Personal DNA Test

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January 24, 2014:
Companies like 23andme are retooling their advertising after FTC scrutiny. Test kits now available in drugstores

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Testing Factors:

After Angelina Jolie's widely publicized double mastectomy, there has been a spate of warnings from scientists that just because you have an increased risk of exposure that does not mean you are going to get cancers, so removing body parts should be a rare consideration.

Personalized DNA Testing Kits Become Widely Available

For sale online, in drugstores, and everywhere soon

Personal DNA TestPersonal genetic testing kits are becoming available in drugstores online. While the basic test only costs a few dollars, more complex analysis can run into the hundreds of dollars to get information on different factors that may be present in your genetic profile.

Ancestry testing has become a fun new sport among the elite, and you can even find out where your family comes from or what genotypes you possess. A recent Jeopardy! contestant revealed that she was 3% Neanderthal, and not by hitting Alex Trebek with a club after spearing him with an Atlatl.

How does the test work? Also called a "spit kit," you swab saliva from your cheek and send the kit back to a lab. After that, your DNA sample is analyzed and you get a report for ancestry and risk factors for diseases like Alzheimers. Currently, the only seller of over the counter tests to drugstores is Pathway Genomics, but in the future other genetics labs may start offering genetics test kits for sale to consumers. Other internet sites already offer DNA paternity and ancestry testing, but the genomics tests are seen as potenital tools for understanding whether you may be susceptible to certain conditions including alcoholism.

Notes and Special Information

Special note: Some medical professionals caution that a personal genetic test kit may not give you enough information, or may be impersonal. A personal analysis of your genetic profile and disease risk factors can be stressful without the proper information from a trained professional.