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Inherited risk: The benefit and burden of genetic testing for heritable diseases

By Dyani Lewis

Clinical and research geneticist Prof Ingrid Winship discusses the use of genetic testing to improve the lives of people with inherited diseases and their families, as well as the pitfalls of direct-to-consumer genetic testing.

The full text of this article can be purchased from Informit.

I'm Dyani Lewis. Thanks for joining us. Not too long ago, if you wanted to know whether you were at risk of breast cancer or Alzheimer's disease, you looked at your family tree. Did a parent, an aunt, or an uncle succumb to the disease? Do any of your siblings have the condition? For an increasing number of life threatening diseases, genetic tests now exist that can help predict whether you're likely to develop the condition. The cost and time needed to sequence a single gene, or even an entire genome has plummeted over the last two decades. It's not only doctors wanting to diagnose an illness who are taking advantage of the genomic riches now so readily available. Today, people can send their own blood or saliva samples to a growing number of direct-to-consumer genetic testing companies. The future of this trend is uncertain though as it has attracted the scrutiny of both the research community and government regulators.When it comes to genetic testing, knowledge isn't always power. Divining your medical future based on the code in your chromosomes can have far-reaching consequences for yourself and for those around you. To discuss how clinicians, patients and their families navigate...

The full text of this article can be purchased from Informit.