A need for timely, credible information on genomics
Premature claims by researchers, commercial genomics enterprises, and the news media contribute to unrealistic expectations about the impact of genomics on health care and disease prevention. Genome-wide association studies, personal genome scans, and genetic testing are among the topics recently highlighted in peer-reviewed scientific literature and popular media. Credible, timely, and publicly-accessible resources are needed to keep professionals and the public abreast of the latest discoveries, opportunities, and challenges in genomics and health.
Genomics & Health Weekly Update
In 1998, the Office of Public Health Genomics (OPHG) at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention established the Genomics & Health Weekly Update. This online newsletter helps to bridge the gap between scientific advances in genomics and public awareness by providing information on cross-cutting topics, such as genomics, disease prevention, and health promotion.
The Genomics & Health Weekly Update provides an up-to-date, timely, and publicly-accessible electronic resource of scientific literature and news articles published weekly on genetics and genomics, as well as current funding opportunities, clinical recommendations, educational resources, and events of interest to researchers, health care providers, public health practitioners, policymakers, and the public.
A broad view of genomics research, policy, and programs
The Genomics & Health Weekly Update is developed by OPHG in collaboration with other CDC programs and partner organizations. It is disseminated weekly by email to almost 24,000 subscribers, and available through the Web. The Weekly Update features seven sections:
- Genomics Spotlight (e.g., major advances in genomics research, policy, and programs, national
- Genomics Announcements (e.g., funding opportunities, noteworthy publications, reports, and presentations)
- Genomics in the Scientific Literature
- Genomics Articles in the News
- Events (e.g., state, national, and international conferences, meetings, seminars, and workshops)
- Let’s Go Surfing (e.g., new/informative Web sites, blogs, newsletters, fact sheets, brochures)
- News & Perspectives (e.g., newsletters and other news sources)
Scientific literature and news articles are compiled and reviewed weekly. News articles are categorized by various topics, such as cancer, diabetes, family history, and genetic testing.
A growing interest in genomics over the last 10 years
The Genomics & Health Weekly Update is a main feature of OPHG’s Web site, which is at the top of search results in Google, Altavista, AOL, and other search engines. Subscribers of the Weekly Update increased from about 160 in 1998 to almost 24,000 in 2009. A large increase in subscribers was observed from 2006 to 2007 after a new subscription method was offered (see bar graph). A large increase is also expected for 2010, with approximately 12,000 new subscribers so far this year.
Over the past decade, the Weekly Update expanded as a consequence of the rapid increase of scientific advances in genetics and genomics. The Weekly Update helps to address the need for credible, timely, and publicly-accessible information about genomics that professionals and the public can use to make decisions. This newsletter also serves as a model that public health programs can use to disseminate information.
Subscribe to the Genomics & Health Weekly Update.