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Med J Aust. 2003 Apr 21;178(8):406-9.

The "new genetics" and clinical practice.

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Department of Molecular and Clinical Genetics, Royal Prince Alfred Hospital, Missenden Road, Camperdown, NSW 2050, Australia.


A "new genetics" has emerged driven by knowledge gained at the DNA level. In clinical practice, a practical application of the new genetics is DNA testing, which can be expected to expand with the completion of the Human Genome Project as the functions of new genes are discovered. Genetic DNA testing scenarios include diagnostic DNA testing, prenatal DNA testing, predictive (presymptomatic) DNA testing and screening DNA testing. The challenge for genetic DNA testing and clinical practice will be to define the roles to be played by the general practitioner, the specialist, and other healthcare professionals. From the patients' and families' perspective, the new genetics will best be implemented if a planned approach is adopted in the ordering of DNA tests and the associated counselling and support processes.

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