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Are Commercial Genetic Tests Worth Taking?
Date:10/14/2009

rough their system fairly quickly," Lee said.

"But there may also be other things about that person and that person's environment that affect how they metabolize caffeine. For now, we just don't know what's what in terms of tests and results," she added.

"Right now, the direct-to-consumer genetic testing companies are working in an unregulated space. It's sort of a no man's land," Lee said. "But I think there are some indications that we are moving in a direction of creating some hopeful policies. One of the first steps is making sure all the stakeholders come together and discuss what would be helpful in terms of regulation. That not only means health-care providers and patients, but companies themselves."

Attempts by HealthDay to reach several makers of the tests for comment were unsuccessful.

More information

The U.S. National Library of Medicine has more on genetic testing.



SOURCES: Muin J. Khoury, M.D., Ph.D., director, Office of Public Health Genomics, U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta; Marc S. Williams, M.D., director, clinical genetics, American College of Medical Genetics, and director, Intermountain Healthcare, Clinical Genetics Institute, Salt Lake City, Utah; Sandra Soo-Jin Lee, Ph.D., senior research scholar and medical anthropologist, Stanford University Center for Biomedical Ethics, Palo Alto, Calif.; March 27, 2009, The New York Times


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