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Just for Fun?

Some at-home DNA tests might be akin to astrology, writes Jane Hu at Slate.

She writes that many tests started out more as novelty tests people could take for fun or to just explore their gut microbiome or genetics a little and that some users then use to make sense of themselves or something they do. That search for insight, she says, isn't unlike what people turn to astrology for.

However, Hu notes that most people "don't believe astrology is scientific," but that some direct-to-consumer testing companies do have that sheen of science, even when what they are offering — such as genetically tailored diets or exercises — isn't backed by much evidence.

"Personalized genetic readings can still be fun, even if they don't promise the sun, moon, and stars…" she writes. "But if you're really concerned about your fertility, your gut health, or your cancer risk? If you wouldn't consult your horoscope, you might not want to consult a mail-in test either."