Experts Convene in Research Triangle to Discuss Ambitious New Scientific Database Project
RALEIGH, NC / ACCESSWIRE / July 31, 2017 / Next week, a select group of scientists, engineers, industry researchers, environmental health specialists, national security experts, and philanthropy executives will meet in Raleigh for a two-day conference to explore the potential future uses of a massive new database of chemical information.
Their goal: envision what the world might do with this new open source database, a “genome” of industrial chemicals and materials- the essential building blocks of everything humans have created and engineered.
They describe their work as building an elaborate “map” of how industry, worldwide, utilizes approximately 100,000 Lego®-like bits of chemicals and materials to create all our consumer, industrial and military products. Experts say the project has the potential to support innovative new industrial processes, epidemiology, maternal and child health, earth systems science, basic energy science, and climate science.
The project was awarded the 2017 Innovation in Smart Chemistry Award, attracting the interest of major corporations, public policy makers, and the philanthropic community.
A new nonprofit, The Environmental Genome Initiative, has been formed to organize the project, create new support for an international effort to complete the mapping work, and to administer the database of information. To date, over 1600 detailed chemical manufacturing processes and plants have been studied. This work led to the Environmental Genome discovery that has piqued the interest of the scientific community when it was revealed in a paper published by Dr. Michael Overcash in the Royal Society of Chemistry’s Green Chemistry Journal in March 2016.
The successful completion of the Human Genome Project has allowed researchers to understand the blueprint for building a person, and use that knowledge in the diagnosis and treatment of cancer, and in drug development. The Environmental Genome Initiative promises to create a new ability to visualize and study the genomic structure of all chemical building blocks-from their origins in the earth, to their manufacture, to how these enter our environment to cause potential human health impacts.
As the conference participants work together to understand the future potential of the completed database, they will consider what exciting new discoveries and important new fields of study might be created through the development and application of powerful analytic tools to fully access and understand the data.
SOURCE: Environmental Genome Initiative