Researchers develop machine learning methods to accurately identify, characterize metabolism-disrupting chemicals
Chemicals in your furniture, plastic housewares and pesticides used in your yard may be making you fat, according to Boston University Schools of Medicine and Public Health researchers. A growing number of environmental pollutants (organotins in pesticides, phthalates in plastics, flame retardants in furniture) activate fat-forming pathways and enhance weight gain through white-fat accumulation. In a new study, researchers developed a novel experimental and computational framework for the identification of so-called metabolism-disrupting chemicals (MDCs), also known as obesogens, which are environmental chemicals that increase the risk of metabolic diseases (such as obesity, diabetes and cardiovascular disease) in subjects exposed to them. “Our study developed machine learning methods to accurately identify and characterize new metabolism-disrupting chemicals and applied these methods to the classification of a set of as-yet uncharacterized chemicals suspected to be obesogens,” explained corresponding author Stefano Monti, PhD, associate professor of medicine at Boston University School of Medicine (BUSM).
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