Although still in the early stages of development, the advent of fast, high-output, and cost-effective next-generation DNA sequencing technology is moving precision medicine into public health. Before this shift toward next-generation sequencing in public health settings, individual patients met geneticists after showing symptoms and through limited family screening. In the new era of precision public health, everyone is a possible participant in genetic sequencing, simply by being born (newborn screening), by donating blood (biobanking), or through population screening. These initiatives are increasingly offered to individuals throughout their life and more individuals are encountering opportunities to use DNA sequencing. This article raises awareness of these growing areas and calls for different models of public engagement and communication about genomics, including screening asymptomatic populations, obtaining consent for unspecified and unforeseen future uses of genomic data, and managing variants of uncertain significance. Given that such communication challenges loom large, established norms of practice in genomic medicine and research should be reconsidered.
- New generation sequencing
- Newborn screening
- Precision medicine
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes