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Not What He Was Looking For

The Washington Post tells the story of an Army medic and his father who took direct-to-consumer genetic test as a means of looking into the DTC industry. The Galls had their DNA looked at by both 23andMe and Decode and Timothy Gall, the medic, says that he found some of the results useful — such as a potential sensitivity to blood thinners — but others were baffling. His father and other close relatives had multiple sclerosis and heart disease and both tests said the Galls had a lower-than-average risk of developing MS and an average risk for heart disease. The Posts says their "experience illuminates the controversy around direct-to-consumer genotyping. Advocates say these services can guide people toward appropriate preventive medical care, help them choose medications and motivate them to make lifestyle changes. But others criticize the companies for overselling their supposed insights and producing reports that untrained consumers might easily misunderstand."

The story adds that a Department of Health and Human Services advisory committee has been studying the DTC industry and plans to send its recommendations to Secretary Kathleen Sebelius within a few weeks.

The Scan

Fertility Fraud Found

Consumer genetic testing has uncovered cases of fertility fraud that are leading to lawsuits, according to USA Today.

Ties Between Vigorous Exercise, ALS in Genetically At-Risk People

Regular strenuous exercise could contribute to motor neuron disease development among those already at genetic risk, Sky News reports.

Test Warning

The Guardian writes that the US regulators have warned against using a rapid COVID-19 test that is a key part of mass testing in the UK.

Science Papers Examine Feedback Mechanism Affecting Xist, Continuous Health Monitoring for Precision Medicine

In Science this week: analysis of cis confinement of the X-inactive specific transcript, and more.