A new title edited by a Virginia Tech researcher explores just how susceptible our genomes are to environmental and cellular stress.

"Stress-Induced Mutagenesis," published by Springer and edited by David Mittelman, an associate professor at Virginia Bioinformatics Institute, provides key evidence and reveals molecular details of stress-induced genetic and epigenetic mutation, integrating cross-disciplinary observations from a number of species and biological systems, including human systems. The book is lauded as a definitive volume on stress-induced mutagenesis.

"While the potential impacts on human health are clearly very important, the evolutionary implications of stress-induced mutagenesis are both fascinating and profound, and have potential to upset some well-entrenched dictums and dogma," said John Fondon III, an assistant professor and evolutionary geneticist at the University of Texas at Arlington.

Stress-induced mutagenesis pathways suggest interesting implications for genome evolution but also for human medicine. A better understanding of stress-induced mutagenesis could enable gains in the treatment and management of cancer, as well as other human disorders that result from damaged or unstable genomes.