This site uses cookies. By continuing to browse the site you are agreeing to our use of cookies. See our privacy statement
World Wide Words logo

Toxicogenomics

This is a scientific sub-discipline that combines toxicology (the study of the nature and effects of poisons) with genomics (the investigation of the way that our genetic make-up, the genome, translates into biological functions). It has come into being only in the past couple of years. It has been made possible through an investigative technique using microarrays (also called DNA chips), which contain many hundreds or thousands of short DNA strands, each in its own compartment. By washing a solution of a substance over the whole chip at once, the section of DNA affected can be made to fluoresce, so indicating which genes are turned on by the substance and so suggesting its likely effect on the body (in the jargon of the business, taken from computing, the chips are massively parallel discovery processes). It may soon be possible to include the whole human genome on such a chip and so test all of it at once for possible adverse effects.

[I’m grateful to Mike Anglin for telling me about this term.]

“The most exciting thing about toxicogenomics is that we’re going to start investigating genes we never would have thought of looking at,” says CTL’s Kimber. “That’s where the big surprises — and big benefits — are going to come from.”

Science, May 1999

An interest in new technologies, such as toxicogenomics and the use of computerised systems for prediction of safety, as well as in other scientific advances which can contribute to safety assessment would be advantageous.

Advertisement in New Scientist, Jan. 2000

Page created 29 Apr. 2000

Support World Wide Words.

Donate by selecting your currency and clicking the button.


Buy anything from Amazon and get me a small commission at no cost to you.

Buy from Amazon UK Buy from Amazon USA

World Wide Words is copyright © Michael Quinion, 1996–2014. All rights reserved. See the copyright page for notes about linking to and reusing this page. For help in viewing the site, see the technical FAQ. Your comments, corrections and suggestions are always welcome.

World Wide Words is copyright © Michael Quinion, 1996–2014. All rights reserved.
This page URL: http://www.worldwidewords.org/turnsofphrase/tp-tox1.htm
Last modified: 29 April 2000.