Home Overview Press Room Blog Publications For Students about us
Search

About Personal Genomics


Direct-to-consumer genetic testing is an emerging, highly publicized industry, despite considerable skepticism among experts. Advances in sequencing and genomics have revealed some correlations between particular genetic sequences and certain diseases, physical characteristics, and behaviors, though these relationships are not perfectly understood. Nevertheless, entrepreneurs have seized on these correlations to sell tests that purport to indicate whether the customer has an increased risk of a disease or other characteristic. Similarly, associations of genetic sequences with specific geographical locations have led to commercial “ancestry tests.”

Evaluating the claims of these companies is difficult, since their technologies are typically kept private and there is minimal oversight. Medical tests are supposed to be supervised by a physician, and testing laboratories need to be licensed. California has worked with Navigenics and 23andMe, two of the best-known companies, to ensure that they are operating legally in the state, but these Internet-based businesses raise regulatory concerns that cross state boundaries.

This industry may contribute to an over-emphasis on genes as determinants, possibly at the expense of environmental, economic and social considerations. A further concern is the possible use of DNA databases developed by private companies, whose business plans include profiting from the compiled data. Finally, although the companies insist that they will respect the privacy of their customers, there is no effective guarantee.



Personalizing Cancer Treatment With Genetic Tests Can Be Trickyby Richard HarrisNational Public RadioApril 15th, 2015Genetic tests also spot a lot of ambiguous information, and that can sometimes lead people into clinical trials that are wrong for them.
Colorado Bill Would Add DNA Testing for Eight Misdemeanor Convictionsby Noelle PhillipsThe Denver PostApril 14th, 2015Those who commit one of the eight misdemeanors are more likely to commit more violent crimes, said Denver District Attorney Mitch Morrissey.
A NASA Scientist Is Behind the 'My DNA Was Planted' Viral Craigslist Adby Kari PaulMotherboardApril 14th, 2015A Craigslist ad thoug​ht to be covert advertising is actually an experimental post that evolved into a form of performance art, according to the NASA scientist who created it
DNA Testing Is a Slippery Slopeby Russell SaundersThe Daily BeastApril 14th, 2015Money shark Mark Cuban set off a firestorm on Twitter after recommending blood tests for “everything available.” Genetic testing has value, but it’s not for commercial use.
California Unveils 'Precision-Medicine' Projectby Erika Check HaydenNature NewsApril 14th, 2015The $3-million state initiative will coordinate with a national effort to promote individualized patient treatment.
Reality Check: Is Sex Crime Genetic?by Emily UnderwoodScience MagazineApril 9th, 2015A new study suggesting that genes play a major role in sex crimes has skeptics concerned.
Baby Genes to be Mapped at Birth in Medical Firstby Helen ThomsonNew ScientistApril 8th, 2015Could genome sequencing of newborns give valuable insight or do harm? That's the question US doctors are trying to answer in a pioneering trial starting this month.
Ancestry.Com Is Quietly Transforming Itself Into A Medical Research Juggernautby Daniela HernandezThe Huffington PostApril 6th, 2015Since it has been collecting ancestral data for decades, the $1.6 billion company knows health information not just about its users, but about their great-grandparents and great-great-grandparents.
Fetal DNA Tests Prove Highly Accurate but Experts Warn of Exceptionsby Julie SteenhuysenReutersApril 1st, 2015The newer tests are not regulated by the FDA, and companies are heavily promoting their performance in ways that may mislead patients, critics say.
A New Facebook App Wants To Test Your DNAby Virginia HughesBuzzFeed NewsMarch 31st, 2015Some people are growing wary of Facebook’s reach into seemingly every aspect of life, and all of the privacy and security concerns that come with that.
Genome Editing Poses Ethical Problems that we Cannot Ignoreby Anthony Wrigley and Ainsley NewsonThe ConversationMarch 31st, 2015With great power comes great responsibility – and few subjects elicit such heated debates about moral rights and wrongs.
Kaiser to Look for Autism’s Causes in Large-Scale Studyby  Victoria ColliverSan Francisco ChronicleMarch 31st, 2015Scientists have long suspected that autism results from a combination of genetics and environmental factors, but no one knows for sure.
The Brave New World of DNA Synthesisby Jeffrey MarlowWiredMarch 30th, 2015DNA synthesis companies range from scrappy start-ups to Cambridge-area behemoths, each touting a distinct set of tools that carves out a slice of the ever-increasing pie.
The Brave New World of DNA Synthesisby Jeffrey MarlowWiredMarch 30th, 2015DNA synthesis companies range from scrappy start-ups to Cambridge-area behemoths, each touting a distinct set of tools that carves out a slice of the ever increasing pie.
Astronaut Twins Study Raises Questions About Genetic Privacyby Alexandra WitzeNatureMarch 26th, 2015Researchers will gather reams of genomic and other data on astronaut Scott Kelly and compare it to his Earth-dwelling twin, but the results may never be published if they discover sensitive medical information.
Gene Counsellors Expect Resurgence of 'Jolie Effect'by Erika Check HaydenNatureMarch 26th, 2015Misinterpreted results of tests for cancer risk can result in unnecessary surgery.
Precision Medicine is Coming, But Not Anytime Soonby Beverly MerzHarvard Health BlogMarch 26th, 2015Identifying disease-related genes doesn’t mean these genes are useful today.
165,000 Engagements End Due to ‘Genetic Incompatibilities’by Hussain Hazzazi and Ayman Al-SaidalaniSaudi GazetteMarch 24th, 2015In Saudi Arabia, health checkups are mandatory for engaged couples before they get married. The program aims to reduce the risk of having children with any blood or gastronomical diseases.
These Are All the Things That Could Go Wrong with 23andMe's Drug Development[Quotes CGS's Marcy Darnovsky]by Kari PaulMotherboardMarch 19th, 201523andMe will begin using its DNA database to develop new medical treatments. Experts question what that means for the 850,000 people who have submitted their data to the company.
Public interest group condemns human germline modification efforts, supports research moratorium, calls for US prohibition[Press Statement]March 19th, 2015We're at a watershed moment in determining whether human genetic technologies will be used in the public interest and for the common good, or in ways that are dangerous and socially pernicious.
Displaying 1-20 of 695  
Next >> 
Last Page » 
« Show Complete List » 


ESPAÑOL | PORTUGUÊS | Русский

home | overview | blog | publications| about us | donate | newsletter | press room | privacy policy

CGS • 1936 University Ave, Suite 350, Berkeley, CA 94704 • • (p) 1.510.665.7760 • (F) 1.510.665.8760