CAN WE EDUCATE PEOPLE TO UNDERSTAND GENOMIC INFORMATION?
It has been argued that many people will not understand genetics and genomics, and thus, it will prove difficult to convey genomic information to them. Will people with a gene mutation that raises the risk of developing Grave’s disease tenfold from 0.1% to 1% really understand that they still have only a one in one hundred chance of getting that disease? We believe that with proper interaction among healthcare workers, genetic counselors, and patients, the general concepts of genetics and genomics can and must be conveyed. People have a right to this information, much as they have a right to bear children. To help convey information, online sessions, as well as face- to-face sessions with counselors, will ensure that the patient receives the proper education about genomic sequencing.
We have found that people are very eager to understand this information. Basic concepts of genetics already are taught in most high school science classes, as well as in some science museums and public forums such as libraries. Students and the public are generally excited to hear this information. We believe that the average person is capable of understanding basic concepts of genetics, and given its foundational nature in relation to our health, it should be taught to every student in high school.