Chinese parents embrace dubious DNA tests to uncover their child’s ‘natural talents’

| | February 14, 2017
A child is tested at a 'talent detecting' facility. Credit: The Telegraph.
This article or excerpt is included in the GLP’s daily curated selection of ideologically diverse news, opinion and analysis of biotechnology innovation.

[Due to a widely popular trend among anxious parent,] thousands of children in China have undergone genetic testing which purportedly “reveal” what talents they will develop in later life.

“My two baby boys were…tested, and I was told they’d be good at painting,” said [one mother]. “So I’m just going to focus on art lessons for them.”

The trend in lab testing, which is prompted by pushy parents seeking to give their offspring an advantage, has seen the emergence of a growing number of “health institutes” that claim to predict if children as young as a year old will be the next Mo Farah, Lady Gaga, or Stephen Hawking.

The institutes charge hundreds of pounds to perform the tests, which involve taking a saliva swab that is then sent to laboratories. About two weeks later, parents are told whether their child is gifted in areas such as dancing, mathematics or painting.

For Chang Zisong, an expert in genealogy at the Tianjin International Joint Academy of Biomedicine, such predictions are “meaningless”.

“The primary reason that China doesn’t outlaw these institutes is because by doing so would suggest that they have scientific value,” he stated.

The GLP aggregated and excerpted this blog/article to reflect the diversity of news, opinion, and analysis. Read full, original post: Anxious Chinese parents cause gene testing boom as they try to discover young children’s talents 

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