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

Updated on May 28, 2016
Patty Inglish, MS profile image

Ms. Inglish has 30 years experience in medicine, psychology, STEM instruction, history, and aerospace education for USAF Civil Air Patrol.

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 MS

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