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    Emanuel Yakobson said:

    Valid comments, I agree with them!

    When next generation DNA sequencing will be applied to to various ethnic DNA collections, the signal to noise ratio will increase as well as the predictive value of whole genome DNA sequencing!

    Emanuel Yakobson, Ph.D.

    Professor of Ethnic and Personal Genomics, University of Latvia, Riga

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    Mary Mangan said:

    Sadly, I also saw on a media report a comment from a woman with a serious cardiac mutation—known in her family, and she has already tested positive. She seemed to think that discounting and undermining genetic testing was a huge relief. That could be an unfortunate conclusion if she blows off her test result now.

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      Luke Jostins said:

      @Mary Mangan

      That is terrifying. Would you be able to dig out where you saw that?

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        Mary Mangan said:

        Yeah. It’s on the CNN article called A warning against genetic testing in case the link doesn’t work after I post it.

        Here’s the comment that disturbed me: “After my brother went into cardiac arrest brought on by a hereditary disease, I was tested for the gene, hoping and praying I didn’t have it. Unfortunately I do and I’ve been living with this fear I’m going to have the same problems. This article is good news to me. It takes some of the fear of the unknown away.”

        Link to CNN piece

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    Luke Jostins said:

    @Mary Mangan

    That is terrifying. Would you be able to dig out where you saw that?

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    Jim Woodgett said:

    So who is being irresponsible here? Are we, as scientists, considering the impact of over-interpretation of our work? Is it the job of the reviewers to treat all submissions as potential dynamite? What about the editorial inertia? Is it the place of the scientific journalist to dig deeper? What about the more popular press that picks up a science sound byte or two? It seems to me that while we all share some responsibility, there is a hierarchy and it starts with the originating scientist(s). There is some level of conflict of interest at each stage but the source has most to gain (and lose) and must be transparent. But the reviewers must also recognize that authors have to “sell” their work, especially if it is controversial or anti-dogma. How much role did the editors play? For all we know, the reviewers expressed major concerns and were overruled (transparency efforts at EMBO include publishing the review history and documentation – but only for published articles). It’s certainly a good sign that some scientific journalists take to time to parse the complexities of experimental design and data analysis but they should not be expected to “police” research. Indeed, as soon as they do, it is a red flag that our vetting system has failed.

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    Doug Bintzler said:

    One of the newer fields in genetic study, epigenetics, is attempting to bridge genetic causes of disease to environmental conditions. This would include lifestyle. One example would relate to the twin model where one twin develops disease and the other does not. Environmental conditions such as smoking, exposure to sunlight cause damage to the epigenome, cell factors that control gene expression. Therefore, having the same genetic makeup does not necessarily lead to development of the disease.

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