Documents to download

Over the last 20 years, scientists have deciphered genetic instructions controlling many bodily processes and diseases, and research is underway which may ultimately allow all the genetic material of a person to be deciphered. The resulting information will be fundamental to understanding how our bodies work and is likely to be of great value to medicine. It will also raise important social and ethical issues, which have received attention in the European Parliament and elsewhere.

This POSTnote describes current and planned research on the human genome, and considers issues which may arise from this work.

Documents to download

Related posts

  • A POSTnote on preventing zoonotic diseases will review the evidence on a One Health approach to zoonoses prevention. It will focus on the animal-environment-human interface in both wild and domestic animals, reviewing national and international policy approaches, and lessons learnt from previous epidemics. It will also summarise opportunities and challenges for the UK’s role in global health and biosecurity policy arenas post COVID-19. Provisional start date: January 2021.

  • A POSTnote on childhood obesity will summarise the latest trends in children’s diet, obesity and related health conditions and review the impacts of previous policy changes such as the tax on sugar sweetened drinks. It will also examine the factors underlying the growing gap in outcomes for children from the most and least deprived backgrounds. Provisional start date: January 2021.

  • Evolving life sciences and agricultural research approaches may have a decreasing need to access physical resources in future, such as plant seeds or viral material. Information and genetic data may be all that is required for commercial exploitation of biological resources. This POSTnote summarises the challenge this creates for international discussions on the governance of genetic resources and the possible options for addressing these.