Temi ambientali
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Arpae Emilia-Romagna
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Area of Toxicogenomics

 

Paola Silingardi
Leader
paola.silingardi@unibo.it

 

The laboratory activity focuses on the use of innovative technologies for the evaluation of gene-environment interactions. Transcriptional profiles represent the main endpoint of our studies.  They constitute the startling image of the genes that are activated as a consequence of a specific exposure, making possible their use in the identification of biomarkers for the screening of carcinogens and environmental monitoring. 

The exposure of cell cultures to environmental contaminants implies a transcriptional response that can be detected by extracting cell RNA, labelling it with fluorochromes, and eventually hybridizing to a slide that can recognize all the genes of the species under test.  This procedure results in a list of genes which is strictly associated with the exposure to contaminants, providing information about the mechanisms of action of contaminants and allowing a more precise evaluation of the risk.

Many cell models can be used for this purpose, from microorganisms to human cells, to support toxicological and ecotoxicological studies and can even supply the necessary information to identify biomarkers of transcription.