June 2008

1 June 2008

Last month we drew attention to our monthly round-up of news, now also available directly via the website (14 May), and were pleased to feature a new report on work led by the PHG Foundation providing an assessment of UK health service provision for patients with genetic eye disease and recommendations for delivering adequate capacity and equitable access (19 May). A report from the University of Cambridge on innovation in service delivery systems advocated multidisciplinary knowledge integration as an essential approach to research and delivery, an approach already well-established as a central process in the practice of public health genomics (28 May).

In the UK, as the much-debated Human Fertilisation and Embryology Bill continues to progress through Parliament, we provide an update on key developments (12 June).

Genetic services and testing

Genetic testing continues to feature in the news. Last month the Council of Europe approved the wording of a new protocol on Genetic Testing for Health Purposes to the Convention on Human Rights and Biomedicine (20 May). In the US, two reports were released by the Secretary’s Advisory Committee on Genetics, Health and Society (SACGHS), one on the oversight of genetic testing (22 May), and the second a final version of a report on the integration of pharmacogenomics into clinical and public health practice (23 May). The US Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) issued a report on research into databases for genetic tests, providing recommendations on improvements to allow effective monitoring of the performance of different tests (29 May).

Disease genomics and biomarkers research

Research findings highlighted in the last month were the discovery of common genetic variants associated with obesity and insulin resistance (14 May), and the finding that rare new mutations could represent a significant factor in the development of sporadic (non-familal) cases of schizophrenia (11 June). An important paper presented evidence that the inclusion of information on four new biological markers (biomarkers) could improve the accuracy of cardiovascular disease risk prediction when combined with current measures of risk (1 June). Collaborative research efforts also featured, with news of a new international cancer genome research consortium (16 May) and the release of new standardised guidelines for the description of genomes and regenerative medicine terminology (4 June).

Selected new reviews and commentaries

Our selection of recent articles of interest (2 June)

Other recent news and research

See also the Genomics & Health Weekly Update from the CDC Office of Public Health Genomics.