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Prog Mol Biol Transl Sci. 2012;108:17-50. doi: 10.1016/B978-0-12-398397-8.00002-2.

Advances in technologies and study design.

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1
Nutritional Genomics Laboratory, JM-USDA Human Nutrition Research Center on Aging, Tufts University, Boston, Massachusetts, USA.

Abstract

The initial draft sequence of the human genome was the proving ground for significant technological advancements, and its completion has ushered in increasingly sophisticated tools and ever-increasing amounts of data. Often, this combination has multiplicative effects such as stimulating research groups to consider subsequent experiments of at least equal if not greater complexity or employ advanced technologies. As applied to the fields of nutrigenetics and nutrigenomics, these advances in technology and experimental design allow researchers to probe the biological, biochemical, and physiological mechanisms underpinning the response to micro- and macronutrients, along with downstream health effects. It is becoming ever more apparent that effects on gene expression as a consequence of genetic variation and perturbations to cellular and physiological systems are an important cornerstone of nutrigenomics and nutrigenetics research. A critical, near-term objective, however, must be to determine where and how nutrients and their metabolites augment or disrupt the genetic variation-gene expression axis. Downstream effects on protein and metabolite measures are also seen with growing regularity as vital components to this research. Thus, this chapter reviews the scope of recent progress and innovation in genomics and associated technologies as well as study designs as applied to nutrigenomics and nutrigenetics research and provides concrete examples of the application of those advancements in genomics-oriented nutrition research.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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