It is all in the genes: Decoding the effects of multiple stressors | 4/1/2019 | Staff
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As the number of new chemicals used in industry, food and consumer products is constantly increasing, so is the chemical release to the environment, and the need to understand the adverse effects of chemical mixtures becomes increasingly urgent. In addition, chemicals may act in combination with non-chemical stressors (e.g., radiation, temperature, pH etc.) to produce unexpected multiple stressor effects. Even though the concentration or dose of each single stressor may be low in the environment, the potential for harmful effects from the mixture of stressors has worried researchers for years. No one has yet been fully able to predict the effects of multiple stressors; but a new concept and approach developed by researchers at the Norwegian Institute for Water Research (NIVA) is probably one step in the right direction.

"Understanding how stressors at low concentrations or doses interact with each other, and how the interaction affects an organism, has been a huge challenge. As an initial step to answer to this, we developed an approach to unravel the stressor interactions at the molecular level," researcher You Song at NIVA says.

Approach - Song - Colleagues - NIVA - University

The approach was developed by Song and colleagues from NIVA, the Norwegian University of Life Sciences and Ghent University. In addition to this new approach, the research team also proposed a novel workflow to maximally utilize high-content (HC) genomic data for understanding the cocktail effects of environmental stressors:

"The new approach will make it easier to reveal potential interactions between the stressors. Such information is crucial for cumulative hazard assessment of chemicals and non-chemical stressors, which is the basis for cumulative risk assessment and regulatory decision making," Song explains.

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