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More than thirty million people have used at-home DNA testing kits, sold by companies such as 23andMe, Ancestry and others, to flesh out their family tree or to help them discover long-lost relatives. However, mail-in genetic tests can sometimes bring unexpected and unsettling results that challenge long-held assumptions about who we think we are.
In her book, “,” journalist Libby Copeland investigates the consequences of the commercialization of our genes and considers implications for privacy, health, relationships with family members, and even law enforcement.
- Copeland says it is not unusual for those who use home DNA tests to be by the results. Uncovering family secrets or complications, such as so-called “non-paternity events,” are not uncommon.
- Many privacy experts have about consumers’ personal DNA data and how it is protected (or not) with commercial genetic testing. There are also questions about how secure our genetic data will be in the future.
- Even if you have never used a DNA testing kit yourself, a relative of yours may have, and that has implications for you too, according to Copeland, especially as more and more people test. After all, she writes, “your genes are not yours alone.”
- Find out was tracked down through the use of DNA data uploaded to a free online genealogy service by one of the suspect’s relatives, and how investigators are now using similar techniques .
- that genealogist Alice Collins Plebuch discovered - and eventually solved - after she got the results of a mail-in DNA test.
- so worried about commercial DNA tests?