Since the 1950s, there has been a rapid rise in the incidence of allergic diseases, particularly in western countries. Experts agree that the rapid increase in cases is not due to increased awareness, and the genetics behind allergies have not changed. But the environment has changed. Genetic predisposition affects the likelihood of developing allergies, but the environment acts on genetic background.

In this month’s episode, we discuss the epigenetic origins of allergies and asthma and explore the environmental exposures that affect our generation and the next. Tiffany Garbutt from The Scientist’s Creative Services team spoke with John Holloway, professor of allergy and respiratory genetics and associate dean of research at the University of Southampton, to learn more.

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