New understanding of the dynamic interplay between genes and environment, made possible by technologies arising from the Human Genome Project, helps support the individualization of medicine and makes focusing on racial or ethnic group differences in disease less relevant, say Penn State researchers.
"Technology has given us the ability to make a much more comprehensive picture of health outcomes," says Dr. Keith Whitfield, associate professor of biobehavioral health. "We now see, for example, that the origins of racial health disparities can involve both genes and environment and the interactions between them. The crux of the matter is the individual, with her or his unique genetic constitution and history of environmental influences."
Whitfield and Dr. Gerald McClearn, Evan Pugh professor of health and human development, are the authors of a paper, "Genes, Environment, and Race," published in the current issue of American Psychologist. The January issue is a special issue devoted to race in health and social science research.
Barbara Hale | EurekAlert!
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