Viewpoint: Why a broad public understanding of genetics is critical


Most of us don’t yet realize that we have to understand genetics and DNA better. When I first started writing my book, “The Family Gene,” I didn’t love memoir. I didn’t really get it. I never loved reading it, and I didn’t find my life all that exciting. But as I started diving into the science of genetics and the history of medical genetics, I realized how much I DIDN’T know. How much most of us don’t know.

My father, as I understood it in my early 20’s, hadn’t learned much about genetics in medical school when he went in the 1970’s. It was already a science, but mostly not a medical science. But, although the Human Genome Project (HGP) began in 1990, right around the time my father first started showing symptoms [of a genetic disease], it wasn’t published until April of 2003.

Things have moved so far with our case that my father, whose disappointment in medicine’s inability to help him in 1996, would be blown away to see how it might potentially help me in 2017.

I think a lot of people think that we know more than we do about our genetic information. But I wouldn’t underestimate the rate at which we are learning ever more – it is happening quickly now that it has begun.

The GLP aggregated and excerpted this blog/article to reflect the diversity of news, opinion, and analysis. Read full, original post: What Do People Often Get Wrong About Genetics And DNA?