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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

LINE-1 Linked to Premature Aging Conditions

Researchers report in Science Translational Medicine that the accumulation of LINE-1 RNA contributes to premature aging conditions and that symptoms can be improved by targeting them.

Team Presents Cattle Genotype-Tissue Expression Atlas

Using RNA sequences representing thousands of cattle samples, researchers looked at relationships between cattle genotype and tissue expression in Nature Genetics.

Researchers Map Recombination in Khoe-San Population

With whole-genome sequences for dozens of individuals from the Nama population, researchers saw in Genome Biology fine-scale recombination patterns that clustered outside of other populations.

Myotonic Dystrophy Repeat Detected in Family Genome Sequencing Analysis

While sequencing individuals from a multi-generation family, researchers identified a myotonic dystrophy type 2-related short tandem repeat in the European Journal of Human Genetics.