Do your kids have ‘soccer genes’? The pseudoscience of many genetic tests

| | July 19, 2017
This article or excerpt is included in the GLP’s daily curated selection of ideologically diverse news, opinion and analysis of biotechnology innovation.

[A] growing number of scientists [are] pushing back against wild claims in the consumer genetics market, which is flush with tests promising to plumb the secrets of our DNA for answers to everything from what kind of wine we’ll enjoy to what diseases we’re at risk of developing. These tests vary wildly in levels of absurdity. One test that recently earned eye-rolls promises to improve a child’s soccer abilities with a personalized, genetics-based training regimen. In case it’s not clear, there is still no way to decode from DNA the perfect plan to turn your 7-year-old into a soccer star.

“It’s a pretty exciting time to be in genetics. There’s a lot happening,”  [Broad Institute geneticist Daniel] MacArthur told Gizmodo. “But that also makes it really easy for people who don’t know anything about genetics to enter the consumer market.”

MacArthur would like to see companies list the “scientific” data underlying their claims. If consumers could easily see, for example, that the recommendation to drink apple juice from the company DNA Lifestyle Coach stemmed from a study of just 68 non-smoking men, they might more readily deduce how valid such a recommendation is.

“Genetics comes with this veneer of respectability and the public automatically thinks anything with the word ‘genetics’ is trustworthy and scientific”

The GLP aggregated and excerpted this blog/article to reflect the diversity of news, opinion, and analysis. Read full, original post: Scientists Push Back Against Booming Genetic Pseudoscience Market

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