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Revista Cubana de Salud Pública

versión impresa ISSN 0864-3466versión On-line ISSN 1561-3127


FRANCO AGUDELO, Saúl. El genoma humano y su impacto en la salud pública. Rev Cubana Salud Pública [online]. 2003, vol.29, n.4. ISSN 0864-3466.

The decipherment of the genetic code has incalculable potential for changing knowledge and practice related to life in general and health and public health care in particular. It is not possible to ignore the discussion that this topic generates and the impact of the concrete event. This article analyzes four aspects of this topic: a) some considerations on the science and life relationship; b) main areas of application of genomic knowledge on public health; c) some questions about genoma that has not been answered yet; and d) towards a new paradigm integrating life and health. It does not seem that the fundamental thing is if we will be able to know how far the scientific advacements in life knowledge will go, but whether this will lead to a better life for all the species, particularlt the human species. The main areas of application of the genomic knowledge on public health may be found in the early knowledge about the predisposition to certain diseases, the genomics of behaviour and the genoma and perception that we have of ourselves. The unanswered questions are transcendental for the society and the public health alike: a) privacy and justice in the use and interpretation of genetic information, b) clinical integration of new technologies, c) related questions to genetic research, and d) finally, the implications and challenges of the genetic development for public health education and for professional and technical formation in the sector. At a first glance, all indicates that the human genome sequence is the definite and irrefutable consecration of bionatural rationality, the positive sciences and the predominance of the individual over the group. Maybe this is right. But maybe it is the other way around. That is, if the genome definitely expresses the mark of the whole evolution of mankind on the individual, we may also be about to understand the biological thing as the materialization of the social thing. In this way, an alternative to the old dilemma that has kept us so much concerned comes out and the opportunity of constructing an alternative paradigm that integrates both levels opens up


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