Cheap DNA testing sites: You are the product

Genetic testing appears to be an evolution in the “when the product is surprisingly cheap, you are the product” ethos: You are very much the product of commercial genetic testing companies while footing the bill, as reported by the authors of a 2014 article in The New England Journal of Medicine.

“23andMe has … suggested that its longer-range goal is to collect a massive biobank of genetic information that can be used and sold for medical research and could also lead to patentable discoveries,” wrote George J. Annas, a legal scholar at Boston University School of Public Health, and Dr. Sherman Elias of the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology at Feinberg School of Medicine at Northwestern University.

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I’ve seen the line regarding 23andMe before, but I’ve so far failed to find the supporting quote they refer to.

At any rate, I don’t think people will really stop doing tests like these ever, or at least until people have a more personal reason to safeguard their own genetic material.

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According to this article, the site used wasn’t identified.

Authorities zeroed in on DeAngelo after determining one of his relatives whose genetic information was on the site was a familial match for the DNA from the crime scene.

They then set up surveillance at DeAngelo’s home in Citrus Heights, Calif., just outside Sacramento and collected two “discarded DNA samples” from him. One didn’t contain enough DNA but the other tied him to the DNA evidence.

Authorities did not identify the DNA websites that were used.

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