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how can genetics help to predict diseases

DNA Testing Companies Launch A New Privacy Coalition

Three DNA testing companies -23andMe, Ancestry, and Helix- have come together to form the Coalition for Genetic Data Protection (CGDP). The alliance’s purpose is to set best practices regarding the handling of DNA information ostensibly.

It’s also meant to coordinate lobbying efforts in Washington at a time when Congress’ scrutiny of the industry is intensifying. The coalition is run by Mehlman Castagnetti Rosen & Thomas, a prominent Washington DC lobbying firm.

Its objective is to guide lawmakers in Washington on privacy regulations meant for an industry that’s currently enjoying substantial growth.

The coalition’s take on data privacy

Interesting Facts About DNA

DNA testing companies Read the rest >>

Sperm donation

DNA Tests Are Outing Sperm Donors: What This Means

 The booming DTC (direct to consumer) genetic testing industry is causing divided opinions.

On the one hand, some users have happily connected with long lost or unknown relatives after sending their DNA samples.

On the other, more donor-conceived people are using ancestry sites to figure out who their biological parents are. Some have been amazed to learn they have dozens of half-siblings.

Donors who submitted their sperm decades ago under the promise of anonymity are also having to contend with unintended exposure. What does this mean for them, their progeny, sperm banks, DNA testing companies, and other interested parties? 


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23andMe health test

23AndMe Launches Program to Collect More Health Data From DNA Test Customers

DNA testing company 23andMe is looking to entrench itself in the healthcare industry further. Having already amassed and a huge database of DNA profiles, it is eager to gather more health data from its millions of users.

The company is expected to collect a user’s medical history, prescription information, and lab results.

You’ll have the chance to submit these details after receiving your DNA results. Initially starting as a beta program, the service will gradually roll out to all of its clients.

Having sold nearly 10 million at-home DNA testing kits, 23andMe hopes to become a more inclusive health tech Read the rest >>

irs tax break 23andme

IRS To Provide Tax Breaks for 23AndMe DNA Test Kit Customers

The tax agency’s decision was first made in May 2019. It allows the purchase of 23andMe kits using pretax dollars held in Flexible Savings Accounts (FSA) and Health Savings Accounts (HSA).

It’s a significant boost to a company that is already reaping the benefits of having a first-mover advantage. DNA testing kits are riding a vast popularity wave, mostly because of the ancestry services they offer.

Other than ancestry results, 23andMe’s Health + Ancestry Service option offers additional health reports based on your DNA profile. These tell you whether you carry any variant of a genetic condition that might be … Read the rest >>

Bachelorette contestant, Matteo

Sperm Donor Gone Wild? Bachelorette Contestant Admits He’s Fathered 114 Kids

The American Society for Reproductive Medicine recommends that a sperm donor father no more than 25 births per a population of 800,000.

But since those are just recommendations, there have been several cases of over-enthusiastic donors.

The most recent one to hit the headlines is that of Bachelorette contestant, Matteo, who claims to have fathered 114 children through frequent sperm donations.

He’s just 25.

Sperm Donation in the US

Bachelorette Contestant 114 Kids

Although sperm banks have been around for decades, they’ve recently witnessed a rise in popularity due to changing socio-cultural norms.

In the past, their services were mainly utilized by married, childless … Read the rest >>

Irish Genealogy online

Company Releases Free Irish Genealogy Records Online

By uploading the latest tranche of historical records to Irish genealogy ie, the Irish government reaffirmed its commitment to the digitization of historical records.

The Irish Times reports that the new records cover births from 1864 to 1918, marriages (1864-1943), and deaths (1878-1968).

These files, which are free to access, present a welcome development to people keen on researching their Irish roots.

Other than births, marriages and deaths, the site also contains other files such as church records. It’s an important resource for both hobbyists and academics looking for historical information.

Why genealogy is a big deal in Ireland

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King Albert II and Queen Paola

Just In Time For Father’s Day, King Albert of Belgium Agrees To Paternity DNA Test

The concession, as reported by the SF Chronicle, is the latest twist in an intriguing decades-old tale.

King Albert II had this scandal hanging over his head since his ascension to the throne in 1993. Although it was always the subject of rumor mills, it wasn’t until his abdication in 2013 that things came to a head.

Anatomy of a royal scandal

Royal scandal

King Albert wasn’t always destined for the throne. As King Leopold III’s second son and youngest child, he was content with being a Prince.

Their father’s abdication in 1951 saw his brother Baudouin ascend the throne, making … Read the rest >>

DNA Genealogy

Genealogist Who Caught Golden State Killer Continues Solving Cold Cases

The Golden State Killer’s capture in 2018 was made possible through groundbreaking innovation in genealogy. Most observers called it the most significant advance in the field since DNA testing became widespread in the 1980s.

Barbara Ray-Venter, a genetic genealogist, is credited with pioneering this new method.

Other than the Golden State Killer’s case, she has assisted law enforcement with tens of other cold cases.

GEDmatch’s role in solving cold cases

Golden State Killer case

In identifying Joseph DeAngelo as the Golden State Killer, Barbara and her team depended overwhelmingly on GEDmatch.

They built a DNA profile from a sample collected at a crime Read the rest >>

DNA Test Inconclusive

Identical Twins Both Forced to Pay Child Support: DNA Test Inconclusive

Identical twins have been a source of curiosity since time immemorial.

Although known mostly for using their uncanny similarities to engage in harmless pranks, some commit serious crimes.

When one is caught, he or she can pin the blame on the other, causing confusion among law enforcement.

Double trouble

identical twins DNA testing

The Brazilian twins who were both forced to pay for child support are just one example of this mischief.

Although they were both held equally responsible, others have gotten away with crimes precisely because they were identical twins.

In 2009, drug smuggling charges against Malaysian identical twins were dropped after police Read the rest >>

23andMe, FTDNA and AncestryDNA, the three best DNA tests, all allow you to delete your DNA data

Scammers Using DNA Tests to Defraud Medicare, Steal Identities

Authorities in some states have reported a significant rise in DNA test related scams. Perpetrators trick the elderly and other vulnerable groups into handing over their insurance details.

They mainly do this by pretending to offer free DNA tests. In some instances, they offer cash to those who provide their DNA for “testing.”

Why DNA tests have become popular

DNA Test

Although genetic testing has been around since the 1980s, it has received renewed public interest in the recent past.

Ancestry sites have been advertising heavily online and on TV about the benefits of home test kits. These enable you to collect … Read the rest >>

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