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Eur J Hum Genet. 2006 Apr;14(4):384-9.

It's "back to school" for genetic screening.

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  • 1Genetics Education and Health Research, Murdoch Childrens Research Institute, Royal Children's Hospital, Flemington Road, Parkville, Victoria 3052, Australia.


Implementation of population genetic screening programmes requires consideration of strategies for reaching the greatest proportion of the target population in order to achieve maximum awareness. This article reviews the current strategy of school-based population genetic screening programmes. The school environment is an ideal setting for offering relevant genetic screening programmes as it provides an opportunity to engage people at a time when they are exposed to a range of educational experiences and are sufficiently mature to be involved in decision-making processes. Such programmes allow all students, not only those studying biology, an opportunity to be educated and experience genetic screening in a supportive environment, ultimately increasing understanding and empowering students. While the major form of genetic screening in schools has been for reproductive health information (eg carrier screening for TaySachs disease and cystic fibrosis), genetic screening in schools for other conditions may be a timely proposition.

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