chapter  13
The new genetics and health promotion
BySarah Cunningham-Burley, Amanda Amos
Pages 7

The new genetics refers to the body of knowledge and techniques developed since the discovery of recombinant DNA in the 1970s. It involves research into the genetic components of a range of disease, illness, and behaviour and its application in the clinic in the form of genetic testing, screening, and subsequent treatments. Prior to these developments, the application of genetics to medicine remained within the realm of clinical genetics, with a focus on rare genetic disorders. Population and preventive medicine eschewed genetics in the wake of the eugenics movement earlier in the twentieth century. Until recently, genetics, in the context of health and medicine, had little to offer beyond those families known to be at risk of hereditary disease.