• EcoHealth: Based on the principle that the health of ecosystems and human health are intimately linked, the EcoHealth approach is a multidisciplinary integrative research approach that mobilises knowledge on all living beings, including humans, in relation to the environment (air, soil, water).

  • Ecotoxicology: Ecotoxicology assesses the effects of contaminants on the environment, in particular on various species representative of several communities constituting different ecosystems.

  • Enzyme, enzyme inhibitor: An enzyme is a protein that has the activity of converting substance A into substance B. An enzyme inhibitor is a molecule that binds to an enzyme and reduces or suppresses its activity.

  • Epidemiology: Epidemiology is the study of population-based statistical associations between diseases and exposure to environmental factors that may influence their frequency of occurrence, distribution and course.

  • Environmental exposure: This determines the nature, frequency and quantity of external factors (including pesticides) to which organisms are subjected, and which may influence their health. The main routes of exposure are dermal, dietary and respiratory

  • Genetics and genetic mutation: Genetics is the discipline that studies the structure of genes in the form of a DNA sequence.

    A mutation is a change in the DNA sequence and therefore in the genetic information, which can lead to errors in the production of proteins by the cell, and to malfunctions (e.g. cancers).

  • Energy metabolism: Energy metabolism is the set of chemical reactions that allow a living organism to produce energy that can be used by the cells, from the breakdown of macromolecules from our food (e.g. carbohydrates).
  • Mitochondrion: An organelle present in several hundred copies in almost all living cells, the mitochondrion is notably the site of cellular respiration, and thus of the conversion of the energy contained in glucose into energy available to the cell. The mitochondrion is therefore often referred to as the cell’s ‘energy powerhouse’. It also plays a role in thermogenesis, calcium storage and programmed cell death.

  • Epigenetic modification: An epigenetic modification is a chemical change in DNA or in proteins around which DNA is wrapped to form chromatin (main component of chromosomes) that promotes or inhibits its reading, and thus gene expression. Such a change can be caused by our behaviour or our environment, and can be passed on to our offspring. In contrast to mutations, epigenetic modifications do not affect the DNA sequence, but propose a different “reading” of it. In the analogy of DNA as a vast recipe book, a mutation is a change in the text, for example a 600 becoming an 800; in contrast, an epigenetic modification is, without a change in the text, a defect that renders one or more recipes unworkable, like two pages stuck together. Like a mutation, such a modification can lead to a better adaptation to the environment, but also to dysfunctions (e.g. cancers).

  • Pesticide: The term “pesticides” is used to describe substances that are intended to repel or kill living organisms that are considered harmful. Pesticides are usually divided into herbicides, insecticides, nematicides and fungicides, which attack “weeds”, insects, worms and parasitic fungi (moulds, mildew, etc.) respectively. Most SDHIs are fungicides. Some also have nematicidal properties and others have acaricidal properties (against mites).

  • Cellular respiration: La respiration cellulaire est l’ensemble des réactions chimiques qui permettent à une cellule vivante de produire de l’énergie. Ce processus requiert de l’oxygène, c’est pourquoi on parle de respiration.
  • SDH (Succinate dehydrogenase) : SDH is an enzyme found in the inner membrane of the mitochondria. It plays a key role in the Krebs cycle and cellular respiration, two processes that are essential for cellular metabolism.
  • SDHI (Succinate dehydrogenase inhibitor): A pesticide whose mechanism of action is to inhibit the activity of succinate dehydrogenase (SDH), thereby blocking cellular respiration.
  • Toxicology: Toxicology is the science that studies the mechanisms of action of toxic substances (chemical molecules, waves, ionising radiation, etc.) and their deleterious effects on organisms or groups of organisms.