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Old 07-19-2013, 10:29 AM   #1
Clodfobble
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23 and Me

Anyone else done one of these genome-sequencing services? They've been having a big price special recently ($99 per person instead of the $400ish they were charging several years ago,) and I was intrigued by some of the information they provide, so we decided to go ahead and do it for everyone in our immediate family.

Some stuff is very interesting and relatively important, like it turns out Mr. Clod and some of our kids are carriers for PKU. No concern for us, but someday it might be a good idea for our kids' potential mates to get screened.

Some stuff is more immediately important, like both Mr. Clod and I have genes that make us very sensitive to certain drugs, and completely unaffected by others. None of them are drugs we need to take in the immediate future, but if one of us is having heart problems someday, it could make a difference for us to choose the right drug right off the bat instead of guessing.

Some stuff is just dumb, like everyone in the house has the genes that make us poor metabolizers of asparagus, so it makes our pee stink. I could have told you that already, but it's still kind of interesting to know that they've pinpointed that particular gene.

Of course, the majority of it is risk factors instead of yes/no conditions. Atrial fibrillation is affected by at least 4 genes, and I have some that give me a higher risk, and some that give me a lower risk. And there are some key conditions they don't report on, sometimes because there aren't enough studies supporting a connection yet, but usually because the connection has only recently been discovered and the test for the gene is patented. (That's how the court rulings have generally fallen out, by the way: they can't patent the gene, but they can patent the knowledge of what that gene means for you.) On the other hand, you get all the raw data, and there are other services which will less-officially interpret certain data for a nominal fee.

Aside from health information, the other half of the service is ancestry information. I find that part to be pretty boring, though I guess it would be kind of cool to find out I had a lost sibling I didn't know about, or if any dwellars were distantly related. Of course they'd have to have used the genome service themselves, too, so it's pretty unlikely. The closest relative either of us has on there are a bunch of people estimated to be somewhere between 3rd and 6th cousins. We've chosen to remain anonymous; the last thing I want are a bunch of genealogists emailing me for family tree information.

The thing I found most amusing is how many times they warn you about how you may learn things about yourself that you didn't actually want to know, most often in cases of paternity. And of course lots of people simply don't want to know if they have a high risk of Alzheimer's, or whatever, though for me I think more information is always better. Even after you get your results, you have to go through extra clicks to officially agree that you want to unlock certain high-stress information, like whether you have the BRCA1 or BRCA2 genes.

Anyway. I love data, especially medical data. I'm glad we did it.
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Old 07-19-2013, 10:45 AM   #2
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That's very fascinating.

I think it would be cool to know that stuff. Where did you get yours done?

Seems like with the alzheimers, you would have a pretty good idea from family history if you were at risk.
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Old 07-19-2013, 11:36 AM   #3
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I dunno Glatt.
Three out of four of my Grandparents died before they'd be typically susceptible to Alzheimers.

And it turns out Dads doesn't have it after all - it's now officially encephalitis. But had he died this time last year we'd have assumed he had it.
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Old 07-19-2013, 11:47 AM   #4
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Are you then considered to have preexisting conditions that may make your health insurance premiums higher?
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Old 07-19-2013, 12:08 PM   #5
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I would like to do that too. both of my kids were born with finger issues. spencer much more severe.... I've always wondered where that came from. no one in either my or jinx's family has what they have. I thought it might be environmental... or from the LSD we both took as young adults... or lead paint...

i'd also like to know if i have Tiger DNA
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Old 07-19-2013, 12:48 PM   #6
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Sounds so interesting! Hope to save up and do it, soon.
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Old 07-19-2013, 02:25 PM   #7
Clodfobble
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Quote:
Originally Posted by glatt
Where did you get yours done?
There are a couple different places, but we used www.23andme.com.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Nirvana
Are you then considered to have preexisting conditions that may make your health insurance premiums higher?
They say no:

Quote:
With the May 2008 signing of the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act (GINA) by President Bush (the law took effect in stages over 2009) Americans are protected against discrimination based on genetic information — at least with regard to employment and health insurance coverage. GINA does not extend to genetic information-based discrimination in life or long-term care insurance. And until the law is tested in court it is difficult to know how far its protections will extend in practice.

Most states also have their own statutes prohibiting or at least limiting genetic discrimination. In California, for example, individual and group insurers are prohibited from requiring an individual to provide genetic information, from using genetic information to decide eligibility or risk status, and from disclosing such information without consent. The National Conference of State Legislatures provides useful tables that detail laws pertaining to the protection of genetic information in all 50 states.
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Old 07-19-2013, 02:29 PM   #8
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Quote:
The thing I found most amusing is how many times they warn you
about how you may learn things about yourself that you didn't actually want to know,
most often in cases of paternity.
This can be a serious problem throughout a family; and
"illegitimate" is a terrible word still being used here in the US.

My experience with pedigrees for medical genetics convinced me that in the US
the so called "ancestry" industry does harm to families that is hidden from the general public.

Particularly in families with children with genetic or birth defects,
the discovery of false paternity (or even rarely, maternity) can lead to all degrees of family trauma.

It's hard to accept, but there are men who decide:
"It's not my child so I'm not going to support it."
This is not just a matter of $, but attitudes ripple out through family relationships.

Ancestry, like the Lottery, should be "for entertainment only".

Maybe younger parents now will have more accepting attitudes towards
adoptions and unexpected paternity testings than did previous generations ... but I doubt it.
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Old 07-19-2013, 02:39 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lamplighter View Post
It's hard to accept, but there are men who decide:
"It's not my child so I'm not going to support it."
Or maybe money is tight (isn't it always?) and they figure they can get some other guy to kick in some funds.
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Old 07-19-2013, 02:41 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lamplighter
It's hard to accept, but there are men who decide:
"It's not my child so I'm not going to support it."
This may be an emotional problem, but it is not a legal problem for the most part. In most states, the law is that once your name is on the birth certificate, you are the father forever for all legal/support/custodial purposes. There have even been cases where the husband and wife knew before the child was born that it wasn't his, and he didn't sign the birth certificate, but the other guy didn't either, and when they later got divorced the court ruled that the husband was still liable for support because they were married and living together at the time of the birth and he "presented" as the father. (The flip side is the ex-wife also had to give him visitation rights.)

Anyway, you're right, it can be awkward news. Mr. Clod and I even discussed the possibility with regard to my stepkids, because you never know. While it wouldn't make any difference to Mr. Clod at this point, I think it would seriously mess up either of my stepkids to find out he wasn't really their dad, so we agreed that on the very slim chance that we did find out something like that, we just wouldn't tell them. They know we did the test and are interested in the medical results, but I have the password to the account and they'll only see the pages we want them to see.
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Old 07-19-2013, 03:59 PM   #11
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Clod, it sounds as if you and yours planned well for this
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Old 07-19-2013, 09:10 PM   #12
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I can not imagine a man, worth anything as a father, who would change his mind about being the father upon learning such information, after he and the child had been around each other long enough to bond. In cases of a newborn, yeah, I can imagine it, no problem. But if I got such news after already being the "dad" for some years, I can't see how the news would change my feelings toward my child. Toward my wife, yeah, different subject.

But any man that would dramatically change his long-standing attitude towards his child based on new info like this probably shouldn't be the person for the role anyhow.

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Old 04-28-2018, 08:50 PM   #13
Clodfobble
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Oh, snap!

The Golden State Killer (whom Patton Oswalt's deceased wife Michelle McNamara wrote a book about) was arrested a few days ago. Most people connected with the case have agreed that McNamara's book was a huge help in narrowing down the evidence and ultimately finding the guy, but today they also admitted that DNA ancestry sites played a big role as well. (They had the guy's DNA from countless rapes, but didn't know who it belonged to.)

They uploaded the DNA to the sites, received matches from his relatives who had uploaded their data, and thus caught the guy. It's apparently not the first time, and in fact many unsolved cases have already been uploaded, and are just waiting for the murderer's Aunt Edna to submit hers for fun and give them a match.

Privacy concerns be damned; I like it. I can't wait until it's impossible to rape someone because everyone's got a relative in the system.
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Old 04-28-2018, 09:08 PM   #14
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But when Peter Campbell was shot and needed a kidney, Mary had to tell Jessica Peter's father is Chester who was married to Jessica for 28 years with her not knowing he had impregnated her sister Mary.
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Old 04-29-2018, 12:48 PM   #15
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Whoa that is interesting.
My sister's swab came back 97% Irish, not a surprise, I'd be more interested in the health information.
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