Booming market in novelty consumer DNA tests aimed at lifestyle, wellness and entertainment

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Stephane Budel has an idea for an app: You get your DNA sequenced to find out which comic book superhero you are….

We are, to be clear, talking about fictional superheroes and the idea for a hypothetical app. But Budel really is serious. …As the economics of DNA sequencing change, consumer genetic tests aimed at lifestyle and wellness—rather than health—are a burgeoning unregulated market. These DNA tests won’t tell you about your cancer risk, but they might give you wine based on your taste genes or suggest personalized exercise regimens.

What these kinds of DNA test start to resemble are magazine quizzes or horoscopes. At times, the science connecting DNA sequence and test result is just as shaky. And in the case of superheroes, well, it’s an explicit leap into fantasy…We once looked to the stars to amuse, enlighten, and guide us; now we can look to DNA.

[Y]ou’re not probably going to shell out $2000 for a DNA test that’s just for fun. But might you pay $200 or $20? The world of lifestyle genetic tests can only exist because sequencing DNA has gotten so much cheaper.

That’s not to dismiss real information that can be gleaned from genetics. In some cases, single genes lead to a clear outcomes, but in most cases, scientists don’t have a complete grasp of the complexity [of many genes]. But still, we look to DNA for answers, our desire to understand outstripping our actual understanding of it.

The GLP aggregated and excerpted this blog/article to reflect the diversity of news, opinion, and analysis. Read full, original post: The DNA Test as Horoscope

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