Genetics Workshop

It has recently become common to see media related to genetic testing being consumed via the television or the Internet. The wide variety of available information has led to many misunderstandings regarding the understanding of the onset of disease and inborn talents, which may be gained from an individual’s genome, indicating how little the uninitiated public knows about genetics. No assessment techniques currently exist that can accurately predict future events based on genetic information, and our current understanding of genetics remains limited.

Although medically ethical genetic testing has been implemented, characterization of genetic testing is the subject of debates at academic conferences, and a universally acceptable answer is yet to be reached.

To this end, the Iwate Tohoku Medical Megabank Organization (IMM) conducted a questionnaire-based assessment of demand for genetic information from 375 participants and their family members in the IMM project, on 28 occasions, at the Yahaba Center and Kesen Satellite, between October 2014 and February 2015.

One hundred twelve interested participants, among the questionnaire respondents, participated in 10 projects of the “Genetics Workshop,” held at Ofunato Hospital, Yahaba Center, Kesen Satellite, and reanswered the questionnaire afterward. The opinions gathered will be useful in future planning for genetic testing.

Taking this opportunity, we would like to extend our gratitude to the participants and those who provided access to the facilities used. Although minor revisions were made before uploading, the materials used in conjunction with the “Genetics Workshop” may be viewed by clicking the “Simple explanation of ‘genetics’” button below. Please refer to these materials to review or study their content.



Accurate descriptions of genealogies are essential in understanding diseases and physiological characteristics. In general, detailed knowledge is necessary to record genealogies conforming to international rules; however, ‘f-tree’ is a software suite that automatically generates family trees without the need of expert-level knowledge (f-tree is currently supported by Microsoft Windows and Mac OSX only). f-tree may be used for personal use, or may be freely used at no cost for tasks such as creating lecture material. Users are requested to accept the f-tree terms of use when the software is to be used for conference presentations, paper writing, or commercial purposes.