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Articles on Genetic 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.
New DNA analysis revealed that Calvin Hoover killed Christine Jessop in 1984. Toronto Police Chief James Ramer sits next to a screen displaying photos of Calvin Hoover during a news conference on Oct. 15, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chris Young

Christine Jessop’s killer identified: Solved cold case raises questions about genetic privacy

Christine Jessop was murdered in 1984 and, 36 years later, DNA evidence finally identified her killer. But the police investigation’s use of genetic genealogical databases raised questions about privacy.
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.
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.

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