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Candidate gene–environment interactions
  1. Francine Kauffmann,
  2. Rachel Nadif
  1. INSERM, U780, Epidemiology and Biostatistics, and Université Paris-Sud, IFR69, Villejuif, France
  1. Correspondence to Francine Kauffmann, INSERM U780, 16 Avenue Paul Vaillant Couturier, 94807 Villejuif Cedex, France; francine.kauffmann{at}

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One limitation of interdisciplinarity is the misunderstanding regarding specific words and concepts from one discipline to the other.1 One way to circumvent this aspect is to incorporate the vocabulary of other disciplines when it corresponds to the appropriate concept. Gene–environment interaction is a popular topic for which there has been, to date, more reviews than established findings. There have been numerous attempts to represent what types of interactions could occur.2 Geneticists have proposed the term “candidate genes” to infer that there was a specific hypothesis, usually regarding the function of the gene, justifying its study for a given disease, whereas genome-wide comparisons have been called “agnostic”,3 which etymologically means without knowledge. In that context, testing a candidate gene–environment interaction is to test a hypothesis based on knowledge.4

It can be done basically two ways (table 1). The first is to study gene(s) in relation to a known environmental …

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  • Funding Ga2len project (Global Allergy and Asthma European Network) EU-FOOD-CT-2004-506378.

  • Competing interests None.

  • Provenance and peer review Commissioned; not externally peer reviewed.