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NYT Article on Genetic Testing

dannybex

Senior Member
Messages
3,555
Location
Seattle
Why dont people just look into their family medical history. Sounds more accurate.
Certainly would save some money. :)

The thing is that so many many factors may account for various diseases and illnesses…diet, environmental exposures, sudden traumas, prolonged high stress levels.

In my family for example, we ate (like millions of Americans) margarine instead of butter, for probably 25 years, yet my grandparents probably used butter or lard instead.

I guess that's kind of part of the point of the article, that there's so much more to the picture than genetic snps.???
 

barbc56

Senior Member
Messages
3,657
I like this quote-

“Imagine if you took a book and you only looked at the first letter of every other page,” said Dr. Robert Klitzman, a bioethicist and professor of clinical psychiatry at Columbia. (I am a graduate student there in his Master of Bioethics program.) “You’re missing 99.9 percent of the letters that make the genome. The information is going to be limited
 

IreneF

Senior Member
Messages
1,552
Location
San Francisco
Why dont people just look into their family medical history. Sounds more accurate.

Some of us don't know much about our family's medical history. Only a few decades ago, cancer was not mentioned; mental illness is still stigmatized. Some ancestors died of accidents or infections before a genetic condition could become apparent. Medical history is not clear-cut.
 

acer2000

Senior Member
Messages
818
I read this article and I thought it made some good points. Nowhere in the article did they discuss the actual accuracy of the testing - even though they seem to claim that this is what is in question. (i.e. whether the tests record the raw data about the SNPs correctly). That to me would be a far worse problem.

They, instead, focus a lot on the inconsistency of the interpretation. I think that we can all agree that with a few notable exceptions, the science about which SNPs correlate with what illness (or not) is in its infancy. Things are liable to change as time goes on and interpretations will be updated. I always thought everyone took those "reports" with a grain of salt. But I guess maybe not.

For me, the value is in having the raw data. As time goes on, the science will progress and the ability to interpret the data will improve.

I do agree though, that they might as well just sequence the whole thing.
 
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