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Articles on DNA testing

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DNA is a trove of personal information that can be hard to keep track of and protect. Boris Zhitkov/Moment via Getty Images

Genetic paparazzi are right around the corner, and courts aren’t ready to confront the legal quagmire of DNA theft

Both Macron and Madonna have expressed concerns about genetic privacy. As DNA collection and sequencing becomes increasingly commonplace, what may seem paranoid may instead be prescient.
Many researchers are interested in the genetic history of the Khoe-San. Dana Al-Hindi

How a South African community’s request for its genetic data raises questions about ethical and equitable research

The South African Khoe-San communities are no strangers to exploitative research. One research team is trying to provide genetic ancestry results to community members. But they still face many challenges.
Individuals who upload their DNA test results to databases may not have much control over how it’s used. (Shutterstock)

DNA database sold to help law-enforcement crack cold cases

Can the new owner of GEDmatch ,a genealogy database preserve its original purpose while allowing a seamless service to law enforcement?
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.
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.
What are the rules that make a man a father? Slava Potik/Unsplash

Who’s your daddy? Don’t ask a DNA test

Before the advent of genetic testing, definitions of paternity were primarily social and legal. Science has destabilized these older definitions, but it has not replaced them.
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.

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