The fetal basis of adult disease or the 'early origins' hypothesis postulates that nutrition and other environmental factors during prenatal and early postnatal development influence developmental plasticity, thereby altering susceptibility to adult chronic diseases. Developmental plasticity occurs when environmental influences affect cellular pathways during gestation, enabling a single genotype to produce a broad range of adult phenotypes. This emerging field of research also points to the epigenotype as an important modifier of disease susceptibility. Aberrant epigenetic gene regulation has been proposed as a mechanism of action for non-genotoxic carcinogenesis, imprinting disorders, and complex disorders including Alzheimer's disease, schizophrenia asthma, and autism.
Creative Biomart provides a variety of molecular tools for you to explore the relationship between development and diseases.