Genetics is influencing more and more of our decisions, but we can't make the right choices if we don't understand it.
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.
Genetic testing for breast cancer gene mutations is now available. But it could lead to over treatment.
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.
DNA testing has its risks, including that you don’t know who will own your genetic data.
Photo by Markus Spiske on Unsplash
Online genetic testing promises many things. Some are the stuff of fantasy, while others, even if scientifically feasible, still carry risks. Consider these five things before ordering a test.
Responsiveness to lithium – the gold standard of bipolar treatment – runs in families.
Researchers are developing gene-based tests to better predict who will respond to different types of medication, and which to avoid.
More knowledge about your genetic makeup enables you to make better-informed choices – but at what cost?
It's exciting to think we're on the brink of a genomic revolution in health care. But just because new technology becomes available, it doesn't mean it should automatically be publicly funded.
In 2030, some diseases are defined more specifically than in the past with a focus on their molecular makeup. This is known as precision medicine.
In 2030, there is a boom in precision medicine, where diseases – from cancer to dementia – are defined and targeted more specifically with a focus on their molecular makeup.
Genetic data is used to perform statistical analyses of disease associations.
DNA marketplaces powered by the blockchain and new cryptocurrency tokens promise to let you profit from your own genome.
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.
Is it in his genes?
New research offers insight into a thorny issue.
If we could test the genome of all Australians we could better target preventive health campaigns.
If you could take a test that would reveal the diseases you and your family might be more likely to get, would you want to do it?
Canadians are overwhelmingly opposed to insurance companies having access to their genetic test results. A new Canadian law prevents insurers from using genetic information to determine coverage or pricing.
Canadian insurance companies argue that a new law denying them access to genetic test results will raise the cost of insurance for everyone. That's doubtful.
Australia has a lack of regulation to prevent discrimination by life insurance companies based on genetic test results.
Life insurance applicants must disclose genetic test results if required by the insurer. While other countries have protected consumers from this, there is no such regulation in Australia.
Most people will be much better off putting the money spent on a genetic test towards a gym membership, or a pair of trainers.
Couples thinking about kids can be screened for genes that may cause disease in their offspring.
Redd Angelo, Unsplash
Most of us will be carriers of recessive genes that cause disease. If our partner carries the same gene we could pass it on to our kids. Testing exists, but what are the pros and cons?
If you were destined for dementia in your 60s, but there was nothing you could do about it, would you want to know?
A test of all your genes for disease risk is not yet the precision diagnostic and treatment tool we hope it will one day be.
Digitized strand of DNA.
Genetic testing is revealing important information about disease risks, and consumers can now pay for a test to know their risk. They might be better off if their doctors considered these risks, too.
Providing a sample for a genetic test might not actually give you the health answers you’re looking for.
Canadian Blood Services/flickr
Testing some genes for Alzheimer's disease, coeliac disease and folate conversion does not lead to improved health outcomes, and may create anxiety or false hope amongst patients.
There are some things we can’t protect our children from.
Dozens of factors are at play.
Not everyone’s choice of scarf.
Why can we choose some things and not others?