Friday, July 03, 2015

Geneticists do not want you to know your DNA

Here are some geneticists who do not really believe in genetics. NPR radio reports:
You can now order genetic tests off the Internet and get your child's genome sequenced for less than the cost of a new car. The question is, should you?

Almost certainly not, according to the American Society for Human Genetics, which released a position paper Thursday intended to give parents some help navigating the dizzying world of genetic tests.

"This is something that we don't think is ready for prime time for kids," says Dr. Jeffrey Botkin, a professor of pediatrics at the University of Utah and lead author of the paper.
Here is the abstract, and statement. The full article is behind a paywall, and the web site is full of broken links anyway.

What I get out of this is that the experts are afraid that they will lose control of the genetic testing process, if healthy people just go get whole genome sequencing by themselves.

I do not see how knowledge of your own health data can be unethical.

People get spooked by genetic info, and these geneticists are not helping. They want to create a mystique about this info being dangerous.

The DNA technology is such that there is no need to get repeated DNA tests in response to potential health questions. You can just get the sequence data at birth, and evaluate portions of it as needed. Even if Chinese hackers steal your data and post it on the web, it is unlikely that you will be damaged, unless you are a wanted rapist or something like that.

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