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Parody of Public’s Attitude Toward DTC Genetics

Daily Scan’s inbox has been teeming with announcements for various talks and workshops to be held at the upcoming American Society of Human Genetics annual meeting in Washington, D.C., though none have read quite like Blaine Bettinger’s at the Genetic Genealogist blog. Bettinger has posted a parody of a press release for a talk in which “a group of the nation’s top geneticists and ethicists” showed data that analyzed the public’s awareness of direct-to-consumer genetic testing services and their regulation. “The researchers, funded in large part by federal grants, interviewed over 10 people randomly chosen at the entrance to the nearest grocery store and asked them whether they were familiar with one or more of the five DTC genetic testing companies included in the study,” whether they had – or had ever considered – taking a DTC gene test, and whether they felt the public should be allowed access to their genetic information, the blogger writes in his satire. “Finally, to gauge the participant’s understanding of the basic principles of genetics, each was asked to briefly describe in 100 words or less the role of the replication fork in DNA replication,” Bettinger adds.