Forgot your password?

My thoughts on getting my own DNA tested:

Displaying poll results.
Specifically wish to forgo DNA evaluation
  1791 votes / 10%
Have no plans for / interest in a DNA evaluation
  5634 votes / 34%
Mildly interested in a DNA evaluation
  5469 votes / 33%
Strongly considering a DNA evaluation
  1853 votes / 11%
The genes are in the mail!
  186 votes / 1%
Been there, done that, got the report
  515 votes / 3%
Every 3 months or 3,000 miles
  1003 votes / 6%
16451 total votes.
[ Voting Booth | Other Polls | Back Home ]
  • Don't complain about lack of options. You've got to pick a few when you do multiple choice. Those are the breaks.
  • Feel free to suggest poll ideas if you're feeling creative. I'd strongly suggest reading the past polls first.
  • This whole thing is wildly inaccurate. Rounding errors, ballot stuffers, dynamic IPs, firewalls. If you're using these numbers to do anything important, you're insane.
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

My thoughts on getting my own DNA tested:

Comments Filter:
  • Why would I? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday June 17, 2012 @03:48PM (#40353595)

    Call me ignorant, but I see no reason to undergo a DNA evaluation in the near future.

    • Re:Why would I? (Score:5, Informative)

      by 93 Escort Wagon (326346) on Sunday June 17, 2012 @03:59PM (#40353683)

      Call me ignorant, but I see no reason to undergo a DNA evaluation in the near future.

      Yeah, I suppose I can think of a few edge cases where there might be value in this; but for most people this is an expensive solution looking for a problem to solve.

      • Re:Why would I? (Score:5, Interesting)

        by Anonymous Coward on Sunday June 17, 2012 @04:39PM (#40353925)

        I selected mildly interested. The reason is that my wife and I are starting to think about having kids. The problem is that we are both anonymously adopted, meaning we have no idea what our family histories are and therefore what the risk to our kids are. Both of us also know many people who have genetic diseases. Two examples, Friend A has an X linked trait, meaning that every one of his daughters would be carriers and Friend B has a huge family history of SSA. With my wife and I, we could have genes necessary to genetically dooming our children due to the way we combine genetically.

        BUT, there are too many questions about privacy and cost.

        All together, mildly interested.

        • Re:Why would I? (Score:5, Interesting)

          by jamesh (87723) on Monday June 18, 2012 @04:08AM (#40357199)

          I selected mildly interested. The reason is that my wife and I are starting to think about having kids. The problem is that we are both anonymously adopted, meaning we have no idea what our family histories are and therefore what the risk to our kids are. Both of us also know many people who have genetic diseases.

          Screw that... if it was me i'd be more interested in making sure I hadn't married my cousin or sister :)

          Seriously though, what will you do if you find out that your potential offspring have a high chance of inheriting something nasty? I guess your options are to not have kids, pre-screen via IVF, or pre-screen in utero and abort anything carrying the disease...

        • If your name is Luke and hers is Leia, do you really want to know?

          • That's actually, oddly, rather unlikely. The MHC [wikipedia.org] tends to keep siblings from getting involved with each other.

        • by morgauxo (974071)
          Sorry Luke, she's your sister.
      • by billstewart (78916) on Sunday June 17, 2012 @05:34PM (#40354371) Journal

        At 23andMe, it's under $200, occasionally $99 on sale. Gets you a lot of information, and updates as they find new things. Of course I did it under a pseudonym, and used a Hushmail account to get the results, because I'd rather not risk linking my genetic information to the real world, so I'm also not responding to the "We might be related" emails that their ancestry section supports. But the medical information is interesting, and the ancestry information is consistent with what I'd expect. I have answered a number of their research questionnaire things (e.g. family history of cancer, heart disease, diabetes, etc.) which they use to try to find out more correlations between genes and medical conditions.

        Most of the results are of the form "you're X% likely to get this disease/symptom, compared to Y% of European males of your age group", or "you do/don't have the gene for this condition", depending on whether it's a condition that's strictly determined by a gene (like hemophilia), or influenced by lots of different genes (like height or heart disease), or by genes and environment (like height or heart disease.)

        • by petes_PoV (912422)
          I recall reading an article in the FT about this, many years ago. Essentially, the guy went to three separate gene testing outfits - and got three different results back. Different labs tested for different conditions and interpreted their results in different ways. Maybe the science has matured in the meantime, but back then (5-ish years ago) it seemed a pretty hit and miss affair.

          My advice would be to ask each potential clinic what they test for and then try to match the particular tests with any high-ri

          • by quixote9 (999874) on Monday June 18, 2012 @12:15PM (#40360109) Homepage
            It's still true, five years later. I have my Ph.D. in a related field of molecular bio, and the consumer oriented genetic screening is nothing but a way to separate people from their hard-earned cash.

            First, and most important, the science on anything involving multigene inheritance (which is practically everything, including Type II diabetes, cardiovascular disease, cancer susceptibility, etc., etc., etc.) is far from worked out. You'll get results, but even the scientists don't know what they mean yet.

            Second, you need a lot of training to be able to interpret those results even to the extent that's valid under current knowledge. The gene screening outfits are not employing excellent genetic counselors to interpret the results. They have software (perhaps supplemented by drones) who match Dot A with Genetic Disorders Database B.

            It's not GIGO, because your genetic input is not the garbage. But what comes out definitely is.
            • by pepty (1976012)

              Second, you need a lot of training to be able to interpret those results even to the extent that's valid under current knowledge. The gene screening outfits are not employing excellent genetic counselors to interpret the results. They have software (perhaps supplemented by drones) who match Dot A with Genetic Disorders Database B.

              You need a lot of specialized training to create the model; you don't need training beyond basic probability/statistics to interpret the results. Once the genetic data is supplemented with relevant patient/family history, software can be as good as the counselor at the conditional probability/risk assessement end of genetic counseling, and probably better than human counselors as more complex patterns are recognized. The counselor isn't so much about interpreting the results, i.e., going from alleles to "yo

          • by morgauxo (974071)
            I would want an actual list of what versions of what genes I have for that reason, not just an interpretation of what it means regarding diseases x y and z. Even if all the scientists agree what the gene means how long will it be until they discover something new about it.
            • by tixxit (1107127)
              The problem is that you are incredibly unique. You won't get a list of a handful of genes. You'd get a list of thousands and thousands of variants (if you actually get sequenced). Many of these variants are common. Many will be errors (cheap sequencing uses shorter reads which have higher error rates). Many won't actually affect gene function. What do you expect to do with this? To make this useful, you have to make a lot of choices, many of which will be somewhat suspect.
      • by tbird81 (946205)

        It's $300 from 23andMe at the moment. Not that expensive for what you get - especially if you're of an inquisitive nature.

        To my surprise I found I was carrying the delta-F508 mutation - this is found in about 1 in 25 white people, and if you have two copies of the mutation you get cystic fibrosis. If you know anyone with cystic fibrosis you'll know it's a horrible disease.

        If I plan to have children, I can test my partner to ensure she does not carry this also. I've also tested my sisters - fortunately they

    • by NoKaOi (1415755)

      Call me ignorant, but I see no reason to undergo a DNA evaluation in the near future.

      If said evaluation can determine your risks for certain cancers, then you can be tested more regularly for those cancers in order to catch them sooner and have a higher chance of survival, and to take any preventative measures.

      Of course, the big big negative is that it could be used by insurance companies in the future as an excuse to deny coverage, making said treatment unavailable. Even if there are laws on the books at the time of testing preventing insurance companies from doing that, you never know wh

      • by morgauxo (974071)
        Then again, maybe insurance companies could give people a lower rate then is available today if they can show that they got the test done AND are taking appropriate steps to mitigate the risks that are uncovered.
    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward

      You may well be unaware of the usefulness, but it is truly already useful.

      I've gotten tested through 23andMe, and the report includes a "Drug Response" section that helped inform my Dr. on what (not) to prescribe.

      • by steveg (55825)

        Assuming this is reliable, *that* is where I think the promise is.

        And that's why I'm at least mildly interested. If I were confident that the predictions of drug compatibility were both comprehensive and reliable, I'd upgrade that to very interested. The only limiting factor at that time will be "affordable," and that's coming.

    • The only reason I think of is knowing myself. It's for informational purposes, nothing else.

    • "Call me ignorant, but I see no reason to undergo a DNA evaluation in the near future."

      Link it to your Google+ and Facebook account and have it publicly available.

      Then your potential girlfriends, the police, and your insurance companies can see who you really are!

      Less fuss, since you have nothing to hide. Very, very convenient.

    • by ackthpt (218170)

      Call me ignorant, but I see no reason to undergo a DNA evaluation in the near future.

      Same here. By now I've got a pretty good idea, by looking at parents, grand parents and siblings. Plus, I've had my own spells of discovery with a tumor and blood sugar. Live life a day at a time. Enjoy yourself.

      plus I'm utterly terrified of the prospect I'd be linked genetically to cowboy neal

    • by tbird81 (946205)

      Call me ignorant, but I see no reason to undergo a DNA evaluation in the near future.

      It's called curiosity. It's called being interested in science. It's called enjoying technology, and liking being part of it.

      But I guess this is Spiffpuff - News is boring, nothing matters.

    • by Phoghat (1288088)

      Call me ignorant, but I see no reason to undergo a DNA evaluation in the near future.

      IGNORANT ! My work is done here.

  • Clarification needed (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday June 17, 2012 @05:13PM (#40354203)

    What do you mean by getting DNA tested? Am I interested in having my complete genome sequenced? No. But I have gotten blood drawn that was screened for certain specific recessive genetic diseases :

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jewish_genetic_diseases#Genetic_testing_in_Jewish_populations

  • Turned out to be A, C, G,T something. Oh wait, that was my report card...
    Never mind...
  • by assertation (1255714) on Sunday June 17, 2012 @06:00PM (#40354571)

    The best thing about the future is that it is unknown.

    I'll pass on the DNA tests ...

    • You have a bold new approach to cost effective medicine
    • by tbird81 (946205)

      The best thing about my computer is that it is a box that does stuff I want to do. The best thing about computer programs is that they are icons I click on to run and somehow they let me go on the internet, play movies, and even games.

      I can't imagine why anyone would actually want to know what those wires, cables and cards do, and what all those scary symbols mean. I'll pass on that...

  • by assertation (1255714) on Sunday June 17, 2012 @06:02PM (#40354597)

    Why would I want to get my DNA tested? At best it tells me I am healthy and I wasted my time. At worst it tells me ( and everyone else in this age of Big Brother ) that I have a genetic predisposition, now on record, so health insurance companies can discriminate against me.

    • by Shavano (2541114)

      Why would I want to get my DNA tested? At best it tells me I am healthy and I wasted my time. At worst it tells me ( and everyone else in this age of Big Brother ) that I have a genetic predisposition, now on record, so health insurance companies can discriminate against me.

      In the United States (and also in englightened countries) using that sort of information against you is illegal. Yes, if your country doesn't ban the practice, your country is unenlightened -- even more so than the USA and that's saying a lot.

      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by Anonymous Coward

        using that sort of information against you is illegal

        SO FAR.....

      • It won't be used against, but it might be used for you. At least that's how it will be phrased.

        For example, when you apply for life insurance, they will ask if you have ever had a DNA test. The answers are:
            A) Yes and here's my results!
            B) Yes, but you can't see my results.
            C) No.

        The results will not be used against you, but good results might get you a better rate.

        • by rachit (163465)

          The results will not be used against you, but good results might get you a better rate.

          You, sir, do not understand economics. If it were legal to discriminate positively (lower your rates) if you have a "good" DNA test, this will drive up the rates for those who don't or opt out. The insurance companies will have do this if they want to retain their existing revenues and profits.

          • I understand it perfectly well, and I agree with your prediction.

            It isn't unlike Progressive's Snapshot which monitors your driving and gives you a discount if you fit a lower risk profile. The problem for the insurance company is that they can't discriminate based on a genetic test, so instead the raise their prices but give discounts for low risk customers.

    • No, at best it tells you about a condition that can be more easily treated if spotted in advance. You're unfairly refusing to acknowledge possible advantages.

  • by Shavano (2541114) on Sunday June 17, 2012 @06:55PM (#40354907)
    I'm only interested if it can inform me of actions I can take that would specifically help me. For instance, being warned that I'm more vulnerable than most to cancer of the colon and because of my specific genetic profile I should eat more soybeans and brocolli but avoid bananas and Kap'n Krunch is helpful. Being told I'll probably live to over 100 would be important to know (I'd need to save more for my retirement or have more kids to take care of me in my old age!) Being told I'm more susceptible than most to a form of dementia that there's nothing I can do about is NOT helpful and knowing it would probably decrease my quality of life. But I'd be willing to be tested for scientific purposes so researchers use the info gathered to develop treatments or preventions for myself or other people.
    • by alvinrod (889928)
      How is it not helpful?

      At least you would know that eventually your mind is going to go. At worst you can now value your time and plan accordingly (much as if you were going to live to by 100) so that this doesn't catch you off guard. At best you can start looking into early treatment or even start to fund some so that when it comes time, there might be something that can be done. Hell, at least you can choose what you want to do about it. If you slowly slip into senility, it could be up to your family to
  • Turns out I'm immune to cancer, diabetes, alcoholism and cardiovascular disease.
  • by Cyberax (705495) on Sunday June 17, 2012 @07:48PM (#40355199)
    I've sequenced myself several times (it's not cheap but our company produces tools for DNA sequencing :) ) and before that I'd genotyped myself using 23andMe kit. The results are interesting and actually have some medical values (I'll be checking for macular degradation more often). Other than that, I've used it to check my lineage (no surprises) and compare predicted traits with actual traits.

    For anyone interested, http://23andme.com/ [23andme.com] provides a cheap and easy way to do DNA testing on yourself - you buy their kit, make a saliva sample and mail it to them. And it can be fully anonymous.
    • by JustNiz (692889)

      Why several times? I didn't think your DNA can change with time.

      • Possibly due to the tech constantly improving? A DNA test 10 years ago verse today verse 10 years from now could show very different things.

      • by Cyberax (705495)
        First time we've used classic sequencing technology with short reads (30-100 bases). The second time we've used our own technology which also allows super-long 10k base reads (that allows to assemble the complete genome more precisely). And we've also checked for changes in levels of gene expression and viral genomes which might actually be quite useful one day, see here: http://pipeline.corante.com/archives/2012/03/23/the_ultimate_in_personalized_medicine.php [corante.com]

        Unfortunately, complete sequencing is not che
  • And why are there four women with babies sitting on stage?

  • The jeans are in the mail!
  • by bakes (87194)

    Gattaca. There, someone has brought it up, you can all move on now.

    • by c0lo (1497653)

      Gattaca. There, someone has brought it up, you can all move on now.

      Yes, that documentary was interesting. Thanks God those times are behind us (and we can move on now).

  • by meglon (1001833)
    ... is the: "I don't have DNA you insensitive clod!!!" choice?

    Someone probably beat me to this one....
  • by redcliffe (466773) on Monday June 18, 2012 @07:23AM (#40357821) Homepage Journal

    I will when I can get a CD or DVD sent out with the entire genome sequenced, preferrably including "junk DNA". Anyone know if that's typically included in gene sequencing?

    If I have the entire sequence I can run software to do new DNA tests in software on demand.

  • Sure, having some foresight into what you may face as you age is helpful, for one may take some preventative measures to help stave off or decrease a risk of inherent issues from beginning.

    Conversely, there really is no privacy in this. When one orders a kit, it is shipped to a mailing address, likely your own. Next the results, I suspect may show whether the DNA belonged to a male or female. Then if specific traits exist they could be correlated to statistical data for your area. And if your mailing ad

    • by tbird81 (946205)

      Conversely, there really is no privacy in this. When one orders a kit, it is shipped to a mailing address, likely your own. Next the results, I suspect may show whether the DNA belonged to a male or female. Then if specific traits exist they could be correlated to statistical data for your area. And if your mailing address includes your zip+4, there is a possibility that you may be identified. All of this little data may be easily cross referenced against databases like www.intelius.com/ to find out who lives at said address. If there is only one person, and they are still the resident, then that data may easily be correlated back to you no matter what bullshit name you provide. And if your SSN is used, forget it, you're definitely not anonymous, it's just an illusion of privacy.

      So what?

      Oh no, they know where I live!! Them! The elusive "they" who gets everyone riled up on Slashdot.

      The thing about other people's DNA, is that it is quite boring. Even more boring than the content of other person's emails, or their Facebook account.

      Newsflash, the bank knows where I live and they have access to nearly all my money! Yet I'm not panicking!

  • by crow (16139) on Monday June 18, 2012 @12:03PM (#40359961) Homepage Journal

    I think it would be fascinating to build a genetic family tree. Sequence all the living relatives, then determine as far back as possible where each of my chromosomes came from. I can get some idea from deceased ancestors based on shared genes from cousins. I wouldn't go so far as to exhume my great-great grandparents or anything like that.

    Obviously, it's easy to track back the Y chromosome (excluding any family secrets) and the mitochondria DNA, but that leaves 45 other bits of DNA to track back.

    • I answered "been there" because technically, I have. I got a gift a couple years ago of a packet from National Geographic's Genographic project (http://genographic.nationalgeographic.com/) to look into the far-distant genetic past. When I went to check on my info, they offered to pass my report over to http://www.familytreedna.com/ [familytreedna.com] for some basic info about my recent genetic past (with a bunch of upsell options that I chose not to pay for). So there are interesting things to do with DNA besides look into
    • by tbird81 (946205)

      Much more than 45 pieces. Sure, you get one of a pair of chromosomes from mum, and one from dad. But during meisosis, each parent's chromosome crosses over in multiple locations. This means that you don't necessarily get 25% from each grandparent. (Although it will average out at 25%).

      So the autosomal chromosomes are being shuffled like two decks of cards as they go down the generations. But I agree with the spirit of what you're saying, you can still try and trace what part of each chromosome came from you

  • by Daryen (1138567) on Monday June 18, 2012 @12:15PM (#40360097)

    Even assuming these tests provided useful information on a wide spectrum of genetic disorders (they don't), I don't trust my current or future health insurers enough to have this information known.

    They would gladly leave me in the street to die if I discover that I will develop a health condition one day.

  • Only if I can have my genome explained to me by Mr. DNA
  • If the world is as fucked as some would like me to believe then it's already been sequenced and filed away somewhere, but I'll be DAMNED if I'm going to give it to them freely and knowingly.
  • Given that most current theory has adaptive biochemical pathways using the secondary and the evolutionarily primitive tertiary pathways when knocked out by siRNA or drug interactions, testing your DNA is mostly useless.

    Except perhaps for the Apolipoprotien-E alleles - if you have 2 ApoE 4 alleles that would mean you have a high risk of Alzheimer's so you might wish to overeducate yourself to preserve capability as long as possible, and try to reduce Cardiovascular risks that make it worse.

    Beyond that, your

  • This count as been there done that?: https://github.com/sbassi/MiGenomaSbassi [github.com]

  • Probably stands for Did Not Attack!
    (Dana Carvey mocking Johnny Cochrain during the OJ trial)

  • With a whopping yearly update fee and DRM requiring login to a server whilst accessing the data.

  • .. if it becomes free or almost obligatory i could check it mostly as a social trend. Anyway, i am mostly software, and a good part of it made elsewhere, it won't tell me who i am.
  • This is just a bit of information so people know what places like 23andMe test. I'm definitely no expert, but I had no understanding of this before I'd tested, and thought I try to write something about it.

    As everyone here knows, nearly every cell in our body contains our DNA. It is contained in 23 pairs of chromosomes, and made of As, Ts, Cs and Gs. 23andMe doesn't give you the full sequence.

    What it does is test about 900,000 sites on the DNA. These sites are generally chosen because they vary amongst peop

"Once they go up, who cares where they come down? That's not my department." -- Werner von Braun

 



Forgot your password?
Working...