Environmental factor

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Environmental factor or ecological factor or ecofactor is any factor, abiotic or biotic, that influences living organisms.[1] Abiotic factors include ambient temperature, amount of sunlight, and pH of the water soil in which an organism lives. Biotic factors would include the availability of food organisms and the presence of conspecifics, competitors, predators, and parasites.

Overview[edit]

An organism's genotype (e.g., in the zygote) is translated into the adult phenotype through development during an organism's ontogeny, and subject to influences by many environmental effects. In this context, a phenotype (or phenotypic trait) can be viewed as any definable and measurable characteristic of an organism, such as its body mass or skin color.

Apart from the true monogenic genetic disorders, environmental factors may determine the development of disease in those genetically predisposed to a particular condition. Stress, physical and mental abuse, diet, exposure to toxins, pathogens, radiation and chemicals found in almost all[quantify] personal-care products and household cleaners are common environmental factors that determine a large segment of non-hereditary disease.

If a disease process is concluded to be the result of a combination of genetic and environmental factor influences, its etiological origin can be referred to as having a multifactorial pattern.

As an example of an environmental trigger, a component of a human's drinking water may activate (trigger) a change in a person's body. Such changes are mainly negative ones.[citation needed] Using this example, what is in the drinking water may affect one person entirely differently than another – someone may be affected greatly, whereas someone may not be at all.

Many cancers (osteosarcoma, etc.), along with a plethora of other diseases, are thought[by whom?] to be a result of environmental triggers.[citation needed]

Nitrates may be an environmental trigger for Alzheimer's, diabetes, and Parkinson's disease.[2]

Environmental triggers for asthma[3] and autism[4] have been studied too.

Other[edit]

Environmental factors such as the weather affect business interests.[citation needed]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Gilpin, A. 1996. Dictionary of Environment and Sustainable Development. John Wiley and Sons. 247 p.
  2. ^ Lifespan, "Nitrates May Be Environmental Trigger For Alzheimer’s, Diabetes And Parkinson's Disease", ScienceDaily 6 July 2009, retrieved 5 March 2010
  3. ^ "Asthma and Its Environmental Triggers", National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, May 2006, retrieved 5 March 2010
  4. ^ "Study showing evidence of a major environmental trigger for autism", November 10, 2008 navjot PhysOrg, retrieved 5 March 2010

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