Scientist cautions against genetic testingJune 1st, 2008 - 3:23 pm ICT by admin
Washington, June 1 (IANS) A scientist has warned compatriots against rushing into genetic testing in the hope of making revolutionary improvements. “Advances being made in genomics are important discoveries, but it’s unrealistic for individuals to believe those advances can yield meaningful information that will improve their health,” said James P. Evans, of University of North Carolina.
“Most physicians, by their own admission, are not geneticists and won’t know what to do with the information,” said Evans, who uses family history and genetic testing to evaluate and counsel patients about their risk for cancer.
“The sequencing of the human genome revealed that in relative terms, humans are 99.9 percent the same. But in absolute terms, we are very different. For example, a one-thousandth of a difference in their respective DNA profiles translates into more than 3 million differences between any two unrelated individuals,” said Evans.
Some of these differences are medically relevant in that they influence disease predisposition and response to drugs.
And the differences are of interest in non-medical ways, specifically when they address ancestry, behaviour traits and the innate curiosity humans have about their genes.
Sequencing of the human genome, which was completed in 2003, also gave rise to commercial entities offering direct-to-consumer genetic testing for a fee, usually between $1,000 and $3,000.
Evans worries that individuals may seek such testing with the false hope that they will get meaningful results regarding their risks for disease and actionable medical advice about how to decrease their risks.
Evans will make a presentation about how personal genomics will affect human lives at a panel discussion titled “Your Biological Biography” at the World Science Festival in New York City.
- New technology could serve as a future cancer predisposition test - Feb 23, 2011
- 5,000-year-old iceman too suffered from hardening arteries - Feb 29, 2012
- Critics raise concern about direct-to-consumer genetic tests - Oct 09, 2010
- Genetic ancestry has no effect on asthma response in African Americans - Sep 28, 2010
- Unrealistic claims of home genetic tests should be avoided - Aug 19, 2010
- Geneticists seek ban on mail-order DNA testing kits - May 31, 2011
- Genomic diversity among African-American populations far more complex than believed - Dec 22, 2009
- Apple genome could lead to better apples - Aug 30, 2010
- Eye colour linked to severity of skin conditions - May 07, 2012
- Genetic link to diseases in mixed populations decoded - Jun 12, 2010
- Childhood obesity genes identified - Apr 12, 2012
- No two people are alike, even if they're identical twins: Study - Mar 29, 2011
- Analyzing family health history 'best way for disease risk assessment' - Nov 06, 2010
- Success of hepatitis C treatment may depend on genetic variant - Jun 13, 2010
- Knowing genetic makeup can make you more receptive to lifestyle changes - Nov 06, 2010
Tags: absolute terms, commercial entities, compatriots, counsel patients, dna profiles, false hope, genetic testing, genomics, human genome, innate curiosity, meaningful results, medical advice, predisposition, relative terms, revolutionary improvements, science festival, thousandth, university of north carolina, unrelated individuals, world science