by Dr. Hsien-Hsien Lei
Posted August 26, 2009 in Books About DNA, DNA Testing, Personalities with DNA
My interview with clinical geneticist and author Dr. Robert Marion continues today with his thoughts on direct-to-consumer genetic tests and genome scans.
In the past couple of years, genetic testing companies like 23andMe have begun offering genome scans to the general public. Have you purchased direct-to-consumer genetic tests such as these? Would you recommend it to anyone even for purely recreational reasons? Why or why not?
The age of personal health through genetic testing is clearly upon us, and this is definitely a good thing. However, genetic information is a powerful tool, and it must be used carefully. In the past, experiences with presymptomatic testing for Huntington disease and BRCA 1 and BRCA2 mutations have made all of us aware of the potential problems related to providing genetic testing without supplying adequate pre- and post-test genetic counseling.
And this is the heart of the problem with direct-to-consumer genetic testing; without careful explanation, without accompanying genetic counseling to explain their meaning, the results are not only meaningless, they can actually be harmful.
Traditionally, this has always been a problem with genetic testing: the technology, our ability to perform the testing, has always run way ahead of our ability to deal with the consequences of that testing, educationally, morally and ethically. If a test is performed, who should have access to the results? Should employers be allowed to see them? Should health and life insurance carriers? And who should pay for these tests? If insurance companies cover the cost, shouldn’t they be allowed to see the results (and make decisions about coverage based on those results)?
Mercifully, the passage of GINA (The Genetic Information Non-Discrimination Act of 2008) has prevented the latter from occurring, but all of this needs to be worked out and rules put in place before testing is provided, not after.
For those of you who have purchased a direct-to-consumer genetic test, PhD candidate Sudeepa Abeysinghe at Australian National University is recruiting research participants. She says:
My research is being conducted completely independently of any testing company. It focuses upon the consumer experience, and I do not ask any potentially sensitive questions about specific genetic results.
The survey can be found on the (secure) Australian National University website at this address: https://apollo.anu.edu.au/default.asp?pid=3937
Please help out if you can!
For more on Dr. Robert Marion and his new book, Genetic Rounds:
- Genetic Rounds by Dr. Robert Marion
- Medical Geneticist Dr. Robert Marion on Writing
- Dr. Robert Marion on Preimplantation Genetic Diagnosis
- Dr. Robert Marion on Complex Genetic Diseases
Dr. Robert Marion on Physician Knowledge of Genetics...
Dr. Robert Marion on Complex Genetic Diseases...
Let’s Talk About Direct-To-Consumer Genetic Testing...
Dr. Robert Marion on Preimplantation Genetic Diagnosis...
Yay or Nay for Genetic Testing?...
Medical Geneticist Dr. Robert Marion on Writing...
Genetic Rounds by Dr. Robert Marion...
No comments yet.
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
- How To Determine Paternity Without A DNA Test
- 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
- 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
- Science With Me!
- The Minnesota Gene Pool
- The Daily Transcript
- Scared to Health
- Professor Olsen @Large
- AIDS Combat Zone
- World Science
- Evolution Minute