The genome is more interesting than informative. Have fun exploring your genetic data, but be very cautious (if not agnostic) if attempting to use genetic data to make healthcare decisions.
If you are interested in personal genetics, you may have already realized that it’s hard to separate the credible, peer-reviewed, rigorous information – from – misleading opinions, faulty extrapolations, and plain ol’ bald-faced lies about the meaning of your genome sequence.
Even for the best, most rigorous, peer-reviewed genetics research published in top scientific journals, the results may not generalize well to everyday life in the general population.
It remains difficult to know who & what to believe & how much one’s genome can be reliably used to make lifestyle and healthcare decisions. This is especially true in the area of mental health.
From time to time, I come across examples of misleading or overreaching personal genome claims, and will try and compile them here. Caveat emptor! To prevent the most egregious direct-to-consumer genetics scams, the U.S. government is (as of July, 2010) stepping in to regulate the consumer genetics field. Perhaps this will slow down the scams (unfortunately, the heavy-handed ways of government might have also killed the fledgling consumer genetics service industry here in the U.S.).
1. Here’s a post on genetic tests for the ACTN3 gene in children.
2. Here’s a post on a bogus genome service for children in China.
3. The My Gene Profile promises to help you discover your child’s “inborn talents” so that you can steer your child down paths that will enhance their talents. This is a promise that cannot be delivered upon using genetic tests – today or ever. Genes do not encode talents! An egregious misleading scam in my opinion.
4. An overblown claim for a genetic test for a fat butt.