In August, a group of researchers published the results of a massive genome-wide association study on homosexual behavior. The take-home message of the paper, which was published in Science, was that while many genes influenced same-sex attraction, genetics alone could not predict one’s sexual behavior. Yet a month later, the Belgium-based startup GenePlaza launched an app that provides consumers with a same-sex attraction score based on an analysis of their DNA.
On Monday (October 14), the researchers behind the genetic association study sent a letter to GenePlaza urging them to take down the app. “Our study indicated that individual-level prediction is impossible for same-sex sexual behavior,” wrote Benjamin Neale, a behavioral geneticist at the Broad Institute, on behalf of the study’s authors. “The promotion of this app and, in particular, the claims it makes are a gross and dangerous mischaracterization of the work.”
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