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Articles on DNA

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Almost every genetic database shares information with the pharmaceutical industry but it wasn’t until law enforcement started using the databases that consumers took note. (Unsplash)

Home genealogy kit sales plummet over data privacy concerns

Privacy concerns that emerged since law enforcement started mining the databases have put such a serious dent in the business that both Ancestry.com and 23andMe have reduced employees significantly.
Epigenetic clocks are a fascinating new technology, but some potential applications are controversial. (Pixabay/Stefan Keller)

New DNA test that reveals a child’s true age has promise, but ethical pitfalls

Pediatric epigenetic clocks have the potential to accurately assess biological age. However, possible applications in law enforcement and immigration raise ethical issues.
Direct-to-consumer genetic tests are not an accurate source of health information. Users should also consider the future privacy implications of sharing their genetic data. (Shutterstock)

DNA tests make fun holiday gifts, but beware of the hype

DNA testing kits will be a popular gift this holiday season. Before mailing off your saliva, it’s important to understand what these kits can and cannot tell us.
At a molecular level, stresses and strains can make your body clock break into a sprint. Lightspring/Shutterstock

Tick, tock… how stress speeds up your chromosomes’ ageing clock

Emerging evidence suggests that prolonged stress exposure can accelerate the ticking rate of an internal cellular clock. By doing so, stress can contribute to faster ageing and body deterioration.
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.

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