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What Does Our Individual DNA Actually Tell Us?

By December 18, 2012

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While genes define our individual traits, predispositions, and characteristics, how much do they actually reveal? Or, maybe, more accurately, what can we really determine from genetic analysis based on the current state of the science.

Researchers have begun to make inroads toward understanding the implication of different genetic variations between individuals. For example, some DNA variants seem to suggest an increased risk of cardiovascular disease, others a potential to develop Alzheimer's. In parallel, DNA sequencing technology has reached a point where it is economically and practically feasible to analyze much of an individual's DNA.

However, what insight about yourself will you gain by having your DNA analyzed? Does your DNA indicate what diseases you will get, tell you where your ancestors originated, or predict whether you have a risk to develop some psychological disorder? To get a sense of the promise and limitations of having your DNA analyzed, take a look at The Value of Individual Genomic Analysis.

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