precision. This implies that many of the questions documented in this report regarding predisease pathways, positive health, inequalities, and community-level influences should be answerable in animal populations down to the level of gene expression. Such studies should stimulate a host of investigations on human populations that will provide a deeply more integrated understanding of pathways to diverse health outcomes.
NIH should support integrative research aimed at understanding the role of environmentally induced gene expression in disease etiology and promotion of health. This initiative should include:
studies that combine environmental manipulations with physiological and molecular assessments to provide refined understanding of conditions leading to dysfunction and the mechanisms that preserve allostasis;
studies that explore in animal models the relationships between chronic stress, interactions among intervening systems (e.g., HPA axis and immune systems), and health outcomes;
initiation of studies using microarray chip technologies to monitor gene expression associated with a broad range of environmental manipulations;
development of animal housing facilities, particularly for rodents, that more closely approximate species-specific natural habitats.
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