The new field of “public health genomics,” like public health programs in general, usually works behind the scenes. Doctors and other medical professionals address health issues one person at a time, but public health professionals focus on improving health at the population level through disease control and prevention. The April 2012 special issue of Public Health Genomics includes 13 articles from the many presentations at the 2010 National Conference on Genomics and Public Health in the United States.
- Public Health Genomics: Using Genetic Information to Improve Health Now and in the Future, 4th National Conference on Genomics and Public Health, 2010
- Day in the life of public health genomics
- Impact of Genomics on Public Health Practice: The Case for Change, Public Health Genomics, 2012
The articles discuss how public health genomics seeks to provide policy-makers and the public with unbiased services based on scientifically credible genetic information. It focuses on policy and programs to make sure that gene science is used responsibly to improve the health of all people. The papers are notable in that they challenge some long time biases, specifically:
Genes v. Environment: the postmodernist “blank slate” thesis, incorporating a bio-cultural feedback model
Genetic Regulation: The hyper regulatory model, substituting the recognition that genetics should not be regulated more stringently than other health data or tools
Personalized medicine: The longstanding bias towards public control of information, relying more on personal decision-making