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Personal genetics consumers risk uncovering uncertain paternity

| September 10, 2014
This article or excerpt is included in the GLP’s daily curated selection of ideologically diverse news, opinion and analysis of biotechnology innovation.

As personal genome technology moves ahead at a breakneck pace, even the most informed consumers can be caught off-guard. George, a stem cell and reproductive biologist, signed up for 23andMe as part of a course he was teaching on the human genome. To make the lesson more interesting, he got his parents to join, too.

Through the close relative finder program on 23andMe, the family discovered Thomas, a son George’s father had conceived and given up for adoption before marrying George’s mother. (You can read George’s full story here, in this transcript of Vox’s conversations with him.)

After this discovery was made, George went back to 23andMe and talked to them. “I said, ‘I’m not sure all your customers realize that when they participate in your family finder program, what they’re participating in what are essentially really advanced paternity tests.'” The person he spoke to “didn’t really have a response” for him, he said.

Read the full, original story: Genetic testing brings families together. And sometimes tears them apart


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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