n. A measure of the effects of life-long environmental exposures on health.
The exposome encompasses the totality of human environmental (i.e. non-genetic) exposures from conception onwards, complementing the genome. It was first proposed by Dr. Christopher Wild, a cancer epidemiologist, in a 2005 article entitled "Complementing the Genome with an “Exposome”: The Outstanding Challenge of Environmental Exposure Measurement in Molecular Epidemiology". The concept of the exposome and how to assess it has led to lively discussions with varied views. Although at this stage it may not be possible to measure or model the full exposome, some recent European projects such as HELIX, EXPOsOMICS, and HEALS and the American initiative HERCULES have started to make first attempts.