It’s now possible to have your DNA analyzed without committing a major crime. For $99 you can get genotyped by 23andMe and receive personalized:
- Reports on 240+ health conditions and traits
- Risk profiles for contracting major diseases
- Testing for 40+ inherited conditions
- Information on your ancestry
A little background please:
- The complete set of instructions for making each one of us is encoded in our DNA.
- DNA is arranged into 23 pairs of chromosomes inherited from our parents.
- Chromosomes are organized into short segments called genes, of which we have about 20,000.
- Genes control the traits our cells express. They make me, me and you, you.
How much DNA dictates destiny is still hotly debated. As noted on the blog Singularity:
In terms of general accuracy, having a specific gene does not necessarily guarantee a specific or certain type of (health) outcome. Though the exact importance of your genes is still very much a matter of scientific debate, currently the predominant opinion claims that genes determine only about 20-30% of the outcome. The other 70-80% are a result of your environment and life choices such as nutrition, sleep and stress patterns, physical activity etc. Thus no DNA test can or will ever predict your future. At best, what it can do is provide you with a good idea of your odds but how you play those is up to you.
In the poker game of life, all we’ve known to date are the face-up cards. Now it’s possible to get a look at our hole cards. I’ve chosen to do this because I think it will help me better play the hand I was dealt at birth.
But not everyone wants to peek.
How about you?