Articles on Genetic testing

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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.
DNA database giant Ancestry lets members access international records including the convict and free settler lists, passenger lists, Australian and New Zealand electoral rolls and military records. Patrick Alexander/Flickr

If you’ve given your DNA to a DNA database, US police may now have access to it

A US judge has allowed police access to the major DNA database without users' consent (including Australian users). It's a timely reminder that we urgently need genetic privacy legislation.
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.
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.

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