Skip to main content
Premium Trial:

Request an Annual Quote

Does Your Child Have the 'Self-Detoxifying Gene'?

Over at her blog The Stuff of Life, Elaine Westwick delves into "Children and genomics: the underworld of DNA talent testing," and says that genetic testing companies' marketing tactics "are getting slicker." For example, she points to a firm that offers and "Inborn Talent Genetic Test," which scans for 40 genes including the "propensity for teenage romance gene," the "explosive power gene," the "general wellness gene," and the "self-detoxifying gene." "Dr. James Thorson" is especially adamant that parents consider purchasing the test for their child, saying, emphasis his own:

P.P.S. You are shortcutting your child's success by leveraging on what his/her talents are. You saved hundred and thousands of education fees by stop wild guessing what is the most suitable future for your child," and "P.P.P.S Imagine now you are holding this result report of your child, you can UNLEASH your child['s] full potential gifted by God. You are the one who enable your child do what he or she likes. Will this report worth more than $1,397 for the childhood & future of your child?

Westwick says that Magic Filder, located in Delfi Orchard, Singapore, offers children's music lessons "with a sideline in DNA testing to determine musical ability. … For $2,800, you can get the DNA Test plus 12 weekly music classes." Westwick says that while the music lessons are probably "wonderful," the science behind the tests isn't.

The blogger says that, for the time being, marketing gimmicks such as these "will only affect those credulous enough to believe the manufactured science." But as "the genomics juggernaut is on a roll, bringing with it more robust links between personality traits and DNA sequence," Westwick asks whether predictive testing will be appropriate for tots.

The Scan

Vaccine Update Recommended

A US Food and Drug Administration panel recommends booster vaccines be updated to target Omicron, CNBC reports.

US to Make More Vaccines for Monkeypox Available

The US is to make nearly 300,000 vaccine doses available in the coming weeks to stem the spread of human monkeypox virus, according to NPR.

Sentence Appealed

The Associated Press reports that Swedish prosecutors are appealing the sentence given to a surgeon once lauded for transplanting synthetic tracheas but then convicted of causing bodily harm.

Genome Biology Papers on COVID-19 Effector Genes, Virtual ChIP-seq, scDART

In Genome Biology this week: proposed COVID-19 effector genes, method to predict transcription factor binding patterns, and more.