Tuesday, December 31, 2013

DNA

I Had My DNA Picture Taken, With Varying Results

Ozier Muhammad/The New York Times
Kira Peikoff, 28, had her DNA tested by three direct-to-consumer companies, and the results didn't agree.

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I like to plan ahead; that much I knew about myself before I plunged into exploring my genetic code. I’m a healthy 28-year-old woman, but some nasty diseases run in my family: coronary heart disease,rheumatoid arthritisAlzheimer’s and breast cancer.
Pathway found that Kira Peikoff had an average genetic risk of psoriasis, top, while 23andMe assessed it as higher than average, and Genetic Testing Laboratories as low.

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So I decided to read the tea leaves of my DNA. I reasoned that it was worth learning painful information if it might help me avert future illness.
Like others, I turned to genetic testing, but I wondered if I could trust the nascent field to give me reliable results. In recent years, a handful of studies have found substantial variations in the risks for common diseases predicted by direct-to-consumer companies.
I set out to test the tests: Could three of them agree on me?
The answers were eye-opening — and I received them just as one of the companies, 23andMe, received a stern warning from the Food and Drug Administration over concerns about the accuracy of its product. At a time when the future of such companies hangs in the balance, their ability to deliver standardized results remains dubious, with far-reaching implications for consumers./.../

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