The etiology of most chronic diseases involves interactions between environmental factors and genes that modulate important biological processes (Olden and Wilson, 2000. Nat Rev Genet 1(2):149-153). We are developing the publicly available Comparative Toxicogenomics Database (CTD) to promote understanding about the effects of environmental chemicals on human health. CTD identifies interactions between chemicals and genes and facilitates cross-species comparative studies of these genes. The use of diverse animal models and cross-species comparative sequence studies has been critical for understanding basic physiological mechanisms and gene and protein functions. Similarly, these approaches will be valuable for exploring the molecular mechanisms of action of environmental chemicals and the genetic basis of differential susceptibility.
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