Personalised healthcare: making the most of genomics

PHG Foundation’s Life Sciences and Society conference next week is sold out. If you weren’t able to get a ticket but are interested in the uses of genomics for health and the role of science and society in shaping the future of personalised healthcare, you can follow the event on Twitter #LSS2016 and @phgfoundation.

Science and health policy

Following the release of the long-awaited final recommendations of the Accelerated Access Review (AAR), Philippa Brice finds earlier suggestions have been listened too and that the plans are now a step in the right direction. Ahead of the Autumn Statement, Stefano Gortana reports on science and health under the Brexit government. PHG Foundation, in collaboration with Genomics England, have published a report that will inform implementation of genomics into mainstream medicine and improve the legacy of the 100,000 Genomes Project. Meanwhile the Council of Europe moves to strengthen the protection of health-related and genetic data held by insurance companies, and the Chancellor of the Exchequer has confirmed the PM’s promise to invest an extra £2bn a year in science and technology by 2020.
Opportunity knocks for faster access to innovations in the NHS
Everyone’s a winner? Health, wealth, innovation and the NHS
Science and health under the Brexit Government
Shaping the NHS legacy of the 100,000 Genomes Project
Europe moves to prevent genetic discrimination and insurance
UK Government to invest £2bn extra a year in R&D by 2020

Non-invasive prenatal testing

The Department of Health’s approval of the introduction of non-invasive prenatal testing (NIPT) into the NHS, leads Leila Luheshi to explore the lessons for future implementation initiatives that must be learnt from this example. In the news, scientists at Wayne State school of Medicine published research comparing the genetic accuracy of their non-invasive testing method, which they claim can be used five to ten weeks earlier in pregnancy than standard methodologies.

Healthcare futures

Louise Cameron unravels the hype around nutrigenomics, and Sobia Raza’s beginners guide to machine learning for healthcare reveals the obstacles that must be overcome for the technology’s benefits to fully materialise. Meanwhile, a machine learning algorithm, capable of accurately analysing genetic ancestry across ‘tera’ sized datasets, has been developed by a team from Columbia University and Princetown University. In other news, a ‘gene therapy in a box’, for use at the point of patient care, has been developed and tested on mouse models, and researchers from the Salk Institute have carried out proof of concept testing on rats for a new gene editing technology which modifies cells in vivo.