Most human diseases, including asthma, cancer, diabetes, hypertension, immune deficiency disorders, and Parkinson’s disease, are caused by chemicals that alter the normal functions of our genes. Humans use more than 85,000 chemicals in their day-to-day activities, but we know little about how these chemicals affect gene function. To meet the critical need for defining how chemicals cause disease, MDIBL has created a unique, publicly accessible resource, the Comparative Toxicogenomics Database (CTD; http://ctdbase.org/). CTD integrates data collected from many sources to predict relationships between chemicals, genes, and diseases. These predictions in turn allow scientists and physicians to define how chemicals in our environment impact human health.
Research scientists use CTD to develop important insights in such diverse areas as understanding the developmental effects of arsenic exposure, identifying environmental causes of autism, and modeling chemical-gene-disease interaction networks. Public use of this resource increases annually. In the first half of 2009, CTD received over 15 million hits from over 254,000 users, representing an average of 28,000 hits per day.