Thursday, June 1, 2023

Secrets in Our DNA

When the direct-to-consumer DNA tests were splashing onto the scene a few years ago, I noticed that some of my colleagues at school were getting their 23AndMe or AncestryDNA tests done. None of them were science teachers.

My immediate take was that the more you knew about DNA, the less likely you were to buy into these tests.

I haven't purchased a test, myself. But I might get one someday. There seems to be some entertainment value and some medical value. But it's important not to set expectations very high.

That said, there is a story here. A story with several compelling threads. And this episode of NOVA gets at this story.

Some 30 million people have sent their DNA to be analyzed by companies like 23andMe and AncestryDNA. But what happens once the sample is in the hands of testing companies, and how accurate are their results? NOVA explores the power of genetic data to reveal family connections, ancestry, and health risks—and even solve criminal cold cases. But alongside the benefits of these rapidly growing genetic databases are serious unintended consequences.

Warning: the program contains graphic descriptions of crimes, which may not be suitable for all audiences. Viewer discretion is advised. 
For more DNA content, see:
Hunt for the Oldest DNA

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