So far, genetic research has not found any connection between genes and personality types. Consumers who see ads promoting genetic testing to learn about those aspects should be aware this has no basis in science. However, they can find out many other interesting and useful information through DNA testing. Genomics businesses like those founded by Jim Plante provide the opportunity for people to learn about their DNA and be able to take appropriate action.
The field of genomics has enormous complexity, with research regularly creating new advancements. One of the most fundamental questions is whether it will one day be possible to essentially modify the genetic structure to remove markers for disease. That could be the answer to eliminating disorders that have a genetic component, including certain types of cancer, Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, diabetes and many other terrible illnesses.
Direct-to-consumer testing allows people to order DNA tests that focus on certain variables so they can learn more about those aspects. These tests can shed light on whether ibuprofen or acetaminophen is more effective for one individual. They can learn whether there’s a genetic reason for why they have trouble waking up early in the morning and feel more productive later in the day.
When testing for the risk of disease, consumers are strongly encouraged to participate in genetic counseling before and after they are tested. Learning that one has a genetic marker for a severe disorder can be very troubling and may leave the person unsure what to do next.
Even the ancestry testing, widely promoted by companies specializing in this service, can have problematic results. Every now and then, a person is interviewed or writes about the experience of finding out startling news. For instance, there may be strong genetic similarities with a stranger, indicating that this unknown person is a brother or sister.
In addition, TV ads show people expressing delight at learning they aren’t actually half German and half English, but that they also have some Swedish and Italian ancestry. Not everyone is so thrilled to find this out, however, if they have believed they are certain about their ancestry back for centuries. They must be prepared for the possibility.