03/06/2008 - Several new companies are betting consumers will be curious enough to shell out $1,000 or more to learn what diseases might lurk in their genes.
Using a half-teaspoon of saliva, collected at home and mailed to a lab, companies with catchy names such as de-CODEme and 23andME (for humans' 23 chromosomes) are selling the chance to peer into one's genome, the hereditary information encoded in DNA.
"My big concern is that these tests are massively under-regulated," says Kathy Hudson, director of the Genetics and Public Policy Center. "There's nobody looking seriously at whether the claims these companies are making about the tests are accurate."
View Companies Cash in on Checking Your DNA for Disease on the USA TODAY site.
Pew is no longer active in this line of work, but for more information, visit the Genetics & Public Policy Center Web site or visit theGenetics and Public Policy Centeron PewHealth.org.