Guerrero-Bosagna said he hopes the team’s research will lead to medical developments that could protect future generations from the complications of exposure to the chemical. But for now, the researchers need to further their understanding of the mechanism of the chemical before exploring medical treatments, he said.
In the future, he hopes the team can identify biomarkers that can tell them if dioxin is present in a person’s system and whether the person’s family is at risk.
By paying close attention to human populations that come into contact with dioxin, Skinner hopes scientists can eventually come up with a medicine to prevent the effects of exposure from descending through generations, but it may take a while.
"The question is if we monitor subsequent generations, are there ways to diagnose ancestral exposure?" Skinner said.