors, impacts of environment and genetic variations
• Developmental trajectories in childhood
• Environmental exposures and child development
• Stress and its impact on child development
• Importance for Human Health of Contact with Nature: The Biophilia Hypothesis
• Partnerships and interconnections in dealing with challenges

8. Joint Roles of Genes and Environment in etiology of specific diseases
• Polygenic risk factors and environmental interactions in causation of cardiovascular and metabolic diseases
• Polygenic risk factors and environmental interactions in psychiatric and     behaviour disorders
• Multiplicity of interactions.
• Adapting environments to cope with genetic variations
• Adapting nutrition according to metabolic variants present in specific individuals
• Adapting use of pharmaceuticals based on specific genetic variants (pharmacogenetics)
• Adapting educational processes to cope with differences in abilities in specific areas

9. Personalized Precision Medicine
• Genetic variation
• Socio-behavioral factors
• Health literacy

10. Identifying and mitigating effects of Harmful factors in the Intrinsic or Extrinsic Environment
• Oxidative stress
• DNA damaging agents
• DNA Damage repair

11. Questions relating to climate change
• 50. Striving toward solutions to mitigate devastating effect
• 51. Dietary changes to benefit health and mitigate climate change
• 53. Proposed transformative changes


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© Academic Press 2020
14th January 2020
Academic Press
Paperback ISBN:
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About the Author

Moyra Smith

Dr. Moyra Smith is a professor emerita in the Department of Pediatrics and Human Genetics, College of Health Sciences, at the University of California, Irvine, and in past years has held appointments at the National Institutes of Health and Johns Hopkins University. In 2017, the UCI Emeriti Association awarded her the UCI Outstanding Emerita Award in recognition of her continuing research on genetics and genomics, her strong record of publications, her mentoring of graduate students, and her involvement with the CART Autism Center at UCI. She has published more than 100 scientific articles in such peer reviewed journals as Frontiers in Molecular Biosciences, Molecular Psychiatry, the American Journal of Medical Genetics—Neuropsychiatric Genetics, and the American Journal of Human Genetics.

Affiliations and Expertise

Professor, Department of Pediatrics and Human Genetics, UCI Institute for Clinical and Translational Science, UCI Campus and Medical Center, University of California Irvine, Irvine, CA, USA

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