Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Nature AND Nurture

For decades the nature vs. nurture debate went on, but with the field of genetics growing rapidly, we can agree that a person's "identity" is nature AND nurture. Once again, procrastinating, I stumbled across a blog written by Robery Klitzman, M.D., who discuses the role genetic testing plays. With recent advancements DNA testing has become relatively cheap and the amount of people getting these tests are skyrocketing. The question remains, does everyone know what to do with their results?

Those who are getting these tests need to know that they are not definitive, in terms of if this person was at a "higher risk" of a certain disease, it is not definite. Yes, some diseases it is 100% genetic, but for the vast majority they are not. With nature being your genes, and nurture being your environment, both play a role in what makes you, you.

Dr. Klitzman compares these results to the weather forecast. Sure, there is a chance it may rain, meteorologists have sufficient evidence that it will rain, but how many times have you flipped on the weather and they have predicted rain, but the storm never reached your specific area?

In my opinion, these tests are great. If you do have a higher chance of getting a certain disease it gives you the opportunity to do something about it. In terms of my results I am at a higher risk for Parkinson's Disease. 23andMe gives "what you can do" to lower your chance of developing the disease, drink coffee or tea, and stay active. Luckily I do both, but it still gives me the tools for early detection which may decrease the symptoms associated with this disease.

If your interested and want to read the article, I've posted the URL below


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