23andMe, a company that makes personalized DNA tests, has asked the Food and Drug Administration to approve their kits for at-home use. Scientists and medical professionals are skeptical about the kits, which they say don’t give accurate results about risk factors for diseases and other health problems, but having FDA approval might take some of the stigma away from at-home testing. Would you try at-home genetic testing to determine your risk for certain genetic diseases or disorders? More
Topic: genetic testing
The Spanish National Research Center in Madrid has developed a new blood test which could approximate how long we have to live. The test measures the tips of our chromosomes, called telomeres, which indicate our “biological” age (i.e.how old our body feels and functions) as opposed to our actual chronological age. If you’ve ever seen The Biggest Loser, they often perform a similar test on contestants, revealing how health risks such as obesity, smoking, and other illnesses can increase your biological age. So while chronologically you may only be 40 years old, biologically, your body could actually function like it’s been around for a lot longer. This new telomere test is scheduled to be available over the counter in the United Kingdom in a few months (with a hefty price tag of nearly $700). But forget the high cost: If this test could accurately tell you when you’re due to die, would you want to know, or does this just sound like a less sexy, more sad version of the Time Traveler’s Wife?
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According to The New York Times, Walgreens pharmacies are holding off selling a new at-home genetic test, because the FDA just challenged legal issues surrounding the test.