More colleges and universities are offering courses that incorporate personal genetic testing, the Associated Press reports. Harvard Medical School and the Stanford University School of Medicine have offered such courses as electives for a few years, but the course the AP highlights is aimed at undergraduates.
The University of Iowa is offering an honors seminar on personal genomics that includes the option to be tested through 23andMe. The AP adds that Duke University, Stanford University, the University of Illinois, and the University of Texas also offer personal genomics courses that take advantage of a 23andMe testing discount.
Jeff Murray, the professor teaching the class, "talked through the pros and cons of testing with students, and spent two class periods examining 23andMe's consent form," the AP says. He also told them to discuss the test with their families. A few students decided not to be tested.
Iowa freshman Bakir Hajdarevic tells the AP that he was nervous that he might find out about something deleterious in his DNA, but that he was also curious to learn more — and that his curiosity won out. Hajdarevic learned that he's at increased risk for being lactose intolerant and a carrier for Alpha 1-antitrypsin deficiency.
"I was kind of scared going in, like, 'Oh my God, I might have a high risk factor for some kind of cancer'," he tells the AP. "But knock on wood, according to the test, I don't really have much to worry about."