Getting to grips with DNA testing

TECH RADAR, MARCH 2018

Only a few short years ago, DNA testing was an activity reserved for bio-hackers, specialist consultants and sci-fi movie plot lines. Now industry estimates suggestthe number of people keen to unlock the secrets of their genome is on the rise, as more of us took genetic tests in 2017 than in all previous years combined.

This isn’t surprising. For starters, there’s been a big shift in consumer interest in health and well-being, as well as an influx in different DNA and health testing companies entering the market. From those that tout the health benefits of sending off your spit in a tube through to those focused on the promise of unlocking the secrets of your ancestry, you now have many options.

But despite the popularity of these tests, they’ve been called into question for inaccuracies, misleading information and privacy concerns over the past few years, with many asking how the data about our DNA is used and whether the testing methods are as watertight as these companies claim.

So before you spit into a tube or prick your finger in the hope of uncovering something life-changing, let’s take a look at the DNA and health testing market, and find out what an expert has to say about whether all the hype is worth it. 

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