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3 questions to ask before buying a home DNA test

Home DNA Test
Home DNA test. Image credit: All About Youth
This article or excerpt is included in the GLP’s daily curated selection of ideologically diverse news, opinion and analysis of biotechnology innovation.

[One] DNA test found that my family’s dog, Teddy, is part pit bull, which comes as no surprise. Many rescue pooches have pit bull roots. The test also says Teddy is to a great extent of Saint Bernard stock, which maybe you can see if you really squint, but which, to my mind, is a bit of a stretch.

These results raise questions many people ask (or should ask) when they approach the multibillion-dollar business of home DNA tests, which are readily available online:

Are they accurate?

Are they worth the money?

What good is the information?

I spoke with a number of geneticists, and the consensus was that you should approach home DNA tests with a degree of skepticism. It’s not that the test results are routinely wrong. It’s more that they may not be entirely right.

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“I’d say these tests are reliable up to a certain point,” said Sheldon Krimsky, a professor of urban and environmental policy

As with the ancestry results, maybe some of [medical DNA test] findings will be spot on. But do you really want to start planning for a future with Lou Gehrig’s disease based on a $100 test kit purchased through Amazon?

“I’d always get a second opinion,” Krimsky said.

Read full, original post: Does this dog look like a Saint Bernard? The questionable business of home DNA tests

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