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Viewpoint: Why you should be wary of ‘personalized’ DNA lifestyle tests

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Image credit: SpareRoom
This article or excerpt is included in the GLP’s daily curated selection of ideologically diverse news, opinion and analysis of biotechnology innovation.

A wave of new [DNA] tests claim to make all sorts of personalized lifestyle recommendations—from what skin-care products you should use to what kind of diet is best for you. But buyer beware: in many cases these tests amount to little more than a way to hawk a product. The science underpinning them is often flimsy, if it exists at all.

[W]e’ve noticed a few tests that stand out as particularly spurious. They should be approached with more than a little skepticism.

Nutria The pitch: Lean Cuisine, the well-known purveyor of frozen meals, is trying out a new meal-planning service that involves a DNA test. It claims that its “genetic markers help determine your customized nutrient intake.”

Vinome The pitch: Promoted by Helix, a sort of app store for DNA products, this company says it will curate wines for you on the basis of your DNA.

Related article:  The story behind the looming $30-billion-a-year synthetic DNA data storage market

SpareRoom The pitch: The company makes a mobile app that helps you find a roommate. But it’s piloting a new service that uses a DNA sample and an online personality test to match you to a compatible one.

The problem with these tests and their ilk, experts say, is that they amount to genetic astrology. We just don’t know enough about the complex interactions of our genes yet to make these kinds of personalized recommendations.

Read full, original post: These DNA testing companies are mainly trying to sell you other stuff

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