‘Illogical and inappropriate’: How anti-vaxxers use 23andMe genetic tests to avoid vaccines

5-29-2019 methode times prod web bin bb ae fe e bb dc
Image: Philippe Huguen/AFP

San Francisco’s city attorney subpoenaed a doctor accused of giving illegal medical exemptions from vaccination, based on “two 30-minute visits and a 23andMe DNA test.” On anti-vaccine blogs and websites, activists have been sharing step-by-step instructions for ordering 23andMe tests, downloading the raw data, and using a third-party app to analyze a gene called MTHFR. Certain MTHFR mutations, they believe, predispose kids to bad reactions to vaccines, possibly even leading to autism—a fear unsupported by science.

This interest in MTHFR can be traced right back to [biologist David] Reif’s 2008 paper, which linked a variant of the gene to “adverse events” after smallpox vaccines. It was a somewhat intriguing result then. A decade later, however, James Crowe, the senior author of the paper and the director of the Vanderbilt Vaccine Center, offers a blistering assessment of his own study: “It’s just not even a valid study by today’s methodology.” To use it for granting vaccine exemptions now, he says, is “illogical and inappropriate.”

Related article:  This funny-looking helmet could treat depression by 'rewiring' the brain

At a time when companies are hawking (unproven) DNA-based diets, supplements, and exercise routines, of course people are wondering what genetics says about vaccines—even if the answer is, currently, not very much at all.


Read full, original post: Why Anti-vax Doctors Are Ordering 23andMe Tests

Outbreak Daily Digest
Biotech Facts & Fallacies
GLP Podcasts
Infographic: Here’s where GM crops are grown around the world today

Infographic: Here’s where GM crops are grown around the world today

Do you know where biotech crops are grown in the world? This updated ISAAA infographics show where biotech crops were ...
News on human & agricultural genetics and biotechnology delivered to your inbox.
glp menu logo outlined

Newsletter Subscription

* indicates required
Email Lists
Send this to a friend