August 2009

1 August 2009

Improving accessibility to all PHG Foundation news and updates, you can now sign up to follow us on Twitter. We are pleased to announce a new facility to comment on our news stories – your perspectives and input can add value to the Genomics and Policy News, so please submit your comments! There is also now a one-click Email and Share option for all news stories.

Genetics, policy and health services

In the UK, there is new guidance for health professionals and discussion on the role of patients in medical research (28 July) and plans have been announced for National Health Service laboratory scientists to take on an expanded genetics role, potentially including patient consultations (30 July). A new report looks at the future of synthetic biology in Germany (11 August), and a public consultation is launched focusing on the ethics of personalised, direct-to-consumer (DTC) testing (16 July).

Prospects for pharmacogenetic testing in the US (including concerns about DTC testing) are highlighted (29 July), a new publication looks at the psychological effects of genetic testing for Alzheimer’s disease susceptibility (22 July), and we provide some perspective on DTC risk predicition services (14 August). We also offer an update on genetic non-discrimination legislation in Germany and the US (10 August) and report on the use of neural transplants for Huntingdon’s disease (24 July).

Genomic research

Various new resources for medical genomic research have been launched recently (4 August), and papers have reported on the first human genome to be sequenced using ‘third-generation’ single molecule technology (12 August) and the first full structural map of the HIV-1 genome (7 August). Findings from new studies on the genetic features of glioblastomas have wider implications for cancer genomics (20 July).

Genetic epidemiology

A new report from the Academy of Medical Sciences looks at the role of genome wide association (GWA) studies in understanding common diseases (15 July). Meanwhile, major GWAs have identified the first common susceptibility locus for ovarian cancer (6 August) and another has confirmed the genetic basis of a long-standing association between blood-group status and pancreatic cancer risk (5 August). Building on previous GWAs findings, two papers report a functional genomics approach to dissecting the role of a genetic locus in increased colorectal and prostate cancer risk (30 July).

New reviews and commentaries

Our selection of recent articles of interest (3 August)

Other recent news and research

See also the Genomics & Health Weekly Update from the CDC Office of Public Health Genomics and the GenInfo Monthly Newsletter from HumGen.