Wired has covered some of the new DNA testing products that have been created following the success of ancestry company 23andMe. The author questions the accuracy of the results that this new industry is providing.
DNA kits are now available to supply a wide-range of services, such as health information, custom recipes and cosmetics advice. The article also mentions Pheramor, a dating website created by Dr. Brittany Barreto.
Some scientists are sceptical about the legitimacy of the businesses, and are concerned about potential health implications that might result from consumers following advice. For example, someone who is told they are at a lower risk of contracting heart disease could change their eating habits accordingly and actually end up increasing that risk.
Further, some of the tests apparently aren’t as extensive and in-depth as they appear to be. Rather than analysing all 30 million letters on someone’s chromosomes they tend to just pick out a small random sample.
Professor David Curtis from the UCL Genetics Institute told Wired: “The scientific knowledge doesn’t exist that this advice could be based on. The genetic differences between people are not such that different people should be doing different things in order to become thinner, or fitter, or healthier.
“Information is not regarded as a treatment, but health information can have very important consequences for people.”
Phereamor takes information obtained from cheek swabs to draft a compatibility score and measure the physical chemistry between two users.
Dr. Barreto is also the founder of WeHaveChemistry, a company that provides a similar service to couples who are already in a relationship.
She will be talking at the GDI Los Angeles Dating Conference next month about how genetics are going to change the way people fall in love.
Founder of DNA Romance Dr. Timothy Sexton wrote a guest post for GDI in March explaining why DNA dating has potential. He explained it matches people more accurately than mainstream platforms because it considers romantic chemistry, as well as physical attraction and personality compatibility.
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