Uprooted: The dangers of DNA testing

| October 1, 2013
Credit: Christopher Woo / Flickr
This article or excerpt is included in the GLP’s daily curated selection of ideologically diverse news, opinion and analysis of biotechnology innovation.

Searching your genetic ancestry can certainly be fun: You can trace the migration patterns of 10,000-year-old ancestors, or discover whether a distant relative ruled a continent or rode on the Mayflower. But the technology can just as easily unearth more private acts—infidelities, sperm donations, adoptions—of more recent generations, including previously unknown behaviors of your grandparents, parents, and even spouses. Family secrets have never been so vulnerable.

The bigger these databases become, the more useful they are for filling in genealogists’ ever-expanding family trees. But this network effect also raises serious privacy concerns—not only for people who buy the tests, but for close or even distant family members who share some of their DNA.

Read the original story here: Uprooted

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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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