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Genetic confusion? – new report says that personal DNA testing is about as useful as learning what your star sign is

Dnatesting4

A new Which? consumer’s report out today, comes up with a rather scathing verdict on the new DNA testing services which offer to chart your genetic makeup. The report sent off identical DNA samples to four web based testing companies. The mag paid between £75.00 and £510 for the tests (one male, one female). Their conclusion? “…the results are so vague it’s almost the equivalent of telling someone what their star sign is.” Oops!

 Which? Computing sent the same two DNA samples (one male, one female) to four DNA testing companies: Ancestory.co.uk, DNA Solutions, Oxford Ancestors and 23andMe. The companies involved put the samples through either a Paternal Lineage Test (Y chromosome) or Maternal Lineage Test (Mitochondrial DNA) which gives the blueprint of a person’s DNA (DNA markers). Prices varied from $149 (£75) for a Paternal Lineage test with Ancestory.co.uk to $999 (£510) for extensive DNA analysis from 23andMe. The results were analysed by a genetics expert.

Nigel is the managing editor of the Red Ferret, as well as a freelance columnist for the Sunday Times newspaper in London. Loves tech and fancies himself as a bit of a futurist, but then don’t we all?

Nigel – who has written posts on The Red Ferret Journal.


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