Geneticists Challenge Personal Genomics Companies’ Results

As I’ve blogged before, the usefulness of the whole-genome scans offered by personal genomics companies is very much subject to debate. It’s not clear just what one is supposed to be able to do with the test results, beyond being fascinated and entertained. But at very least, consumers are bound to expect the tests to be scientifically credible.

Well, the biggest name in genomics has just hurled a bit of a challenge in the direction of 2 personal genomics companies, in that regard.

Here’s the story, from the Genetic Future blog: Scientists call for changes to personal genomics based on comparison of test results

Four scientists – including the omnipresent J. Craig Venter (left) – have penned an opinion piece in the latest issue of Nature based results from five individuals genotyped by two separate personal genomics companies. The article highlights some deficiencies in the way that genetic data are currently used by direct-to-consumer companies to generate risk predictions and to present them to customers.

Here’s the story as reported by the LA Times:Warning: DNA test results may not be as reliable as they appear.

Interestingly, no comment has appeared on 23andMe’s blog or Navigenics’ blog.

On Navigenics Fan Page on Facebook, however, the company has posted links to a couple of news items on this topic…but hasn’t added any comments of its own.

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About Chris MacDonald

I'm a philosopher who teaches at Ryerson University's Ted Rogers School of Management in Toronto, Canada. Most of my scholarly research is on business ethics and healthcare ethics.
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One Response to Geneticists Challenge Personal Genomics Companies’ Results

  1. Pingback: Canada to Gene Testers: Come On In! | Biotech Ethics

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