While Orig3n focuses in part on regenerative medicine, it is also offering DNA-based fitness assessments, but WBUR reports that more research is needed.
Co-founder Kate Blanchard tells the radio station that athletes are particularly interested in data that could bolster their training. According to Blanchard, Orig3n's genetic fitness test can tell customers whether they are better at building muscle or recovering faster from a workout. "If you have even an inkling or some information that tells you a little bit more about yourself, then you can better tune what you’re eating and how you’re exercising to get even better results,” she adds.
However, Massachusetts General Hospital's David Sweetser tells WBUR's Shira Springer that such tests aren't very accurate. He adds that they might be interesting as a "novelty," but says they could be harmful if people view their results as deterministic.
Indeed, Orig3n's chief scientific officer, Marcie Glicksman tells Springer that test results need to be kept in perspective. "Basically, it's a tool," she told Springer. "It doesn't mean that it's 100 percent of your destinies."
Springer adds that her own results don't tell her much she didn't already know or suspect. "More research is needed to know how much genetics influence athletic performance versus how much comes from the environment, training and the kind of heart that's not easily measured," she writes.