For just $399, you can discover your “digital manifestation” as revealed by your genes. With a very small amount involved, 23andMe offers a unique and highly advanced way of estimating your tendency to possess or develop more than 90 notable traits and conditions that are common and prevalent among the human population.
A Pioneer at Accessible and Cost-Effective DNA Testing
23andMe is a company that offers DNA testing to the public. Although there are already many companies that offer DNA testing, 23andME proves to be one that offers the most accessible and cost-effective service.
The Retail DNA test offered by 23andMe comes in the form of a saliva test that carefully matches the 600,000 genetic markers for every genetic explorer. Without a doubt, this retail test has changed the common misconception that only the elite and the rich can access their genetic prints and interpret their genotype. With 23andMe, anyone can gain access to his genotype “profile” just by placing an order via the internet and sending in a spit sample.
Some Issues on Genetic Privacy and Personal Genotyping
Although it cannot be denied that the retail DNA testing of 23andMe is a success, its feat has opened many doors for issues and concerns regarding genetic testing, genetic privacy, and discrimination.
An unfaltering issue that should be dealt with is the fact that personal genotyping can lead to discrimination. If people can get their digital manifestation, then why can’t they use them for purposes that serve their benefit? Imagine, your partner might ask you for your genetic profile analysis before he decides to propose and marry you.
Employers may require their applicants to submit their digital manifestation before hiring and people might lose their jobs just because of the fact that there is an estimated 30% chance that they will be developing some disease that might prove to reduce their productivity in the near future. Moreover, genotyping might lead to the birth of a whole new form and level of discrimination.
In an attempt to alter and prevent the possible rise of genetic discrimination, some state governments have already tried to block DNA testing. This included California and New York. In addition to the efforts exerted by the states, President George W. Bush expresses his concerns over genotyping as he signed a bill that makes genetic discrimination illegal for insurers and employers.
In addition to issues of genetic discrimination, 23andMe faces questions of flaw probabilities. Many genetic researchers note that although the technology and methodology used for genetic testing have improved significantly, the present method for genetic testing are still considered “flawed” and the chances of error are still high.
According to Dr. Muin Khoury, director of the National Office of Public Health Genomics at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, “the uncertainty” that DNA poses is still considerably significant and such should not be disregarded.
Dr. Khoury even furthers that it is technically impossible to determine what component is really genetic. In addition to such, many researchers point out that many diseases may be caused by a wide variety of genes and although you may be genetically predisposed to develop some disorders, environmental factors still play an important role in prompting the occurrence of diseases.