BREAKING!: MSM Points Out Obvious — $99 DNA Kits Are NOT Supposed To Be A Definitive Medical Condition Diagnosis

Because we’ve a personal angle — a dog in the hunt — on the 23andMe.com story (recent backgrounders here, and here), I’ll likely mention it, when a MSM outlet offers later breaking developments.

In today’s version of an update to the general topic, we learn that a healthy 28 year old female gets (“I’m. . . shocked“!) slightly differing information — about her health risks/conditions — from three separate low end DNA sample companies.

Now, we all know that even fully-sequenced DNA presently only accounts for about 10 per cent of known health conditions. The other 90 is unknown — or environmental — not genetic, at all. And we all know that 23andMe.com doesn’t sequence the entire human genome of any one person. . . it looks at key snips only.

For what it is worth, here is a bit of the New York Times Aviation Record (Um. . . IDK?!) version of the story — feel free to read it all, yourself — not much exciting there, though:

. . . .23andMe said my most elevated risks — about double the average — were for psoriasis and rheumatoid arthritis, with my lifetime odds of getting the diseases at 20.2 percent and 8.2 percent. But according to Genetic Testing Laboratories, my lowest risks were for — you guessed it — psoriasis (2 percent) and rheumatoid arthritis (2.6 percent).

For coronary heart disease, 23andMe and G.T.L. agreed that I had a close-to-average risk, at 26 to 29 percent, but Pathway listed my odds as “above average.”

In the case of Type 2 diabetes, inconsistencies on a semantic level masked similarities in the numbers. G.T.L. said my risk was “medium” at 10.3 percent, but 23andMe said my risk was “decreased” at 15.7 percent. In fact, both companies had calculated my odds to be roughly three-quarters of the average, but they used slightly different averages — and very different words — to interpret the numbers. In isolation, the first would have left me worried; the second, relieved. . . .

Actually. . . I think it rather foolish to be worried — or relieved — on the basis of a self-help kit. All of that said, I am still most keenly interested in my detailed genealogy, not my risk assessment. I now have top-line origin data — am awaiting the detail, in about two more weeks, if the lab is still running on schedule. Cool!

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