Friday, June 20, 2008

doubtful DNA Testing

California Pushes Back on DNA Testing: "
Is reading someone's genetic code the same thing as practicing medicine?

That issue has always loomed over the nascent direct-to-consumer genetic-testing industry, which includes such well-known names as 23andme, Navigenics, and DeCodeMe.
It has become very real now that California public-health officials have ordered 13 online companies to immediately stop offering their services in that state.

The companies offer genetic tests that look for DNA mutations associated with a higher risk of developing heart trouble, dementia, or other maladies. Some critics have said that the science behind some of these tests is relatively new and may be incomplete.

Others say the tests are dangerous because they can identify risk factors for some conditions that have no treatment, such as Alzheimer's disease.

The California Department of Public Health contends the services violate medical-testing rules that require a physician's involvement and proof that tests produce a valid medical result.

The real issue, however, may be as much about turf and how society will react to this new technology as patient safety."


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