Home DNA kits have questionable results

Jul 27, 2006

Federal investigators in Washington say consumers shouldn't plunk down hundreds of dollars for do-it-yourself DNA tests.

An investigation by the Government Accountability Office concludes the results produced by such tests are medically unproven, ambiguous or both, USA Today says.

The GAO report came as the U.S. Senate Special Committee on Aging kicked off a hearing Thursday into genetic tests marketed on the Internet and elsewhere.

Panel Chairman Sen. Gordon Smith, R.-Ore., says consumers should visit their doctors if they are concerned about a particular disease rather than resorting to a home DNA test.

For the study, GAO investigators bought test kits from four companies and then collected DNA samples from a 9-month-old girl and a 48-year-old man, the newspaper said.

Using the samples, they created 19 fictitious consumers and sent the tests back for analysis. The personalized information from the testing companies indicated the fictitious consumers were at risk of developing a range of conditions including cancer, diabetes, high blood pressure and heart disease.

USA Today said two of the firms used the results to promote expensive dietary supplements.

Copyright 2006 by United Press International

Explore further: Researchers discover low-grade nonwoven cotton picks up 50 times own weight of oil

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Exploring Mars in low Earth orbit

Jul 31, 2014

In their quest to understand life's potential beyond Earth, astrobiologists study how organisms might survive in numerous environments, from the surface of Mars to the ice-covered oceans of Jupiter's moon, ...

Scientists gear up to fight deadly snake fungal disease

Jul 15, 2014

Researchers have developed a faster and more accurate way to test for infection with Ophidiomyces ophiodiicola, a fungus that is killing snakes in the Midwest and eastern United States. The test also allows ...

US scientists turn to public to help fund research

Jul 09, 2014

Duke University professor Kathleen Pryer has received her share of grant money. But for her newest project, she's getting help from a retired nurse in Canada and a 17-year-old in Arkansas.

Recommended for you

West Africa seals off Ebola outbreak epicentre

3 hours ago

West Africa's Ebola-hit nations announced a cross-border isolation zone on Friday, sealing off the epicentre of the world's worst-ever outbreak as health chiefs warned the epidemic was spiralling out of control.

New research characterizes in-flight pediatric deaths

4 hours ago

In a first-of-its-kind study, researchers at University Hospitals Rainbow Babies & Children's Hospital (UH Rainbow) found that lap infants may be at greater risk for death on a commercial airline flight. The study analyzed ...

Pepper and halt: Spicy chemical may inhibit gut tumors

5 hours ago

Researchers at the University of California, San Diego School of Medicine report that dietary capsaicin – the active ingredient in chili peppers – produces chronic activation of a receptor on cells lining ...

Clues to curbing obesity found in neuronal 'sweet spot'

5 hours ago

Preventing weight gain, obesity, and ultimately diabetes could be as simple as keeping a nuclear receptor from being activated in a small part of the brain, according to a new study by Yale School of Medicine ...

User comments : 0