Sunday, August 20, 2006

"Genetic Horoscopes"
From the "made in the USA Department":
The August 3, 2006 edition of Nature Magazine contains a news article on a new scam now being offered in the USA. The scam is basically that a company advertises over the Internet that it can do "DNA analysis" and report back on the risk of future ailments. Affiliated companies- of course- then offer nutritional supplements that purport to reduce the risk of the diseases discovered by these "tests". The supplements are nothing but multivitamins dispensed with a hefty dose of quack medicine theories.
The US Government Accountability Office (GAO) conducted an investigation using the DNA of only two people in their submissions, a 48 year old man and a nine month old girl. The "results" from 4 companies surveyed were "contradictory and warned of various conditions". The study posed as 14 different individuals and the "results" for the 14 "individuals" differed even if the DNA was the same.
Littler better than your horoscope in the newspaper. Perhaps worse, but, once more, never trust anything with the adjective "natural" attached to it.

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