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New Blog: Genomics Matters

Posted on by Muin J Khoury, Director, Office of Public Health Genomics, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Genetics  has a role in diseases of public health significance that affect infants, children, and adults. Our genes influence our response to drugs, infectious threats, and environmental exposures. More than 2,000 genetic tests are in use today and many more are coming.  

In spite of the rapid pace of discovery in genetics, we are still in the early days of knowing how to use this information to improve the health of individuals, families, and communities.

 

We all need credible information for health decision making

For over 60 years, CDC has been dedicated to protecting health and promoting quality of life through the prevention and control of disease, injury, and disability. The agency is committed to providing information and developing programs that reduce the health consequences of the leading causes of death and disability in the United States.

Since 1997, the CDC Office of Public Health Genomics has been dedicated to integrating genomics into research, policy and programs, in ways that can help improve the health of all people.

 

What this blog will be about

We will share the results of genomic research, evaluation, and programs conducted by CDC and other institutions around the world and comment on them from a public health perspective. We will not provide individual medical advice or endorse specific commercial products. We encourage respectful comments and dialogue.

 

Your input is needed

We would like to get your input on what topics you would like to see on the blog.  Are you interested in some of these topics?

  • What can be learned from personal genomic tests available online?
  • How can family history be useful for improving health?
  • How can we become more savvy readers and users of genomic information?
  • What genomic programs exist today that can help save lives and improve quality of life?
  • What genomic information is useful in reducing the burden of common diseases like cancer, heart diabetes, and asthma?
Posted on by Muin J Khoury, Director, Office of Public Health Genomics, Centers for Disease Control and PreventionTags ,

42 comments on “New Blog: Genomics Matters”

Comments listed below are posted by individuals not associated with CDC, unless otherwise stated. These comments do not represent the official views of CDC, and CDC does not guarantee that any information posted by individuals on this site is correct, and disclaims any liability for any loss or damage resulting from reliance on any such information. Read more about our comment policy ».

    The term genetic medicine, is increasingly used to describe the latest developments in medicine that contains a great promise for human health. This new approach to health information available to the genetic makeup of an individual to identify those who are at higher risk of developing certain diseases and to intervene at an earlier stage to prevent these diseases. Identification of genes related to the etiology of the disease, provides researchers with the tools to develop better treatments and cures.

    I hope that this research gets maximum funding. I have been a follower of Genomics for a few years now. There is an awful lot we can learn from this subject even though testing is still in its primal stages, like DNA one unravelled we will discover more about the human body and nature than ever before perhaps even putting some diseases into the dark ages for ever. I am very interested in the relationship between family history and the genomic state of individuals. Only time,and money spent will see this research come into fruition, so it needs our support.

    I was just searching the entire www for exactly this kind of information. I thank you for your post this search has an end right now. You wrote the post in a very comprehensive way. So I say thanks and add your blog to my favorites now. Enjoy the day.

    Pretty nice post. I just stumbled upon your blog and wanted to say that I’ve truly enjoyed surfing around your blog posts. After all I’ll be subscribing to your rss feed and I hope you write again soon!

    I appreciate the initiative taken by CDC to make us aware of the latest happenings in medical field related to genetics. The way one feels, responds to various conditions is caused by genes so it will always be interesting to know.

    This is a very exciting time for health, and health maintenance. This genetic look at health care is the window we should all be peering through. I had a person explain this to me by saying this, “genetics loads the gun and the environment pulls the trigger.” One may or may not believe this thinking.

    However, for me, a few simple blood tests showed how my this was not doing that and/or my that did or did not morph in to the other… This person pointed me to a few vitamins and/or supplements that truly changed my life.

    As a result of being situated on the lower limbs of my family tree some genes do not fire as they should. This in turn prevents me from processing some of the nutrients ingested through food. If a few blood test can show how simple vitamin and nutrient are affected by a genetic flaw (if it is a flaw), I have to think that research in genetics can change obesity, diabetes, heart disease, drug addiction and most of what we are ailing from presently.

    This is where we should be looking… Within!

    I’m interested in:
    What can be learned from personal genomic tests available online?

    I’d like to hear what the CDC’s take is on specific trait/disease interpretations provided by groups like [genetic testing company]. I don’t want a general overview, but specific focused examples that look at whether the information being provided to a single disease is considered accurate based on the variants analysed. And then for the CDC to flex its intellectual might by pointing out the limitations of the interpretations provided based on other contributing factors for that disease that are not assessed through such a test and how they might actually affect the individual’s risk. I think [genetic testing company] have been very clever in their approach but to some degree fail to put the information they provide in perspective because it might diminish the potential consumer’s perceived value of the product they offer.

    I’m also interested in the issue of new genetic tests moving from a reasearch realm to a diagnostic realm, when and how the funding arrangement changes for service to continue and whether the lab in which testing starts is truly the best place for the test to continue. We’re told it is by the lab researchers in public health who have a vested interest – but does the service received by the patient/taxpayer footing the bill by private providers improve – in terms of cost, quality and turnaround time. This needs to involve an economist with some appreciation of Hazlitt’s “The Lesson” to truly question the pleading/claims of any self-interested groups and avoid the lazy assumptions often accepted in these scenarios.

    We should always be open for new ideas. The study about genetics and health care is outstanding. We should always be able to determine the cause and effects of what drugs, infectious threats, and environmental exposures can do to children, infants and even adults.

    We have a horrible burden of chronic diseases due to a common factor that unites cancer, diabetes, heart diseases and many other conditions: low oxygen levels in body cells. There is now growing evidence that these diseases are due to heavy breathing (or breathing much more than medical respiratory standards). Indeed, dozens of studies showed that breathing too much air (hyperventilation) is the factor that explains how and why … genes can destroy our health

    Genetics is the peincipio of life, that is where the great mysteries of our existence, has much work ahead, the future of humanity depends on it, that is where are all the cures for the ills of the Twenty-first Century
    thanks.

    Can I just say what a relief it is to find someone who really knows what theyre talking about. You definitely know the best way to bring an issue to light and make it important. More people need to learn this and understand this side of the story. I cant believe youre not more popular because you definitely have the gift. Very nice post, i certainly love this web site, keep on.

    As a professional genealogist, I cannot stress the importance of learning about all aspects of your family history. This can be especially true in regards to family medical history. By learning more about our past, we can make changes to better our future.

    By tracing your family’s medical history, you may be surprised to learn of certain medical conditions you are predisposed to. While some people prefer to live by the “ignorance is bliss” motto, others prefer to “take life by the reigns” and take control of their health and, ultimately, their future.

    Let’s say your are a female and your family research uncovered an unusual number of instances of breast cancer on the maternal side of your family. The death certificates of several aunts, cousins and a great-grandmother all attribute their causes of death to breast cancer.

    This is the point where knowledge can be a wonderful advantage. Maybe you never thought much about breast cancer because your mom didn’t have it. Nobody ever talked about breast cancer in your family. Then all of a sudden, you find these women in your family who died from breast cancer. By being aware of these instances, you could take this knowledge and make the choice to become more diligent about regular breast exams and mammograms. Your awareness is heightened, and you jump on any abnormalities right away.

    Tracing your family history can definitely have many benefits. An often ignored benefit of genealogy research is learning more about your family’s medical history.

    Knowledge truly is power, and those with the power have the most to gain.

    You definitely know the best way to bring an issue to light and make it important. More people need to learn this and understand this side of the story. I can’t believe you’re not more popular because you definitely have the gift.

    learning your family history is of the utmost importance.

    I remember my father printing, what looked to be a scroll, it went from one side of the house to the other.

    It detailed each family member, right back to the 1700.

    How amazing

    kane

    I agree with most of the comments already made. However, I also think that rising obesity levels plays a significant role in illness. To combat this, I think that a MASSIVE education campaign is needed to teach the general population about nutrition, healthy eating and the need to lead a physically active lifestyle to live a healthy life.

    Public Health genomics assesses impact of genes and their interaction with behavior, diet and the environment on the population’s health.

    The universities and governments (including the U.S., UK, and Australia) are working on public health genomics projects. and i think, after that all people can live healthy life.

    By tracing your family’s medical history, you may be surprised to learn of certain medical conditions you are predisposed to. While some people prefer to live by the “ignorance is bliss” motto, others prefer to “take life by the reigns” and take control of their health and, ultimately, their future.

    I think we would all be very interested to learn about our genetic predispositions to various strengths and weaknesses. Knowledge is power and simply gaining the understanding would allow us to be better equipped to work with what we have been given. I hope this kind of research doesn’t take a hit due to the current government financial woes.
    I co-manage an information and support site, that deals with health and weight related issues. I know that many people would be very eager to separate their genetic disposition to a certain BMI from the environmental factors.

    Pretty nice post. Public Health genomics assesses impact of genes and their interaction with behavior, diet and the environment on the population’s health.

    Personally I’d like to read this topic: What can be learned from personal genomic tests? I thought it will be helpful to know about our response to drugs, infectious threats due to open wound on piercings, and environmental exposures due to our genes.
    I will keep visiting this site to check if there is any new posting related above topic.
    Thanks for the effort.

    We should be grateful to Dr Zimmern for drawing our attention to the several ways in which the genomic revolution could have important implications for the practice of public health. Given that human beings are not genetically identical, it is certainly conceivable that what is sound public health policy for one group might be irrelevant for another group and possibly even damaging to health for a third group. Indeed, we have become accustomed to the consideration of some such claims. It is entirely possible that genetics might hold the key to why this is so, and thus enable us to segment the population into risk groups.

    This is a nice post! Its nice to see that the CDC has been dedicated in their duties in protecting quality of life through prevention of diseases. I hope that CDC will continue on with their program in improving the health of people. Thank you for the post and have a nice Holiday season.

    I want to appreciate the author. I loved to read that. Thank you so much for sharing the post with all. You are bookmarked.

    While this is all good about genetic research I come from the camp that thinks that the environment precipitates genetic expression. Even though a family history may be a predictor of health problems, a major determining factor is how the person lives.
    The attention must come away from government intervention to a more personal responsibility Outlook.

    Good post. It seems people are divided about this matter. I do agree that it is primarily based on how a person lives. I agree there is history involved, but when it comes down to it, this is what matters in my opinion.

    We should be very interested to learn about our genetic predispositions to various strengths and weaknesses, learning your family history is of the utmost importance. By tracing your family’s medical history, you may be surprised to learn of certain medical conditions you are predisposed to. I am looking forward to contribute on this blog with what I know and to learn something new, of course.

    It may seems a good idea about genetic research. The emphasis must slide away from government intervention to a more personal responsibility.

    I am really interested in this “How can family history be useful for improving health?”
    good information… Thanks..

    The issue isn’t really the genome issue as much as it is the obesity problem that has become the real plague in this country. It is imparative that emphasis is placed on proper diet and weight loss, as well as reversing diabetes through establishing healthier habits. The fix is simple, people.

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