Pollution beats genetic ancestry when it comes to turning genes on or off. Researchers assessed environmental exposures, health, gene expression, and whole-genome variation in 1,000 Quebec residents. They found environmental factors had greater affect on gene expression profiles in blood samples than genetic backgrounds did. Local air pollution controls genes for heart, metabolic, and respiratory traits that contribute to diabetes, lung disease, and arterial stiffness.

Lead author: Philip Awadalla, Ontario Institute for Cancer Research – Philip.Awadalla@oicr.on.ca

Original paper published March 06, 2018