COPY: Nutrigenomics Emerging in Biotechnology

Genetic Engineering & Biotechnology News is holding a podcast this week, Apr. 2-10, 2009, on "nutrigenomics," the practice of customizing a diet based on an individual's genetic makeup.

"The Emerging Field of Nutrigenomics" will feature experts such as Eugene Kolker, PhD, chief data officer of the Seattle Children's Hospital, head of the bioinformatics and high-throughput analysis laboratory at the Seattle Children's Research Institute and editor in chief of OMICS: A Journal of Integrative Biology; and Vural Ozdemir, MD, PhD, research assistant professor in bioethics for the department of social and preventive medicine at the University of Montreal and associate editor of OMICS. The experts will be interviewed by John Sterling, editor in chief of Genetic Engineering & Biotechnology News.

Nutrigenomics is a rapidly growing discipline that focuses on identifying the genetic factors that influence the body’s response to diet and studies how the bioactive constituents of food affect gene expression. A key goal is the development of personalized diets for disease prevention. During the podcast Kolker and Ozdemir note that nutrigenomics’ bidirectional approach to investigating how the genetic traits of an individual or population interact with diet offers many possibilities for targeted clinical interventions and preventive medicine. These may include either modifying diet or the biochemical response to food exposure to prevent disease in individuals shown to be susceptible to the consequences of unfavorable dietary/genomic interactions.

In the future, nutrigenomics may potentially help guide the development of customized diets based on an individual’s genetic makeup, the two scientists point out. Nutrigenomics and personalized diets for the prevention of disease was the subject of two special issues of OMICS: A Journal of Integrative Biology. Part 1 appeared in Volume 12, Number 4, December 2008 and Part II was published in Volume 13, Number 1, February 2009.

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