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Bio Post: 5/15/19 Only use links provided, 250 word min

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Consumer genomics has become a big business and has grown out of ancestry testing from private companies analyzing anyone’s genome for specific markers related to ancestry. Consumer genomics, however, offers genetic markers for clinical variants, i.e. known mutations (mostly SNPs) that are linked to diseases, susceptibility to drugs or infections. In 2013, the FDA sent a cease and desist letter to the biggest private consumer genomics company 23andMe (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site. and prohibited them from giving customers ‘medical advice’ (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site.. (Note: on April 6, 2017, the FDA reversed its ruling (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site. allowing 23andMe to proved consumer genetics). The company sequenced  100+ markers related to diseases and gave the customer a short explanation of the associated risk (e.g. Huntington’s disease, Alzheimer’s, obesity and diabetes, to name a few). It could continue its ancestry testing division. In July of 2018, the company announced that it will start a collaboration with GlaxoSmithKline (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site. (GSK) to accelerate their ability to make novel treatments and cures a reality based on the genetic data and health data provided by its costumer data base. 23andMe customer have the option to opt in or out of this deal with the pharmaceutical company. Discuss this rapidly changing approach on using consumer genetic data, which was based on the policy that only medically trained experts (e.g. your doctor) can do genetic counseling. Is 23andMe’s approach genetic counseling? Do you think you should have the right to obtain any sequence in your genome and decide on your own what to make of it?

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Bio Peer Response: 5/17/19 150 word min

23andMe is one of the many services that provide people an extensive breakdown of their global ancestry simply by providing them with a sample of your DNA and sending it to them to get tested. They have then expanded and provided people with information on whether they carry DNA variants associated with increased risks of diseases such as Type 2 diabetes, celiac disease, Parkinson’s diseases and many more. Although the FDA in 2013 ordered them to stop providing consumers on their health, in 2017 it overturned their decision and allowed the company to provide consumers their detailed genetic report.


I believe companies like 23andMe are amazing. Not only do they offering interesting information such as our global ancestry, but also information on our health based on our DNA. Before, information as such was only available by seeing a genetic counselor, then seeing your primary physician, getting test ordered, and finally seeing your genetic counselor or physician to go over results. If the person does not have insurance, that is a lot of money and time that will be spent on every office visit on top of the test itself. 23andMe is very convenient and inexpensive. It allows a huge population to obtain knowledge about their genetic information that would have never even thought about getting. Every person should be able to obtain their genome information and do what they feel best regarding the information. I do not think 23andMe can be considered genetic counseling, but it does provide a very detailed report explaining everyone’s results. If the person’s results concern them, then they can simply go to see their physician or genetic counselor to further explain their results.


Bio Questions: 5/16/19 Answer questions

1. Explain the connection between changes in population allele frequencies and evolution, and relate this to the observations made by Wallace and Darwin concerning natural selection.

2. If a trait determined by autosomal recessive allele occurs at a frequency of 0.25 in a population, what are the allelic frequencies? Assume Hardy-Weinberg equilibrium and use A and a to symbolize the dominant and recessive alleles, respectively.

3. Why is it that mutation, acting alone, has little effect on gene frequency?

4. How would a drastic reduction in a population’s size affect that population’s gene pool or genetic variability?

5. Will a recessive allele that is lethal in the homozygous condition ever be completely removed from a larger population by natural selection?

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