The Genetics Home Reference website was first launched on April 25, 2003, at NLM’s Lister Hill National Center for Biomedical Communications. The creation of Genetics Home Reference coincided with the completion of the Human Genome Project, a 13-year international effort to map the entire human genome. Genetics Home Reference was designed to provide a bridge between the public’s interest in human genetics and the rich technical data that has emerged from the Human Genome Project and subsequent genomic research. The site began with 19 health condition summaries and 16 gene summaries. Fifteen years later, it offers summaries of more than 1,200 genetic conditions, 1,450 genes, all of the human chromosomes, and mitochondrial DNA. The information is written by NLM staff and reviewed by experts in the field.
In 2016, the website was redesigned with a more modern look and feel, better navigation, and more educational images. Usability was also improved for mobile and tablet users. Genetics Home Reference continues to be an important and useful source of health information, with an average of 1.8 million users and 3.5 million page views per month. New information and updates are added regularly. Recent and upcoming content includes: