Articles on Direct-to-consumer DNA testing

Displaying all articles

No, a DNA swab can’t tell you if you’re gay, or likely to be obese, or depressed. And it can be damaging to believe so. Shutterstock

‘Gay gene’ testing apps aren’t just misleading – they’re dangerous

Genetic apps claim to reveal fundamental insights about your health, well-being, and even intellect. But it's not just spurious science - believing these traits are genetic can have harmful consequences.
More than 200 gene variants have been linked to outstanding sporting performance and this number could increase as we continue to research the link between genetics and athlete performance. Lukas Coch/AAP

Will the genetic screening of athletes change sport as we know it?

Genetic testing could help us build targeted and effective training routines for athletes, but the emerging science could also introduce opportunity for discrimination in the sporting world.
A telomere age test kit from Telomere Diagnostics Inc. and saliva. collection kit from 23andMe. Anna Hoychuk/Shutterstock.com

DNA testing companies offer telomere testing – but what does it tell you about aging and disease risk?

Genetic testing companies are offering tests that analyze the ends of your chromosomes – telomeres – to gauge your health and your real age. But is there scientific evidence to support such tests?
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.
We’ve underestimated the extent of mixing between ancestral groups throughout human history. from www.shutterstock.com

How DNA ancestry testing can change our ideas of who we are

Estimating our ancestry is hard – because our backgrounds are much more mixed up than we thought. So don't take your DNA ancestry test results literally: they're just a prediction.
A woman uses a lancet on her finger to check her blood sugar level with a glucose meter. Behopeful/Shutterstock.com

Can a genetic test predict if you will develop Type 2 diabetes?

Direct-to-consumer genetic testing company 23andMe is now offering a new 'polygenic risk score' that reveals your risk of developing Type 2 diabetes. Does it work? Are our family physicians ready?
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.

Top contributors

More