A living, breathing, test tube

12 May

A few disclaimers to start.  Yes, I’m a scientist.  Yes, I’m intellectually curious by nature.  Yes, I view my life as one big experiment.

Do you see me in here?

To start the public portion of “my life as a test tube”, I’ve purchased a personal genetic testing kit from 23andme.com.  I’ve been skeptical of this service, but I’ve watched the price go down over the years, read extensively the reviews comparing different genetic testing services, become less worried about the security of my personal genetic material (and used a pseudonym when ordering, despite needing to use my real credit card and mailing address), and have become more and more curious about what SNPs are lurking in my genome as I read about new linkages to disease predispositions.

Sure, I still have questions, like: What happens to the data collected about me?  What exactly are the SNPs and disease traits they are testing (no list is available on their website)?  Who is interpreting this data, and what are the rates of false positives or negatives?  Congress had some of the same questions, as they opened an investigation a little over a year ago.

So, I bit the proverbial bullet, and ordered the kit (today’s price: $99.99 plus s/h and a 9$/mo for a 12 month service contract to their website)….more to come!

Going Further:

Great blog resource to debate the ethics of personal genetic testing services

**picture credit here

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