A $99 At-Home DNA Test Kit For Genealogy, Health Risks, Lovers and Dog Breeding

Have you thought about designing a dog or a human being?

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Human Genome Tracking

Home testing kits for DNA analysis of several kinds are available on the market as of 2013.These its are highly advertised and becoming more popular with tie ad the growing trend toward manipulating genes for better health. Some opinions exist that entire human beings can be designed to order before conception. While science fiction stories explore that possibility, medical science is approaching that reality.

Home-use DNA kits began as integral parts of large human genome research projects like the Human Genome Project (1990 - 2003); and the National Geographic Human Migration Project in partnership with the Smithsonian Institution and IBM. These efforts advanced to at-home paternity tests.

DNA test kits have since advanced in sophistication and applications to a point at which individuals at home may use them to trace their heredity for genealogical and health considerations. In addition, other uses and applications have been devised for DNA test kits.

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Controversy About Commercialization of DNA Testing

People such as medical scientists, other physicians, bio-ethicists, biomedical engineers, and geneticists feel a danger inherent to the use of DNA home test kits.

It is possible that test kit users will become confused and panicked over the results of the tests. The may feel overwhelmed by information and rush to make permanent decisions about their bodies. For example, a woman at risk for breast cancer may rush to have a double mastectomy to avoid contracting cancer. However, she could contract another type of cancer - ovarian, cervical, or other types. Potential parents may decide never to conceive children in reaction to negative results in the DNA results, when this would not be necessary.

n addition, people finding no health risks in a DNA test kit results log may begin to ignore vital health maintenance activities such as regular medical checkups, proper nutrition, regular exercise, moderation in drinking alcohol, avoidance of smoking, etc. In fact, one new test can predict whether a person might live to the age of 100 years. With positive results from this test, the individual might feel that he or she need take no care of health at all.

Directions for use of the DNA test kits on the market must be clear and easily understandable, with instructions for accurate interpretation. These must include advice such as a disclaimer to see one's physician to discuss the results and to seek further testing for problem physical conditions and illnesses.

Eugenics

The price of DNA testing materials has decreased in the 2010s and couples can save money on the selection of lovers based on genetic compatibility.This seems lie the foundation for additional science fiction stories!

Whether this is a wise choice of action remains to be seen. Dovetailed with this option is the choice to genetically test an infant in the womb and to choose abortion if the genetic makeup of the unborn child is physically defective or not to the liking of the parents. Such is the threshold of eugenics in the Western world and probably in nations to the east, such as China.

To many people, this trend is a frightening prospect out of horror and sci-fi literature - not only does the world produce Genetically Modified Foods currently, but also may soon be able to produce Genetically Modified Humans. Top this trend off with the production of household and factory robots and the more advanced android ala Arthur C. Clarke's Bicentennial Man, and people become fearful of or entranced with such ideas.

It is felt in the UK that the National Health Service will include DNA testing for compatibility and fetus genetics in the soon upcoming decades. At the same time, Philippa Taylor, of the Christian Medical Fellowship is quoted in England thusly:

“Our society’s increasing obsession with celebrity status, physical perfection and high intelligence fuels the view that the lives of people with disabilities or genetic diseases are somehow less worth living. We must recognise and resist the eugenic mind set. Our priorities should be to develop treatments and supportive measures for those with genetic disease; not to search them out.”

-- Retrieved from the Daily Telegraph telegraph.co.uk/science/science-news/9396836/Euroscience-Open-Forum-2012-DNA-gene-testing-will-screen-out-lovers.htmlon January 5, 2013.

User Testimonty - Surprises In DNA Results

Costs Decreasing Dramatically

Costs for a full human genome map for one individual amounted to $1,000,000,000 (US Dollars) around the year 2000. However, the price dropped to $4,000US by the end of 2012 in the United Kingdom. That is a tremendous decrease in price in just a dozen years.

It is estimated that by 2017 or 2022, persons may be able to easily afford such an individualized genome map of themselves. Plans are afoot to make genome mapping part of the reoutine services of the UK's National Health Service as well.

Impact For the Future

The best uses of DNA testing, whether in at-home kits or in-office tests, probably involve disease prevention and control rather than eugenics for producing designer babies and dogs.

An additional benefit is DNA testing to determine whether very expensive or less frequently manufactured drugs will actually help patients, such as individual cancer patients.

This type of test can help ensure individual treatment plans that work without wasting resources and time on treatments that do not.

  • The 23andMe home DNA test was named the Time Magazine 2008 Invention of the Year. See: The Retail DNA Test - Best Inventions of 2008 - TIME.
  • Sergey Brin of Google is at high risk for Parkinson's disease, which led his wife Anne into co-founding 23andMe in California, operationlal since 2007. The "23" refers to the human total of 23 chromosomes.

23andMe Genetic Testing - 2010

© 2013 Patty Inglish

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Comments 19 comments

Saloca profile image

Saloca 3 years ago from Liverpool, UK

I can't imagine going to the store and buying a DNA testing kit - imagine if it messed up and gave me disastrous results? I'd feel like a guest on Jerry Springer lol! Interesting hub!


Patty Inglish, MS profile image

Patty Inglish, MS 3 years ago from North America Author

That's funny and sad at once - Jerry Springer! I'd like to see all the results amd aftermath in five years.


Ericdierker profile image

Ericdierker 3 years ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

Where once we gazed at the stars in awe and wonder, now through magical telescopes and cameras, we are no less in awe, just better informed. Without my reading glasses all letters may appear the same, with them on I can see the difference and read thoughts and ideas.

It is never a bad thing to see more clearly. But when we do we must also look more closely.


Maren Morgan M-T profile image

Maren Morgan M-T 3 years ago from Pennsylvania

Patty - funny and inttriguing title! Regarding increase in abortions --- it is possible that learning about one's fetus and its characteristics will just better prepare the health team and the family for how to care for it, rather than to accept nothing less than perfect. Both my boys had minor birth defects. A "warning" about them could have helped us plan and prepare.


Curiad profile image

Curiad 3 years ago from Lake Charles, LA.

This is interesting and provokes many questions. Is man's understanding up to the level of the information that could be revealed?

Mark


Patty Inglish, MS profile image

Patty Inglish, MS 3 years ago from North America Author

I've just read about the field of genetic psychology opening new jobs in preparation for assisting larger numbers of people attempting to act on DNA results. Whether these positions will be useful to people renmans to be seen, but I hope that they are useful.

DNA results may be "too much information" for some individuals to digest, but I hope that they are as accurate as can be produced and few mistakes occur. Looking more closely may temporarily blind some people, but I think DNA testing can be very useful in staving off the onslaught of some diseases - especially if injectible DNA splicing can be used in light of these findings for a cure "before it happens." How grand that will be!

I don't think we can understand the complete information of any genome - since 2003, when we thought the human genome completed, at least 100 missing pieces have beem discovered already.

Thank you all for commenting!.


tillsontitan profile image

tillsontitan 3 years ago from New York

While these test kits can be a guide and can be helpful, we can only hope society does not continue to abuse the new privilge. Remember, Hitler wanted a 'pure and noble Arian race'....whether in the womb or out, murdering someone because of an infirmity is just wrong!

Einstein's head was "too large" for his body when he was born, diagnosed as "benign macrocephaly". What if his mother had aborted this "abnormal" child.

God gives us choice but not to take His powers into our own hands. We need to be very careful where we go with our knowledge. Using it for the advancement of healthcare or paternity testing can lead to things that help everyone. Too much information in the wrong hands is certainly dangerous.

Voted up, useful, and interesting.


Patty Inglish, MS profile image

Patty Inglish, MS 3 years ago from North America Author

It is as you say, tillsontitan; I suspect that increased numbers of abortions or gene splicing to the point that the embryo dies will occur, but I hope these things do not happen. Thanks for your post!


ImKarn23 profile image

ImKarn23 3 years ago

Wow...it's almost beyond belief how far we've come - assuming coming thus far is beneficial to society..

i don't know about genetic testing other than in life or death situations..

one out of 3 women is 'at risk' for breast cancer - that doesn't mean she'll get it and even if she does there are sooo many minimally invasive treatments if caught early. And..i assume those who ARE are risk - will catch it earlier than others...

great research and information!

up and sharing..


fpherj48 profile image

fpherj48 3 years ago from Beautiful Upstate New York

Patty...When I read hubs that inform us of such amazing, almost magical scientific.advances, that have been made available to the general public.....that we can use AT HOME, nonetheless.....I am ever more reminded that I have lived beyond any point I ever expected! Simply, had the possibility of the topic of your hub, been discussed, even 8 years ago.....we'd think it a Sci-Fi Fantasy!!

You see, had I done this 44 years ago....with my family medical history....I KNOW I'd have chosen to remain childless, due to fear and having to live with future "guilt."

Thus.....I'd have missed the most outrageously wonderful experience of my entire life.....and the world would be without 4 extraordinary individuals..........I have more in mind on this subject, but this is enough, I think.

Your work is always superb...UP+++


Patty Inglish, MS profile image

Patty Inglish, MS 3 years ago from North America Author

ImKarn23 - I surely hopoe these things will be used only for good; and, if we can elminate cancer that accomplishment will be wonderful!

fpherj48 - Exactly so; you could have chosen not to bring those incredible livess into being - that's rather frightening. Andn speking of Sci-Fi --- I'm still agog with my cell phone and my new tablet. lol :)


Mr Deltoid 1966 profile image

Mr Deltoid 1966 3 years ago from New Jersey

I see a commercial for these kits being done by Josh Gates from Destination Truth, how easy they are to use in the middle of nowhere, when you are searching for The Madagascar Monkey Man. And you found a strange clump of hair but you don't want to fly back to California to test it.


Patty Inglish, MS profile image

Patty Inglish, MS 3 years ago from North America Author

That's an interesting thought, DNA testing "to go."


haikutwinkle profile image

haikutwinkle 3 years ago

On the dark side, people with less admirable DNA test results would be blacklisted or excluded from the list of potential mates. When there is a standard for things, there is also a place where unwanted things were thrown away.


Patty Inglish, MS profile image

Patty Inglish, MS 3 years ago from North America Author

I think that's correct. Where will the throwaways go? - of course, we already have such unchosen people that would desire a mate. Sad and lonely, perhaps they become aggressive and lash out as well.


Glenn Stok profile image

Glenn Stok 8 months ago from Long Island, NY

I've been reading a lot lately about these genetic testing kits. It seems we give them more information than they provide to us. It's obvious that they are still in the process of compiling a database of human genome. Even that video you included in this hub says that the results report looks more like a horoscope reading. I think I'll wait before considering doing one of these.


Patty Inglish, MS profile image

Patty Inglish, MS 8 months ago from North America Author

The tests are useful to some consumers, but I have no intention of using them or of submitting to DNA tests advertised for genealogy. All these comprise another mode for collecting DNA for some sort of public and private database(s), as are all the human experiments at our local university medical department that are open students and the public. Students required to let universities use DNA in the future may not care about that DNA when they need the $3,000 paid for participation, but I bet they will later.


Glenn Stok profile image

Glenn Stok 8 months ago from Long Island, NY

Patty, yes you are so right about what you said in your last comment. Those students lose their privacy and the results of their DNA can negatively affect the ability to get health insurance later in life.


Patty Inglish, MS profile image

Patty Inglish, MS 7 months ago from North America Author

@Glenn Stok - Thanks very much for your comments here!

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