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Scientists identify strategies to conquer lifestyle and genetic factors related to chronic diseases
Date:12/7/2011

, and that further research be done to understand the function of gut microbes in health and disease.

Large Cohort Studies. The committee calls for large cohort studies, initiated prior to birth, to fully take into account the impact of how intrinsic and extrinsic factors determine the probability that an individual will be healthy or develop a chronic disease, given the right environmental stimuli. Such studies would analyze biological data including genomic, clinical, and environmental factors, and also psychosocial factors such as stress. It will be important to ensure international collaboration and coverage of populations with different lifestyles and environmental exposures.

Partnerships. The shifting global pattern of chronic disease to developing nations offers an opportunity to identify key factors that confer both risk and protection. The committee recommends that research projects be established in regions with low or developing risk of chronic inflammatory disease, and the establishment of parallel birth cohorts in low- and high-risk regions. Cross-disciplinary partnerships will be essential as well, extending beyond traditional disciplines such as epidemiology and microbiology to mathematics, virology, and ecology. Finally, effective private-public partnerships, with more fluid exchanges of information between academia and industry, will be a key driving force for future research.

Research Tools, Data Generation and Management, and Infrastructure and Personnel. New research strategies that consider the diversity of the microbiome in the choice of experimental models and the potential reproducibility of results will be needed. Because of the complexity introduced by the microbiome, substantial investment will be required to develop the bioinformatics and systems biology approaches required to analyze the datasets generated. An electronic infrastructure to support integrated approaches and open collaboration will
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Contact: Terrie DuHadway
jacimedia@elsevier.com
314-447-8133
Elsevier Health Sciences
Source:Eurekalert

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