OMICS technologies are relatively new biomarker discovery tools that can be applied to study large sets of biological molecules. Their application in human observational studies (HOS) has become feasible in recent years due to a spectacular increase in the sensitivity, resolution and throughput of OMICS based assays. Although, the number of OMIC techniques is ever expanding, the five most developed OMICS technologies are genotyping, transcriptomics, epigenomics, proteomics and metabolomics. These techniques have been applied in HOS to various extents. However, their application in Occupational Environmental Health (OEH) research has been limited. Here, we will discuss the opportunities these new techniques provide for OEH research. In addition we will address difficulties and limitations to the interpretation of the data that is generated by OMICS technologies. To illustrate the current status of the application of OMICS in OEH research, we will provide examples of studies that used OMICS technologies to investigate human health effects of two well known toxicants, benzene and arsenic.
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