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Genetic Testing and Big Tobacco?

In case you haven't been reading GTO or anything related to personal genomics testing for the past several months, The Washington Post has an article summarizing the state of affairs. Rick Weiss starts off using Jeffrey Gulcher, DeCode Genetics CSO, as an example of how genetic tests can, in some cases, save lives -- Gulcher took his company's own test to discover, early enough to get surgery, that he had prostate cancer -- but then ends with the usual restrictions-are-necessary rhetoric. He even goes so far as to compare genetics testing companies execs to "tobacco CEOs," who might one day sit before Congress, "being asked tough questions about what exactly they have been selling, and at what cost to American health."

In another article, an author recites how "DNA analysis and do-it-yourself Internet searches are upending that male-dominant tradition" of tracing ancestry. Her mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) test results show that she's a direct descendant of "Katrine," who lived some 15,000 years ago in northern Italy, and a relative of Otzi the Ice Man.


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