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The Risks and Benefits of 23andMe DNA Analysis

Updated on April 24, 2017
FlourishAnyway profile image

I signed up for 23andMe with an open mind. I emerged with deep concerns about privacy, among other issues.

For Genetic Testing, the Future Is Already Here

Consumers can now turn over their DNA to 23andMe to obtain information about their genealogy for a cost of $99.  Are there potential costs they are overlooking?
Consumers can now turn over their DNA to 23andMe to obtain information about their genealogy for a cost of $99. Are there potential costs they are overlooking? | Source

Who Owns Your Data?

Thanks to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), 23andMe was out of the genetic testing business as of December 2013—not that they were all that practical to begin with. Unfortunately for consumers, as of October 2015, now they're back in business. Don't be too quick to sign up.

Prior to December 2013, 23andMe touted new age promises of direct-to-consumer genetic testing. Eager users like me at the time were provided with personalized information regarding:

  • Risks for 120 health conditions
  • Carrier status for 49 rare diseases
  • Standing on 57 traits

(The reports sound more useful than they really were, however.)

Amazingly, users paid $99 for:

  • Surveys that benefit the medical research community—companies that are paying 23andMe big bucks for access to your data.
  • Uninterpretable raw genetic data. (Why?)
  • Ancestry information
  • Risk. Plenty of it.

Colorful Survey Topics and Your Private Information

Be ready to offer colorful details about your life through lengthy health and lifestyle surveys.  Some topics are intrusive in nature:  sexuality, drug use, and known medical conditions.
Be ready to offer colorful details about your life through lengthy health and lifestyle surveys. Some topics are intrusive in nature: sexuality, drug use, and known medical conditions. | Source

There's No Going Back

If you're not feeling exposed yet, you should be. In addition to the ancestry benefits that 23andMe touts, consumers of DNA testing should understand possible medical, legal, and personal risks of getting such testing. They should understand that once certain information is provided, it can Never Be Taken Back. This is the proverbial horse that's been let out of the barn. There's no going back on this information.

No matter how curious you are, the benefits that 23andMe provides should pale in comparison to its risks. Yes, welcome to the brave new world of

  • spit in a test tube
  • pay $199 plus shipping (they raised their rates)
  • answer a bunch of intrusive personal questions about your health and lifestyle (known medical conditions, pesticide exposure, sexuality, family background, drug use, etc.)
  • then turn over your medical and personal data so big companies like Pfizer and Genetech can use it for their own financial gain. (Yes, folks, this is where Big Pharma steps in.)

My recommendation: Think very carefully before you do this.

I went in with an open mind, enthusiastic to discover more. However, I have emerged with deep concerns about privacy, the ability to withdraw from medical research, and who really owns one's data.

— FlourishAnyway

Do You Really Want To Provide DNA for Ancestry Purposes?

Talk with your healthcare provider about the risks of providing your DNA to a private firm like 23andme for ancestry purposes.
Talk with your healthcare provider about the risks of providing your DNA to a private firm like 23andme for ancestry purposes. | Source

FDA and 23andMe: A Rocky History

In November 2013, the Food and Drug Administration ordered 23andme to stop selling over-the-counter genetic tests to consumers.3 The FDA sought to ensure that the company “analytically or clinically validated” the genetic data it provides to consumers. However, 23andme claimed it provides data and information, not medical advice.

23andme then sold consumers only raw genetic data analysis and ancestry reports, not the health interpretations that many consumers found so compelling. In October 2015, the FDA reinstated the company's permission to offer personal genetic testing. The company raised its price to $199 and reduced the number of health reports.

Direct-to-Consumer Genetic Testing Becomes Widely Accessible

The possibility of learning about one's personal genetic unknowns has intrigued the public since 2008, when 23andMe's direct-to-consumer (DTC) genetic test was named Time Magazine's Invention of the Year.1

At the time, however, the company's price tag for personal DNA analysis was $999, placing the service out of reach for many. (For those willing to pay attention, there's a lesson in there about being an "early adopter.")

The Google-backed company has dropped its price several times since then in an effort to attract more customers. In December 2012, the fee was permanently reduced to $99, plus shipping ($9.95 in the United States)—permanently, I guess, until the rate increase to $199 in October 2015.2

At these lower price points, many people find themselves at a decision point: "Should I get at-home genetic testing?" I was one of them.

I signed up before the December 2013 FDA involvement. I went in with an open mind, enthusiastic to discover more. However, I have emerged with deep concerns about privacy, the ability to withdraw from medical research, and who really owns one's data. Following is my opinion, based on my experience.

We do not sell, lease, or rent your individual-level personal information without your explicit consent.

— 23andMe (personal communication to the author)

What Are You Trading Away For That Ancestry Information?

Click thumbnail to view full-size
23andMe now offers a watered-down ancestry version of their service.  Do you really want to divulge your genetic information to find out what percent Neanderthal you are or who your fifth and sixth cousins might be?Prior to the FDA's involvement in 2013, 23andMe offered consumers health information and related research, plus ancestry tools based on their DNA.
23andMe now offers a watered-down ancestry version of their service.  Do you really want to divulge your genetic information to find out what percent Neanderthal you are or who your fifth and sixth cousins might be?
23andMe now offers a watered-down ancestry version of their service. Do you really want to divulge your genetic information to find out what percent Neanderthal you are or who your fifth and sixth cousins might be? | Source
Prior to the FDA's involvement in 2013, 23andMe offered consumers health information and related research, plus ancestry tools based on their DNA.
Prior to the FDA's involvement in 2013, 23andMe offered consumers health information and related research, plus ancestry tools based on their DNA. | Source

A Cautionary Tale for Anyone Interested In Genetic Testing

The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks
The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks

If you’re concerned about bioethics and enjoy a compelling story, this is a must-read book. Henrietta Lacks is the most famous woman in science, but many of us have never heard her story. She was a poor black tobacco farmer from Virginia whose biological samples were taken without her knowledge. They were used to develop the polio vaccine, research cancer viruses and the effects of the atomic bomb, They also led to advancements in cloning, in vitro fertilization, and gene mapping, making other people very rich. And don’t skip the “notes” portion in the back. It was as interesting as the story and will prompt you to READ all medical consent forms.

 

Your DNA Can Make Others Very Rich

Hand your DNA over to 23andMe or another for-profit genetics testing firm and you might find yourself unable to get life insurance or long-term care insurance.
Hand your DNA over to 23andMe or another for-profit genetics testing firm and you might find yourself unable to get life insurance or long-term care insurance. | Source

Registration Was So Easy

Signing up was so easy, but that's often the thing about mistakes—they're easy to make and tough to undo. As someone who was curious about my health risks and carrier status, I decided to take the chance and enroll.

I registered online with 23andMe and provided the required personally identifying information. This included my name, address, email address, and credit card information for payment of the service. The option to be tested anonymously does not exist. Don't think I didn't want that option.

The company subsequently mailed me a "spit kit" to collect a small amount of saliva. They had to do it twice because I didn't understand how to properly use it the first time around.

I subsequently returned the sample to the contracted laboratory for processing. (To promote privacy with the third-party testing lab, the consumer uses a registration number instead of his or her name.) Then, after 6-8 weeks, I received the information I had been waiting for.

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Full Of Possibilities: Patents, Profits, and Your Genetic Data

A genetic database offers the possibility of new medical discoveries, patents, profits -- but also hope for those who currently suffer from incurable diseases.
A genetic database offers the possibility of new medical discoveries, patents, profits -- but also hope for those who currently suffer from incurable diseases. | Source
Potential Benefits
Potential Risks
Learn your percentage of Neanderthal ancestry.
You could discover uncomfortable information about family heritage or biological relationships (e.g., paternity, you're adopted).
Learn the countries where your genome may have come from.
Some of the surveys are very personally intrusive.
Find people in the 23andMe community with similar profiles and interests.
Once you've completed surveys you can never opt out. 23andme retains your data for "internal purposes."
Attempt to contact your DNA relatives near and far. (Many don't respond.)
There is a possibility of exposing individual-level information.
Potentially assist medical research and indirectly benefit from discoveries.
Your data could be made public or disclosed to insurance companies.
Possibly manage risk through better lifestyle choices.
It may be more difficult to get life, disability, or long term care insurance. (GINA only protects against genetic discrimination in employment.)
Prepare for the possibility of serious diseases/facilitate conversations with your healthcare provider(s).
Oversharing of relatives' information. Your participation could expose relatives to potential risks that they aren't aware of or don't consent to.
 
In the event of corporate bankruptcy, consumers' genetic data would likely be considered a corporate asset and sold. That is what happened when deCODE, a prior competitor of 23andMe, went bankrupt in 2009. Pharmaceutical giant Amgen purchased the company in December 2012 for $415M, in part for its large data bank.
 
You may learn about your own health risks or carrier status and by extension the potential risks and carrier status of your relatives.

Now They Know So Much About You

Holy smokes, Batman!  This is no ordinary spit sample!
Holy smokes, Batman! This is no ordinary spit sample! | Source

Why Is A Spit Sample So Valuable?

Personal genotyping consists of genetic analyses conducted on a small sample of a person's DNA. Although the company now provides only ancestry information. 23andMe is the largest company in the direct-to-consumer genetic testing market.

Saliva is used because our spit is a genetic window to who we are. Saliva samples contain DNA cells for analyzing single nucleotide polymorphisms, or SNPs (pronounced "snips"). SNPs are patterns of DNA cells that contain small changes, or copying errors.4 These errors occur when cells reproduce. As a result, SNPs contribute to both observable and unobservable variations in health, physical appearance, and other aspects of what makes each person unique.

SNPs are inherited from one's parents. Therefore, they can be used as an index of genetic similarity. The more closely related you are to someone, the more likely you are to share SNPs. For example, you share more SNPs with a sibling than a third cousin.5

When you turn over access to your DNA, combine it with personally identifiable information (e.g., name), then provide survey data (e.g., questionnaires on sexuality, personality, drug use, lifestyle), you hand over the keys to not only your own identity but that of your relatives. Why? Thanks to publicly available records, you have provided information about not just yourself but also your relatives. And there's no going back.

Who knows how this information will be used in the future?

23andMe tests a small portion of the human genome.
23andMe tests a small portion of the human genome. | Source

More than 10 million SNPs exist across the human genome, and prior to the FDA's involvement 23andMe tested for about one million of these coding variations.6 This coverage of only a portion of the genome was one of the major criticisms of 23andMe even before the FDA became involved.

In contrast, competitor companies such as Gene by Gene Ltd. offer consumers an analysis of their entire genome (called "whole genome sequencing"). However, such comes at the hefty price tag of $7,395 or more and requires the involvement of a personal physician.7

Family Tree: What Will You Dig Up?

Do you really know what you inherited from parents, grandparents, and past generations?
Do you really know what you inherited from parents, grandparents, and past generations? | Source

Reader Poll

Would you consider getting direct-to-consumer DNA testing?

See results

Nothing Is More Personal Than Genetic Analysis

Like hundreds of thousands of other people, I took the testing before the FDA put a halt to 23andMe's personal health analytics. The U.S.Food and Drug Administration (FDA) intervened in late 2013 because of concerns that this service eliminated the physician as consultant or middleman by offering testing services directly to consumers.

During the entire process, rather than relying on a personal physician to request testing, deliver results, and answer questions I communicated directly with 23andMe. Diagnoses were never involved—just potential risk factors and carrier statuses. Imagine, however, the personal impact of discovering that your results include Parkinson's or another serious illness. That physician as middleman sounds more necessary than ever.

The Gate Has Been Unlocked

Answer a few surveys.  Share your genetic information.  You've left the whole gate unlocked.
Answer a few surveys. Share your genetic information. You've left the whole gate unlocked. | Source

Regardless of your consent status, we may also include your data in aggregate data that we disclose to third-party research partners."

— 23andMe Privacy Statement

23andMe Testing: You're Putting Yourself At Personal Risk

Do you care about this information so much that you could risk not being able to get life insurance or long term care insurance? If an insurance company gains access to your data, then these could be the consequences not only for you but potentially also for your relatives who did NOT consent to having their DNA tested.

Is genealogy information so important to you that you could risk a possible data breach? Regardless of what 23andMe says about their security and privacy protocols, think about hackers and the value of all that data in one place.

If data systems can be breached at the IRS, Target, Home Depot, Anthem, AOL, Heartland, Ebay, JPMorganChase, and other large organizations, what makes 23andMe and their corporate partners immune? If you think you're not at risk, you're fooling yourself.

Participants in 23andMe research may hope that their data leads to new medical discoveries for medical conditions, thus helping others.
Participants in 23andMe research may hope that their data leads to new medical discoveries for medical conditions, thus helping others. | Source

No Longer Available: Risk Assessment for Health Condidtions

I received the full "benefit" of 23andMe services prior to the December 2013 FDA involvement, when they were supposedly unimpeded by government intervention. I was left with a big "so what?" Today's consumers who grasp at the even more watered down health reports should consider that carefully.

The so-called health information was of varying usefulness. Some conditions tested only one or two genes associated with a disease or condition known to involve multiple genes. (What's the real value in that?) Other results were based on findings of questionable validity (e.g., preliminary research studies involving less than 100 people).

Still other reports were marginally interesting but of no practical value: hair curl and earwax type. Finally, there were other results that seemed to be issued based on what I had reported to 23andMe already in a survey. They were reporting back to me what I had reported to them. Duh!

Now Just Try To Undo It

Good pup.  You answered all those survey questions.
Good pup. You answered all those survey questions. | Source

What's In Those Surveys?

23andMe survey topics include a variety of topics. Examples include:

  • personality measures
  • commonly used medications
  • sexual orientation survey
  • questions about tobacco and caffeine usage
  • pesticide exposure and
  • which toe is the longest.

Although 23andMe indicates that 90% or more of its consumers do participate in their survey research, users can opt out of surveys they consider overly intrusive or decline to participate in surveys altogether.

A Word To the Wise

I became alarmed with 23andMe in the Spring of 2015 when I attempted to confirm with the customer care department that they had my status as OPTING OUT of research participation. The company's recent partnerships with 12 big pharmaceutical companies had triggered concern about privacy, security, who owned my data, and how it would be used.

I had completed some but not all of their exhaustive battery of surveys and had not logged on for a very long time. In response to my clearly worded request that I withdrew my consent from research, the customer care replied that "23andMe may still use the information for internal purposes." 23andMe was the door that, once opened, can never be shut.

I'm not done with 23andMe yet, however I am left to wonder what "internal purposes" means? Who has access to my data? What are they using it for? How many other people have made similar requests and had them unheeded?

Is it worth $199 to reveal your genetic code to a private company with big links to Big Data for the mere benefit of perhaps connecting with fifth-degree cousins. In the future will we be able to Google our DNA code?

My advice: If you're curious about your family tree, look to genealogy, not genetics.

A good family tree/geneology service will NOT require you to provide a biological sample

Who's Hanging Out In Your Family Tree?

There's a dear old Uncle Amos in every family tree.
There's a dear old Uncle Amos in every family tree. | Source

Reader Opinion Poll

To what extent are you concerned about the privacy of your genetic data?

See results

Your genetic data, survey responses, and/or personally identifying information may be stolen in the event of a security breach. In the event of such a breach, if your data are associated with your identity they may be made public or released to insurance companies, which could have a negative effect on your ability to obtain insurance coverage. Although 23andMe cannot provide a 100% guarantee that your data will be safe, 23andMe has strong policies and procedures in place to minimize the possibi

— 23andMe Consent Form

Decide What's Right For You

With 23andMe and other direct to consumer genetic testing, ultimately you'll need to decide whether the trade-off is worth it for you personally.  Good luck in your decision.
With 23andMe and other direct to consumer genetic testing, ultimately you'll need to decide whether the trade-off is worth it for you personally. Good luck in your decision. | Source

Sources

1. Hamilton, Anita. "1. The Retail DNA Test - Best Inventions of 2008 - TIME." Breaking News, Analysis, Politics, Blogs, News Photos, Video, Tech Reviews - TIME.com. Last modified October 29, 2008. Accessed March 15, 2013.http://www.time.com/time/specials/packages/article/0,28804,1852747_1854493_1854113,00.html.

2. Rochman, Bonnie. "Good Genes - TIME." Breaking News, Analysis, Politics, Blogs, News Photos, Video, Tech Reviews - TIME.com. Last modified August 20, 2012. Accessed March 17, 2013.http://www.enhancedmedicalcare.com/portfolio-items/time-magazine/.

3. Neff, Gina. "23andMe vs. the FDA: Both are wrong." Slate Magazine. Last modified December 13, 2013.http://www.slate.com/blogs/future_tense/2013/12/13/_23andme_vs_the_fda_both_are_wrong.html?wpisrc=burger_bar.

4. National Center for Biotechnology Information. "SNPs: Variations on a Theme." National Center for Biotechnology Information. Last modified September 20, 2007. Accessed March 16, 2013.http://www.livingnaturally.com/ns/DisplayMonograph.asp?StoreID=3ED1FF6A18BD42979FFF73C8E8CD4512&DocID=genomic-snp.

5. 23andMe. "What are SNPs?" 23andMe. Accessed March 15, 2013. http://www.23andme.com.

6. 23andMe. "Genotyping Technology." 23andMe. Accessed March 15, 2013. http://www.23andme.com.

7. GenebyGene. "Products." DNA DTC. Accessed October 17, 2014.http://www.dnadtc.com/products.aspx.

© 2013 FlourishAnyway

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    • FlourishAnyway profile image
      Author

      FlourishAnyway 4 months ago from USA

      Ashley - Thanks for your comment. I'm familiar with GINA; I wrote an article about it here: http://hubpages.com/business/Genetic-Discriminatio... Unfortunately, GINA only protects against genetic discrimination in employment. That doesn't help people who are trying to get long term care or life insurance, for example, outside of their employer. It's a huge risk, plus they're making millions off your DNA.

    • profile image

      Ashley 4 months ago

      Hello FlourishAnyway,

      Are you familiar with the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act of 2008? It prevents you from being discriminated against for jobs and health insurance because of your genetic information. The reality is that genetic testing can save insurance companies a lot of money that is spent on caring for patients who have adverse drug reactions or preventable medical issues. These tests can bring them to light before they become an issue, which is why medically focused tests are so much more valuable. Anyway, if insurance was your primary concern, this may be something to look into. Have a great day!

    • FlourishAnyway profile image
      Author

      FlourishAnyway 9 months ago from USA

      Ainsley - Although I do like that you sign up together with your doctor (hopefully after consultation), they do say that the service is an "informational and not a diagnostic service" and I would have similar concerns because of the health partnerships that exist (what sharing of data exists?). It may be superior to 23andMe but still shares similar issues. For example, potentially keeping you from getting certain types of insurance. Good question. Thanks for asking.

    • FlourishAnyway profile image
      Author

      FlourishAnyway 14 months ago from USA

      Peggy - I really don't think people are aware of the potential ramifications. To them, it's just curiosity and ancestry information. Oh, they're so mistaken! Thanks for helping to sound the alarm.

    • FlourishAnyway profile image
      Author

      FlourishAnyway 14 months ago from USA

      GmaGoldie - So glad you found this useful. Thanks for reading.

    • GmaGoldie profile image

      Kelly Kline Burnett 14 months ago from Madison, Wisconsin

      Fascinating! Great content and much to ponder. Thank you very much!

    • Peggy W profile image

      Peggy Woods 14 months ago from Houston, Texas

      They seem to be advertising this more often on television these days. Think that I will tweet this and share once again so that people understand the risks that they are taking if they decide to have the genetic testing done.

    • FlourishAnyway profile image
      Author

      FlourishAnyway 16 months ago from USA

      Glenn - They should definitely be paying users, rather than the other way around. Thanks for reading and for tweeting.

    • Glenn Stok profile image

      Glenn Stok 16 months ago from Long Island, NY

      I am so glad that I read your hub Shelly. I was thinking of using 23andMe to have my DNA tested. I never realized that I would be providing more information to them than they would be giving to me. What's the use of that? And in addition we have to pay for it. They should pay us! By the way, they also doubled the price since you wrote this hub.

      You explained things very well and gave much more information than they provide on their website. And for that I thank you tremendously.

      DNA testing still could be a useful thing to do, especially for those who are concerned and want to know more about themselves. But at least you provided information that's required for one to make an intelligent choice.

      Everyone who is thinking of having their DNA tested should read your hub first.

    • FlourishAnyway profile image
      Author

      FlourishAnyway 3 years ago from USA

      electronician - Thanks for reading and commenting. That story of Henrietta Lacks (whom I am distantly related to) is an eye opener. It's a fascinating service, and I went ahead and got it but I do have my lingering doubts.

    • electronician profile image

      Dean Walsh 3 years ago from Birmingham, England

      Great write up, I hadn't thought about the risk that getting information about your own genome could have privacy implications for your family. Vote up and useful, and tweeted too!

    • FlourishAnyway profile image
      Author

      FlourishAnyway 3 years ago from USA

      denisefenimore - Somehow I missed your comment previously -- sorry about that! Thank you for sharing your experience. I'm happy that your results let you rest a little easier. Best of happiness and health to you and your family.

    • FlourishAnyway profile image
      Author

      FlourishAnyway 3 years ago from USA

      Benjamin - Thanks for reading and commenting. Genetic testing does seem to be the wave of the future, like it or not. Have a great day.

    • profile image

      Benjamin Chege 3 years ago

      Hi FlourishAnyway. Well presented, detailed and informative hub. Voted up and awesome. I think genetic testing is important, though the truth hurts at times. It is good to know the reality at hand than hide from it. I would rather know I have an increased risk of diabetes and avoid certain foods that would make me more vulnerable, than remain in the dark and poison myself without knowing. That's just me.

    • FlourishAnyway profile image
      Author

      FlourishAnyway 3 years ago from USA

      Carly - Gosh, especially in your case it might at least give you some basic medical information. (Genetic potential for Alzheimers, Parkinsons, for example.)

      I found out that I was at genetic risk for certain conditions that I had no idea about, and now I can make lifestyle changes. I also found out strange things such as that I am resistant to Norovirus (I rarely get the stomach flu, so that might explain it!). Additionally I received names/contact information for people who may be up to sixth degree relatives, people who were also genetically tested and are in the database. They may or may not accept the request to connect. The historical nationality information was fascinating for me personally. I found it worth the $99 but the privacy concerns are indeed scary in this Brave New World of medical testing. Good luck on your choice.

    • CarlySullens profile image

      CarlySullens 3 years ago from St. Louis, Missouri

      I enjoyed reading this very much. As someone who is adopted, and married someone else who is adopted, we are limited in knowing our family health history. I have since searched and found my biological family, but I am not longer in contact with them. My husband does not want to search for his biological family.

      We have both considered genetic testing to have our biological information many take for granted. He does not even know his own nationality.

      Also, as two adoptees married, we now have children. What have we passed down to our offspring? Genetic testing gives us some information and answers, where otherwise we would be left in the dark.

      Your information, though you bring a lot to consider, makes me what to do this!

    • profile image

      denisefenimore 3 years ago

      Because I have Alzheimer's in my family (Paternal Grandmother and Aunt), every time I would misplace something or forget items at the grocery store I would wonder if 'it' was starting. I joined 23 and Me and had my DNA test done. I am so glad I did! I can finally put the daily fear of Alzheimer's to rest in my mind. I also had my son's DNA done to make sure it didn't jump a generation. All is well and I can relax my mind. I do want to thank you for this article. I have to say the information you presented about where my DNA information could go if there is a sale of 23 and Me does give me something to think about. But if I had the chance to do it again I would. The peace of mind I now have is priceless.

    • FlourishAnyway profile image
      Author

      FlourishAnyway 4 years ago from USA

      Thank you for your read and your comment, Crystals-view!

    • Crystals-view profile image

      Crystals-view 4 years ago from Colorado, USA

      I enjoyed this article. I can tell you definitely did your research. In many of my classes this topic is brought up and extensively discussed. Most of our findings are that people who know that a certain disease is inheritable and in their family do submit their DNA for whole genome sequencing and by doing so are more likely to receive better treatment due to the drug being unique to the person. Even though your entire sequence is out there, a select few know what the possibilities of genetic manipulation is capable of and know how to analyse it. Great job on the hub!

    • FlourishAnyway profile image
      Author

      FlourishAnyway 4 years ago from USA

      Thank each of you for your comments. I struggled tremendously with whether to go through with the testing. On one hand, I recognized privacy and security issues. On the other hand, I personally face an incurable disease, MS, that has some genetic connections but is poorly understood. In doing the research for this hub, I was most surprised by what would happen to user data in the event of a business change (sale, bankrupcy, etc.). I always considered my genetic material to be "mine," but the 2010 book, "The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks" by Rebecca Skloot was eye-opening for me -- especially the author's research notes in the back that address genetic testing. There are some exceedingly strong opinions in the literature both for and against, so I hope I was fair in representing them.

    • Sharkye11 profile image

      Jayme Kinsey 4 years ago from Oklahoma

      Very interesting! I can see how this would give a lot of people hope about the health. But at the same time, I can see where insurance corporations could twist it to make it a bad thing. I think I would prefer to just live day-by-day and take the good along with the bad. Voting up!

    • Thundermama profile image

      Catherine Taylor 4 years ago from Canada

      This was a fascinating hub. I had no idea that this was available to people, but I share your concerns. I am not sure that this would be for me for a lot of reasons specifically I would not be comfortable having detailed info about myself like that out in the world...and in some cases I think ignorance is bliss. Voted way up and sharing. Well done.

    • NMLady profile image

      NMLady 4 years ago from New Mexico & Arizona

      I am going to link my Genomics: T-Gen, Med. Research & Forensics. I am so fascinated by this! Nice write up. You are more skeptical than I am.

    • Peggy W profile image

      Peggy Woods 4 years ago from Houston, Texas

      There are definite pros and cons associated with this type of genetic testing. I would worry about the security concerns most. Good to know about this, but for now, I will take a pass. Up, useful and interesting votes. Well written hub! Sharing with my followers.

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