At-home DNA tests are becoming a popular holiday gift over the holidays. A recent survey by MIT found that 100 million Americans are on track to take one by the end of the next year.
This trend offers private companies the world's largest collection of human DNA. But what are they doing with it?
Can you get a health and ancestry test while also protecting your privacy?
How flawed genetic testing could be used for more than screwing up your race.
Sixteen years ago, scientists sequenced almost all the human genome. Today, there are 32 companies that will read your DNA like tea leaves. How much can they really tell us?
Rapid genomic tests are poised to change the way doctors diagnose and treat infections, but their cost may limit widespread use.
Direct-to-consumer tests may help predict risks to your future health. But are they worth the cost and trouble?
23andMe wants to sell you vacations based on your DNA. But what are they really basing that on?
In recent years, the field of genetic testing has risen in both prominence and popularity. Through advances in research, science and medical technology, physicians now offer robust genetic screenings to their patients.
23andMe and Ancestry are laying off workers as interest in their DNA tests declines.
With DNA analysis making its way into the commercial realm, it was inevitable that the health industry would get in on the action. But how good is that for the consumer?
Genetic testing is emerging as a new trend in personal healthcare, where people can order the test online, know about their propensity for various diseases, and prepare for disease prevention. Then, again, maybe you don't want to know!
Even those administered by doctors lack FDA oversight
Today’s DNA kits can reveal secrets that affect not just your own family but strangers as well. Should one person’s right to know take precedence over another’s life narrative?
The multi-tasking entrepreneur and CEO of 23andMe, the personal genomics company she co-founded in 2006, spends a lot of time on her feet.
According to a new study, it’s not all that difficult to find someone in the U.S. — even if they've never taken a genetic test.
Like Facebook, but for fifth cousins, adoptive mothers and sperm-donor dads.
The rise of spit kits is leaving consumers with lots of data and few answers. Genetic counselors could help people understand these results, but there aren’t enough of them to go around.
The new test covers 30 genes, adding melanoma and stomach cancer to the list as well as greatly expanding Color's ability to test risk for pancreatic, prostate and colorectal cancers. "One of the impacts of putting this test on the market is that beyond just the cost difference, I think one of our biggest effects is reducing a lot of the friction and barriers that prevent people from getting tested historically," says Laraki.
Genetic professionals and especially genetic counselors who are on the frontlines, seeing patients with their third-party reports, have well-founded concerns about the quality and reliability of results from DTC testing companies and third-party tools alike. This unease is likely exacerbated by the variability in scientific approaches and privacy and security practices across third-party tools.
On the face of it, these tests seem like the perfect stocking stuffer. They’re pegged as a novel, exciting experience, one that might even bring a family closer together by revealing their shared genetic past. But in this humble writer’s opinion, consumer DNA kits are one of the last presents you want to unwrap on Christmas morning. Why? Because they can still be laughingly imprecise, are barely regulated, and most worryingly of all, could expose your identity to people you’d rather not know anything about you.
A company called Helix wants to sort through the pseudoscience in DNA tests, but it has its critics, too.
DNA-testing kit company 23andMe, announced a new partnership with drug giant GlaxoSmithKline (GSK). GSK gets exclusive access to 23andMe’s troves of customer data — which it plans to use to develop a whole host of new drugs — and 23andMe gets a $300 million dollar investment. The company was quick to clarify that 23andMe customers had the option to opt-in or out of sharing their genetic information for research purposes, stating that “As always, customers choose whether or not to participate in research.
YOU COULD SAY that Illumina is to DNA sequencing is what Google is to Internet search, but that would be underselling the San Diego-based biotech company. Illumina’s machines, the best and cheapest on the market, generate 90 percent of all DNA sequence data today. Illumina is, as they say, crushing it.
Experts say many people are using a growing stream of genetic data to help them make better health decisions. But they also warn that some consumers may be led astray by genetic findings that are overblown or irrelevant.
Genetic testing used to be uncommon and ordered only by doctors. They used it mainly to diagnose rare conditions, to find out whether prospective parents are carrying genetic diseases, or to determine whether patients are at risk for diseases in the future.
Laboratories frequently “reclassify” genetic mutations. But there is no reliable system for telling patients or doctors that the results of their genetic tests are no longer valid.
With the rise of direct to consumer (DTC) genetic testing companies, and an explosion of genomic data emerging from individual DNA...
Thanks to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), 23andMe was out of the genetic testing business as of December 2013—not that those genetic tests were all that practical to begin with. Unfortunately for consumers, as of October 2015, they're back in business. But don't be too quick to sign up.
In addition to the ancestry benefits that 23andMe touts, consumers of DNA testing should understand possible medical, legal, and personal risks of getting such testing.
Bringing genetics into medicine leads to more accuracy, better diagnosis, and personalized treatment—but for some, gene testing has only resulted in unanswered questions.
Human DNA has become a valuable research commodity, as drug companies, academic researchers, and governments all mine DNA databases in their search for new treatments and health innovations.
Diets have typically been one size fits all. Now we have science that can get us to a place where we can recommend a personalized eating system. — Denise Morrison, chief executive of Campbell Soup Co., Habit's sole financier.
Years of data on genetic testing reveal that when given the option, most people want less information, not more.
For now, just enjoy your life, because you can’t predict death. And if you decide to unlock the secrets of your DNA with an at-home test, don't take those results for more than their worth.
As comprehensive genetic tests become more widespread, patients and experts mull how to deal with unexpected findings.
After being warned by the U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) in 2013 to “immediately discontinue” their services, 23andMe is back in business. Curious consumers can once again ship off a saliva sample to the Google-backed company to learn about the secrets encoded in their genes.
But what can you really learn about yourself from these tests? And do you even want to know?
The first report from a big public-private project to improve genetic testing reveals it is not as rock solid as many people believe, with flaws that result in some people wrongly advised to worry about a disease risk and others wrongly told they can relax.
Researchers say the study shows the need for consumers to be careful about choosing where to have a gene test done and acting on the results, such as having or forgoing a preventive surgery.
As genome testing expands, people are dealing with the new information in positive and negative ways.
Though consumer genetic testing and personal genome sequencing are still nascent fields, every indication suggests that the public will have a virtually insatiable appetite for genetic data. And as scientists get better at establishing links between DNA and diseases or specific traits, that demand will only increase.
But are we ready for this data?
23andMe, a genetic testing startup that captured the national imagination a decade ago, appears to have fully emerged from the wilderness. The Food and Drug Administration has cleared the startup to market $199 genetic tests that will tell consumers not whether they have a condition like Parkinson's or Alzheimer's, but how likely they might be to get it.
The new health-related information 23andMe will provide is called carrier status. That relates to whether people have genetic mutations that could lead to a disease in their offspring, presuming the other parent has a mutation in the same gene and the child inherits both mutated genes. There will be information on 36 diseases, including cystic fibrosis, sickle cell anemia and Tay-Sachs.
Whether that information, which is of most interest to people planning to have babies, will be compelling is unclear, and there are separate carrier tests available through doctors from other laboratories.
Ms. Wojcicki said 23andMe still hoped to gain F.D.A. approval to provide information on health risks, but she would not estimate how long it might take to win that approval.
Within five years, Wojcicki predicts that many more consumers will have instant access to their own data, tests and on-demand health care wherever they are via their mobile devices.
This website provides an opportunity for those of you who want to share your story including those already using DNA information in your healthcare decisions...
Genes for Good is a research study aimed at generating and analyzing an enormous database of health and genetic information. This research will provide valuable biological insight into the causes of common diseases.
23andMe's mission is to be the world's trusted source of personal genetic information.
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