Cardiff University | Prifysgol Caerdydd ORCA
Online Research @ Cardiff 
WelshClear Cookie - decide language by browser settings

The Human Genome Organisation (HUGO) and a vision for Ecogenomics: the Ecological Genome Project

Capps, Benjamin, Chadwick, Ruth, Lederman, Zohar, Lysaght, Tamra, Mills, Catherine, Mulvihill, John J., Oetting, William S. and Winship, Ingrid 2023. The Human Genome Organisation (HUGO) and a vision for Ecogenomics: the Ecological Genome Project. Human Genomics 17 , 115. 10.1186/s40246-023-00560-x

[thumbnail of 40246_2023_Article_560.pdf] PDF - Published Version
Available under License Creative Commons Attribution.

Download (1MB)


Background: The following outlines ethical reasons for widening the Human Genome Organisation’s (HUGO) mandate to include ecological genomics. Main: The environment influences an organism’s genome through ambient factors in the biosphere (e.g. climate and UV radiation), as well as the agents it comes into contact with, i.e. the epigenetic and mutagenic effects of inanimate chemicals and pollution, and pathogenic organisms. Emerging scientific consensus is that social determinants of health, environmental conditions and genetic factors work together to influence the risk of many complex illnesses. That paradigm can also explain the environmental and ecological determinants of health as factors that underlie the (un)healthy ecosystems on which communities rely. We suggest that The Ecological Genome Project is an aspirational opportunity to explore connections between the human genome and nature. We propose consolidating a view of Ecogenomics to provide a blueprint to respond to the environmental challenges that societies face. This can only be achieved by interdisciplinary engagement between genomics and the broad field of ecology and related practice of conservation. In this respect, the One Health approach is a model for environmental orientated work. The idea of Ecogenomics—a term that has been used to relate to a scientific field of ecological genomics—becomes the conceptual study of genomes within the social and natural environment. Conclusion: The HUGO Committee on Ethics, Law and Society (CELS) recommends that an interdisciplinary One Health approach should be adopted in genomic sciences to promote ethical environmentalism. This perspective has been reviewed and endorsed by the HUGO CELS and the HUGO Executive Board.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Published Online
Status: Published
Schools: English, Communication and Philosophy
Additional Information: License information from Publisher: LICENSE 1: URL:, Type: open-access
Publisher: Biomed Central
ISSN: 1473-9542
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 19 December 2023
Date of Acceptance: 30 November 2023
Last Modified: 19 Dec 2023 12:30

Actions (repository staff only)

Edit Item Edit Item


Downloads per month over past year

View more statistics