Genetics is influencing more and more of our decisions, but we can't make the right choices if we don't understand it.
By In The Light Photography/shutterstock.com
We now have the capacity to quickly and cheaply sequence an individual's genome and scour it for disease-causing genes. But how much, and what type, of information does a parent-to-be want to know?
Users may want to know more than what’s in a basic report from a genetic testing company.
Data and privacy issues are tangled up in the DNA reports consumers get from big genetic testing companies – and the third-party sites they turn to in order to glean more from their raw DNA.
It all begins with spitting in a tube like this one.
Scott Beale/Laughing Squid
More people are sending off saliva samples to find out about their genetic roots. But the raw DNA results go way beyond genealogical data – and could deliver unintended consequences.
A scientist works with DNA samples in a New Orleans laboratory in 2011.
(AP Photo/Gerald Herbert)
The rapid growth of genetic testing and data-gathering could revolutionize health and medicine if governments work to protect people against privacy and societal risks.
Listening to audio derived from DNA may help scientists better understand how cell biology works.
Converting a DNA sequence into an audio could help us learn something useful about it, like where mutations occur.
The most important lesson? Always read the small print.
Men can deny paternity in when women they are involved with fall pregnant as a way of punishing the women.
When men deny the paternity of children, many South African women feel like they have no recourse. Making DNA tests affordable and accessible could change this.
Rapid changes in technology are transforming the contributions ordinary citizens can make to scientific research.
This is science, not clairvoyance.
fingerprint by Torsak Thammachote/www.shutterstock.com
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