Recently, I coined the term “Behavome” as the totality of an individual’s behaviors that mediate exposures (the exposome) and gene expression (the genome). This construct matters because it largely defines the determinants of human health.
This schematic representation of genetic geographic information science (Genetic GIS) captures the three primary determinants of human health, the genome +, behavome and exposome. Health has two facets, illness and well being. An individual’s biology is represented by the “Genome +”, comprised of their genome (genetic composition), regulome (which controls gene expression), proteome (their compliment of amino acids and proteins) and metabalome (the basis of metabolism and homeostasis). The environments they experience, which is represented as the exposome, is defined as the totality of exposures over the life course (Wild 2005).
Finally, the totality of an individual’s health behaviors over the life course is represented by the behavome, which mediates the exposome and interactions between the exposome and the genome +. These determinants of human health act through place, defined as the geographic, environmental, social and societal milieus experienced over a person’s life course. This synthesis is referred to as genetic geographic science, or genetic GIS.