Public health genetics is an exciting interdisciplinary area that brings all the public health sciences to bear on the emerging challenge of interpreting the medical and public health significance of genetic variation within populations. Sequencing of the human genome will generate an avalanche of genetic information to be linked with information about microbial, chemical, and physical exposures; nutrition, metabolism, lifestyle behaviors, and medications. The public health genetics mini-symposium in this volume includes articles dealing with educational innovations, host-pathogen interactions in infectious diseases, nutrition/genetic interactions in cancers, and population screening for hemochromatosis. Additional topics addressed here are ecogenetics and risk assessment, the genetics of unhealthful behaviors, and ethical and policy issues. Finally, a set of principles for community-based health research in populations is presented as a public health-oriented counterpart to the principle of autonomy and the practice of informed consent that have become key elements of ethics in medical care and medical research with individuals.


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  • Article Type: Review Article
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