Articles on Genetic testing

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Polygenic risk scores currently account for only a small proportion of your total genetic risk. Shutterstock

Genetic risk tests are now widely available, but they aren’t always useful – and could even be harmful

Most common chronic diseases are the outcome of complex interactions between genetic, environmental and social risk factors, so a genetic risk score, on its own, isn't much help.
Every child born in the U.S. has a blood sample taken to screen for genetic diseases. Helen Sushitskaya/Shutterstock.com

Sequencing the genome of newborns in the US: Are we ready?

What happens when babies are born critically ill and the doctors have no idea what is wrong? Some argue that a controversial tool called whole genome sequencing may help find the cause.
Does a good marriage depend on having the right genes? Tiffany Bryant/Shutterstock.com

How your genes could affect the quality of your marriage

Will your marriage be better if you and your partner are genetically compatible? Is there any evidence that certain genes make someone a better or worse partner? And if so, which genes should we test?
Genetic information is relevant not only for an individual, but also their blood relatives, because it’s often hereditary. Joshua Reddekopp/Unsplash

Can (and should) a doctor tell my biological relative my genetic results without my consent?

Because genetic changes that cause cause health complications can be hereditary, the information affects not only the person with the mutation but also their biological relatives.
He Jiankui, a Chinese researcher, speaks during the Human Genome Editing Conference in Hong Kong, Nov. 28, 2018. He made his first public comments about his claim of making the world’s first gene-edited babies. AP Photo/Kin Cheung

How a scientist says he made a gene-edited baby – and what health worries may ensue

Chinese researcher He Jiankui told a spellbound audience how he created gene-edited babies. With a couple of revealing slides, we can see what he did and speculate what health problems might ensue.
Genetic testing is available to people who want to know if they carry a variant of a gene that confers susceptibility for Alzheimer’s. But knowing whether to get tested is hard. Billion Photos/Shutterstock.com

Genetic testing: Should I get tested for Alzheimer’s risk?

Alzheimer's is not only the third leading cause of death in the U.S. but also the most dreaded diagnosis. Genetic testing can help determine susceptibility, but knowing whether to test isn't easy.
Genetic ancestry testing might all seem like harmless fun, but there is a downside. (Shutterstock)

Genetic ancestry tests don’t change your identity, but you might

The results of genetic ancestry tests are grossly over-simplified. A new study shows the tests reinforce what you want to believe rather than offering objective, scientific proof of who you are.
Genetic testing for breast cancer gene mutations is now available. But it could lead to over treatment. Fotos593/Shutterstock.com

As genetic testing for breast cancer gene mutation expands, questions arise about treatment decisions

A genetics testing company recently won approval from the FDA to market a test that can identify a breast cancer gene mutation. But what are women supposed to do with that information? There's risk involved.

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