Skip to main content
Premium Trial:

Request an Annual Quote

Check the Results

As direct-to-consumer genetic testing companies like 23andMe only analyze small portions of customers' DNA, some consumers upload their raw data to third-party sites to diver deeper into their genetic makeups, but the New York Times reports that sometimes those findings aren't accurate.

After getting his 23andMe report, Joshua Clayton, a radiology resident at Baylor University Medical Center in Dallas, tells the Times that he then uploaded his raw data to Promethease, which does a deeper analysis. That analysis told Clayton that he harbored a Lynch syndrome mutation — but when he sought confirmation testing by a clinical lab, he was told he did not actually have that mutation, the Times says. Genetic counselors and others are also concerned about people who are told the opposite: that they have no disease-linked mutation when they truly do, it adds.

23andMe tells the paper that it warns customers that the raw data they provide shouldn't be used for medical or diagnostic purposes and Promethease adds that it, too, warns users that their analysis isn't a medical diagnosis and to seek a clinically validated test if they find a worrisome variant.

Clayton tells the Times that with his medical background, he was fairly savvy about the tests' limitations, but "that didn't change the frightened feelings or concern." He also adds that others might not have known, as he did, how to seek follow-up clinical testing.

The Scan

ChatGPT Does As Well As Humans Answering Genetics Questions, Study Finds

Researchers in the European Journal of Human Genetics had ChatGPT answer genetics-related questions, finding it was about 68 percent accurate, but sometimes gave different answers to the same question.

Sequencing Analysis Examines Gene Regulatory Networks of Honeybee Soldier, Forager Brains

Researchers in Nature Ecology & Evolution find gene regulatory network differences between soldiers and foragers, suggesting bees can take on either role.

Analysis of Ashkenazi Jewish Cohort Uncovers New Genetic Loci Linked to Alzheimer's Disease

The study in Alzheimer's & Dementia highlighted known genes, but also novel ones with biological ties to Alzheimer's disease.

Tara Pacific Expedition Project Team Finds High Diversity Within Coral Reef Microbiome

In papers appearing in Nature Communications and elsewhere, the team reports on findings from the two-year excursion examining coral reefs.