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Human Heredity, the Environment and Disease: Nature and Nurture National Human Genome Research Institute National Institutes of Health U.S. Department.

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Presentation on theme: "Human Heredity, the Environment and Disease: Nature and Nurture National Human Genome Research Institute National Institutes of Health U.S. Department."— Presentation transcript:

1 Human Heredity, the Environment and Disease: Nature and Nurture National Human Genome Research Institute National Institutes of Health U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Emily L. Harris, Ph.D., M.P.H. Epidemiologist, Office of Population Genomics National Human Genome Research Institute May 1, 2007

2 Nature and Nurture: Causal models & inferences from studying populations

3 Genes (or nature)Environment (or nurture) A Continuum of Causation

4 AND Height

5 Nature and Nurture: Causal models & inferences from studying populations Question:What causes the differences in height among individuals?

6 AND Height

7 AND Nutrition (environment) Height

8 AND Height

9 AND Genes Height

10 AND Height

11 AND Height Genes & Environment

12 Nature and Nurture: Causal models & inferences from studying populations Question:What causes the differences in height among individuals? Conclusion:Depends on the population(s) studied.

13 Nature and Nurture: Multifactorial models in complex diseases Example: Cancer

14 Most Cancer Is NOT Inherited Known Inherited Factor All Breast Cancer Patients Unknown Factor(s)

15 Chemical Bases in DNA DNA molecule (chromosome) Chemical bases Gene A T C G

16 Altered DNA->Altered Protein NucleusDNA Protein Chain of amino acids Ribosome Gene DNA bases mRNA Cell membrane

17 Many Mutations Lead to Cancer Malignant Cells Normal Cell First Mutation Second Mutation Third Mutation Fourth or Later Mutation

18 Most Cancer Is NOT Inherited Known Inherited Factor All Breast Cancer Patients Unknown Factor(s)

19 Factors affecting Cancer Development & Progression Oncogenes (cancer promoting) Oncogenes (cancer promoting) Tumor suppressor genes Tumor suppressor genes Carcinogen metabolism genes Carcinogen metabolism genes Immune surveillance for abnormal cells Immune surveillance for abnormal cells

20 Some Factors affecting Cancer Development & Progression Oncogenes (cancer promoting) Oncogenes (cancer promoting) Tumor suppressor genes Tumor suppressor genes E.g., DNA repair proficiency E.g., DNA repair proficiency Carcinogen metabolism genes Carcinogen metabolism genes Immune surveillance for abnormal cells Immune surveillance for abnormal cells

21 DNA Repair & Cell Pathology Author: Harold Brenner

22 Lifespan-influencing Genes & DNA Repair Author: Harold Brenner

23 Genes (or nature)Environment (or nurture) A Continuum of Causation


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