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Indian J Hum Genet. 2010 May;16(2):47-54. doi: 10.4103/0971-6866.69326.

Genetics in public health: Rarely explored.

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1
Department of Preventive and Community Dentistry, Teerthankar Mahaveer Dental college and Research Center, Delhi Road, Moradbad, Uttar Pradesh, India.

Abstract

The availability and the integration of genetic information into our understanding of normal and abnormal growth and development are driving important changes in health care. These changes have fostered the hope that the availability of genetic information will promote a better understanding of disease etiology and permit early, even pre-symptomatic diagnosis and preventive intervention to avoid disease onset. Hence, our aim was to review and provide the insight into the role of genetics in public health and its scope as well as barriers. The use of genetics along with their goals and essential public health functions are discussed. From the era of eugenics to the present era, this area has seen many turns in which geneticists have put through their effort to tie together the strings of both molecular genetics and public health. Though still the dark clouds of eugenics, the predictive power of genes, genetic reductionism, non-modifiable risk factors, individuals or populations, resource allocation, commercial imperative, discrimination and understanding and education are hanging above. The technological and scientific advances that have fundamentally changed our perception of human diseases fuel the expectations for this proactive health.

KEYWORDS:

Barriers; community genetics; genetics; public health

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