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Can genes accurately predict human health?

| June 11, 2012
health reports
This article or excerpt is included in the GLP’s daily curated selection of ideologically diverse news, opinion and analysis of biotechnology innovation.
One of the most controversial aspects of the genetic screening revolution is the proliferation of gene tests by such organizations as 23andMe and Navigenics that suggest that if you have a certain gene or cluster of genes you have a certain likelihood of contracting a specific disorder. For example, it is not uncommon to have the explanation of disease presented as “25 percent genetic and 75 percent environmental,” adding up to 100 percent of cases. However, what we have learned from gene-disease association studies is that, in reality, human disease is rarely a product of such simple and clearly defined relationships.  Causation of human disease is not about nature OR nurture but more about nature AND nurture.
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The GLP featured this article to reflect the diversity of news, opinion and analysis. The viewpoint is the author’s own. The GLP’s goal is to stimulate constructive discourse on challenging science issues.

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