Genetics, Genomics and Human Health

Genetics is a broad field of study that is concerned with heredity and how particular qualities or traits are passed on from parents to offspring.   In the context of human health, genetics examines single genes and how their function and composition can affect growth and development.  

With the development of new technologies, the traditional focus on genetics and single genes is shifting towards study of the whole genome, including the study of multiple genes and their relationships with one another (genomics) and relationships between genes and the environment (epigenetics).   Rapid advancements in genetics, genomics and related technologies are creating enormous opportunities for the understanding, prevention, treatment and cure of human diseases.

NHMRC produces a range of resources on genetics or genomics and human health for consumers, health professionals, researchers and policy makers which can be accessed via the links below.

Resources for consumers

The resources for consumers include fact sheets about genetics and human health, including information about the human genome, genome sequencing, epigenetics, personalised medicine, genetic discrimination and the use of genetic information in sport. 

It also includes resources outlining the important issues that should be considered in relation to medical or direct-to-consumer genetic DNA testing.

Resources for clinicians and researchers

These resources provide information and guidance for clinicians and researchers about issues such as medical and direct-to-consumer genetic DNA testing, biobanks and the translation of ‘omics’-based tests from discovery to healthcare.