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Getting Hip, Getting Tested

I must admit I was jealous that Craig Venter donated his own DNA to Celera's sequencing project; his sense of self has reached the molecular level. So, I was thrilled recently to see direct-to-consumer genetic testing on the Internet.Don't misunderstand; I'm not advocating that we should get an APOE test [for Alzheimer disease] at the mall in between buying shoes and downing a Frappucino. There's serious genetic testing, for metabolic syndromes, and familial breast cancer, for example. And then

Mignon Fogarty
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I must admit I was jealous that Craig Venter donated his own DNA to Celera's sequencing project; his sense of self has reached the molecular level. So, I was thrilled recently to see direct-to-consumer genetic testing on the Internet.

Don't misunderstand; I'm not advocating that we should get an APOE test [for Alzheimer disease] at the mall in between buying shoes and downing a Frappucino. There's serious genetic testing, for metabolic syndromes, and familial breast cancer, for example. And then there's plain, fun, genetic testing. Innocuous, frivolous, only moderately revealing, genetic testing, such as the nutritional genetic profiling advertised lately online, and mentioned in Self magazine as the "new DNA diet." Ugh.

You know a technology has hit the mainstream when people start using it for amusement. Remember when cell phones made sense for only physicians and realtors? Genetic testing had this aura; until very recently only serious tests were...

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