Dr Hilary Burton considers Public Health England’s annual plan for the coming year, but is disappointed that genomics is scarcely mentioned and calls for PHE to make the most of the UK’s research investment in genomics.
Why Public Health England should make the most of genomics
Opinion of the month
PHG Foundation’s Tom Finnegan follows up on the provocative opinion piece by Harvard professor Steven Pinker on bioethics ‘getting in the way’.
Last month PHG Foundation report, Pathogen Genomics Into Practice, called for urgent action to make the most of genomics in the fight against infections. A new briefing explores whether a cross-species (one-health) approach, to include similar genomic efforts with animals, would benefit both animal and human populations In separate news, the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) argues that better coordination and cooperation between healthcare facilities would halve the number of patients infected with hospital-acquired infections.
Science and health policy
This month Public Health England (PHE) released their annual plan, in which they detailed a new programme of organisational change. In our blog we consider the current pressure building on the NHS in the pursuit of a more human-centred service but with increasing financial constraint.
Public Health England plans to build on scientific excellence
Cash is king: trying to do less is more
Genomics and personalised medicine
It has been a good month for personalised medicine. In the US the National Institute of Health (NIH) is funding the development of a new Centre for Precision Genetics. While a new digital hub, Helix, has been launched with the aim of accelerating consumer adoption of genomics. In research, an investigation into the genetic basis of prostate cancer supports mounting evidence for a rethink of how we define cancers, which the researchers hope will lead to greater precision in diagnosis and, ultimately, better targeted treatments. A new computational method, named PrediXcan, improves detection of genes associated with disease and could potentially identify therapeutic gene-targets faster and with greater accuracy. In separate news, a new international partnership has been established to collect DNA from schizophrenia patients for genomic analysis to uncover the genetic influences behind the disease.