by Dr. Hsien-Hsien Lei
Posted February 13, 2008 in DNA Podcasts and Videos, DNA Testing
Yesterday, Robert Bazell of NBC Nightly News continued the series, The Truth About DNA, with The downside of DNA testing (video below). I admire their willingness to tackle such a timely topic but with segments of less than three minutes, not much can be explored. The general gist of the genetic testing videos is negative with a focus on Myriad’s BRACAnalysis genetic test for breast and ovarian cancer risk. Of course, it’s safer to recommend we all stay away from the scary unknowns of genetic testing but I firmly believe that educated consumers should be allowed to make their own decisions without the controlling arm of babysitters.
In the above video which was aired, Hank Greely of Stanford Law School says he’s “scared of what’s going on in the genetic testing marketplace.” Bazell follows up with a blog post saying, “There is a frightening lack of government regulations.”
Are they easily scared? Or is there merit to their fear?
I think it’s a bit of both. When it comes to our DNA, any sane person would feel some trepidation especially if they’ve got an overactive imagination like me. It seems we have two choices:
- Get a glimpse of what might be in store for our future health.
- Cross that bridge when we get to it.
I’d guess most of us fall into the second category and there’s nothing wrong with that! Life is far from certain especially when it comes to the predictive power of genetic testing. I may test positive for a cancer gene and get run over by a bus tomorrow. Would it matter then?
Yale genetic counselor Ellen Matloff believes it would because of the impact genetic testing results have on extended family. Here’s her golden quote:
The genetic test you have is only as good as the interpretation.
Matloff recommends that people undergoing genetic testing send a letter to their family members inviting them to an open discussion of the results. Here’s a sample letter you could use courtesy of me:
Dear Mom and Dad,
I bought a $1,000 DNA test last month. It wasn’t painful at all. Although when I saw that I might have inherited the gene for short temper, I wanted to put a fist through the wall. So I guess I was right to blame you for everything. Let me know if you want to talk about our DNA some more.
More videos below the jump.
The following video explains how genetic testing works (but really doesn’t say much of anything).
The next video is a guide to genetic tests featuring genetic counselor Ellen Matloff .
DNA Video: The Truth About DNA on NBC Nightly News...
Eye on DNA Headlines for 22 February 2008...
DNA Video: Sequenom Prenatal Genetic Testing...
Knowledge about Genetic Risk is Power or is it Fear?...
Forbes DNA Special Feature...
Yay or Nay for Genetic Testing?...
DNA Video: Human Genome Project...
Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.
Search Eye on DNA
- Genetic Genealogy on Faces of America
- DNA Network Tweet Cloud
- Genetics = Real Science
- Larry David’s DNA Test
- Lopez Tonight First Late-Night Show to Offer DNA Testing
- American Genes Don’t Exist
- Knowledge about Genetic Risk is Power or is it Fear?
- Murderer Gets Reduced Sentence Because His Genes Made Him Do It
- Video: Knome’s Ari Kiirikki Speaks with Medgadget
- DNA Toys: Ben 10 and Digimon Digivice
- 100 Facts About DNA
- Salaries for Jobs in Genetics
- Fetal Gender DNA Tests Answer Common Pregnancy Question...Or Not
- What does DNA mean to you?
- Eye on DNA Interview: Dr. Tzung-Fu Hsieh of RedTracer DNA Test for the Red Hair Gene, MC1R
- How To Determine Paternity Without A DNA Test
- Books About DNA: The Crime of Reason by Robert B. Laughlin
- Genetically Modified Organisms Bring in the Cash
- Navigenics Introduces Physician Portal and Annual Insight Service
- People Who’ve Had Their Genomes Sequenced
09/29/2009 07:03 am
- Larry David’s DNA Test
11/17/2009 02:52 am
- 23andMe DNA Tests for $399, Down From $999
09/10/2008 04:33 am
- Crazy Genetic Marketing Ideas
07/05/2008 09:14 pm
- Parenting Children Using Genetic Tests
05/18/2009 02:09 am
- Business of DNA
- DNA @ Google Answers
- DNA and Disease
- DNA and Genealogy
- DNA and the Law
- DNA Around the World
- DNA Fun
- DNA in General
- DNA Inventions and Gadgets
- DNA Lab Talk
- DNA Podcasts and Videos
- DNA Quotes and Excerpts
- DNA Testing
- Gene Therapy
- Genetic Engineering
- Genetically Modified Foods and Organisms
- Jobs Involving DNA
- Personalities with DNA
- Polls About DNA
- January 2010
- November 2009
- October 2009
- September 2009
- August 2009
- July 2009
- June 2009
- March 2009
- February 2009
- January 2009
- December 2008
- November 2008
- October 2008
- September 2008
- August 2008
- July 2008
- June 2008
- May 2008
- April 2008
- March 2008
- February 2008
- January 2008
- December 2007
- November 2007
- October 2007
- September 2007
- August 2007
- July 2007
- June 2007
- May 2007
- April 2007
- Adult ADD Strengths
- Free Association
- Flags and Lollipops
- Effect Measure
- Omics! Omics!
- AIDS Combat Zone