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How long before there's an "ethical" debate as to whether insurance companies, employers, potential spouses etc should be able to utilise these tests?

DNA test to reveal your future

May 14, 2013, 6:18 pm

Advanced technology has allowed people to get a DNA profile of their future health and potential illnesses for just $100.

The DNA profile is performed with do-it-yourself DNA test kits, which claim to unlock potential future illnesses such as cancer, Alzheimer's disease and heart disease.

The sample of saliva is sent for processing in America and can take up to three months to get the results. The labs look for a particular change or a particular information in your DNA to determine what diseases you might fall victim to.

Metro MD Institute of Medicine in Los Angeles scan hundreds of clients' DNA for 125 diseases.

Metro MD Institute of Medicine's Dr Alex Martin says it's a very exciting time.

"You can alter your outcome - your destiny - from what you eat. It's a journey of exploration," he said.

Today Tonight's reporter David Eccleston had his DNA profiled with the institute, and according to the results his number one risk is age-related macular degeneration, which means his eyes will start to degenerate over time.

Apparently this is consistent with his family history as his mother suffered from the same condition.

When reporter Eccleston did another DNA test with Smart DNA, his results showed he was not at risk of suffering macular degeneration.

More stories from reporter David Eccleston

Sydney University's Professor of Genetics Kris Barlow Stewart is the leading authority on gene research in Australia, having spent the last three decades studying DNA technology.

Professor Stewart is concerned people will take the information that they've been given too seriously.

"The (DNA profile) information is only a small part of which will impact on people's health, because the environment in some cases is even more important than the genetic information," he said.

Professor Stewart says 'different companies with different scientists will give different results'.

"We're still learning how to interpret it," he said.

However he claims employers would be interested in these kinds of tests in deciding who to employ.

A research project was conducted by Sydney University, in which DNA results have been used in Australia to discriminate against job applicants.

A woman claimed she was told not to continue her job application after her DNA profile revealed she was prone to bowel cancer.

In a another case, a man was approved for a job after his DNA test showed he didn't have Marfan Syndrome, which can affect heart and lung health.

For civil libertarian Cameron Murphy the major concern is now the kits are becoming more affordable and it won't be long before companies expect it as a part of your resume.

"I'm very worried we are on a very slippery slope. In the future you could have all sorts of people discriminating against you because of your DNA," Mr Murphy said.

As it stands insurers are not allowed to ask a customer to take a DNA test before they cover them, but if you've had one you do need to disclose the information.

Angelina Jolie has had a double mastectomy after her DNA showed she has the same gene fault as her mother, who died from breast cancer at 56.

Crazy shit. It only shows a predisposition, rather than a guarantee. Did Jolie really got her breasts removed based on this stuff?
(05-15-2013 01:26 AM)GMB13 Wrote: [ -> ]Crazy shit. It only shows a predisposition, rather than a guarantee. Did Jolie really got her breasts removed based on this stuff?

People with the null allele of the BRCA1 gene have a lifetime incidence of breast that is often as high as 80%.

As in, 80% odds of getting full blown cancer if you have the gene.

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Wow, that's a pretty high chance.

I wonder how much it effects insurance if you get your dna tested? Its an easy decision to get this done if you have a ton of money, because you can pay for procedures out of pocket.

What are the odds that it becomes mandatory to get insurance sometime relatively soon? If it is going to be mandated in our life times anyway, might as well do it while we are young and could potentially prevent something.
(05-15-2013 01:26 AM)GMB13 Wrote: [ -> ]Crazy shit. It only shows a predisposition, rather than a guarantee. Did Jolie really got her breasts removed based on this stuff?

We will never know, she made the claim and now we just have to believe her. I think what the CFR poster girl did was decide to get some breast implants due to her advancing years, she thought she could milk it (no pun intended) for some publicity. It's also given the media the opportunity to spread fear about cervical and breast cancer (yeah, they use the word cervical as well, even though she had no concerns in that area), and luckily they can now sell you a cervical cancer vaccine.
I am interested in the validity of this science.
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