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This 1 page Class Notes was uploaded by Julia Begeman on Monday September 26, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to at University of New Haven taught by Dr. Eva Sapi in Fall 2016. Since its upload, it has received 2 views. For similar materials see Molecular Genetics/Genomics in Biology at University of New Haven.
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Date Created: 09/26/16
I am definitely in favor of genetic testing being available to the public. I personally want to know more about my genetic make-up. This is mostly out of curiosity because I think genes are cool, but I also would want to know if I have a higher risk of a preventable disease. If I decide to have children, it would also be comforting to know what genes I could be potentially passing down to them as well. However, these tests can easily be misinterpreted, so I think the information should pass through a genetic counselor’s hands before reaching the consumer. This could be as simple as a written report of what the information means before the raw data is seen, or could mean setting up an appointment to discuss the results with a genetic counselor in person. Many supporters of direct-to-consumer genetic testing would call this paternalistic, but the reality is that most consumers are not educated in genetics and could seriously misinterpret the results without the input of a trained professional. Angelina Jolie brought attention to the fact that many women with the BRCA genes consider mastectomies, but an incorrect interpretation of data could mean that this was an unnecessary procedure for some. Considering regulations before the test is available to consumers, I like the idea of Joann Boughman, the executive vice president of the American Society of Human Genetics. In an article in the “DNA Dilemma” series by Mary Carmichael, Boughman says that there are several regulations in place that should be enforced in genetics to make these tests more reliable without overwhelming laboratories. The first is for all labs that give back results to be CLIA (Clinical Laboratory Improvement Amendments) certified. Secondly, the College of American Pathologists certifies labs and sends ‘unknown’ samples for testing. These two regulations can help ensure that good results are being given to consumers. Combined with the interpretation of a genetic counselor, consumers will have good, reliable information about their own genomes.
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