Genetic Future

Pharyngula, via a reader, points me to the most aggressively bad attempt at a genetic testing product I have ever encountered, coupled with a truly horrific attitude to parenting.

The tag line alone is hilariously inept:
“Our Technology Spawned from Human Genome Project led by US Scientists. The Industry is Featured by CNN, CBS News”

The idea that is being spruiked here is that genetic testing can help you determine your child’s “inborn talents”, which you can then use to ruthlessly jam them into whatever career the test results suggest.
The presenter notes that he “wasted a lot of time exposing my children to as many extracurricular activities as possible” – how fortunate that he can now give us access to genetic testing technology to save us the money and effort involved in letting children choose their own favourite activities!
For anyone uncertain about this: the test is a scam. It is impossible to predict which career your child is best suited to using any genetic test. Don’t buy it. That is all.
Here’s a screen-shot that tells you everything you need to know:


  1. #1 Dan Vorhaus
    November 19, 2009

    Their claim: “Without you understanding what your child’s inborn talents are, your child is in for disaster.”

    My prediction: the children will be just fine. This company, however, is in for a major disaster.

    I took a quick run through the terms of use and privacy policy, which are actually more reasonable than I probably would have expected. Too bad the same can’t be said for their product.

    The company appears to be located in Singapore. Another example of the Wild, Wild East of DTC Genomics?

  2. #2 Steven Murphy MD
    November 19, 2009

    Ummmm, guys…….

    Don’t you think inferring that you can find out about resistance to norovirus by using 23andme is similar?

    I do. Because this is all Bull$h!t…….


    p.s. I challenge both of you to defend the marketing of the norovirus science as reality…..

  3. #3 Geneticist from the East
    November 19, 2009

    There are at least two other similar “scams” in the East:

  4. #4 K Risipin
    November 20, 2009

    I have to agree that some of the lines in the video are rather appalling. In the end it doesn’t matter if you know what the nature of your child is or not, if you can’t nurture the kid doesn’t have a chance. Nurture always wins over nature.

  5. #5 Marc
    November 20, 2009

    No one reading this site would need to be told that.

    My prediction, people will hear the hype on the news about genetics, personalized medicine and this and that; and many will pay the company for the test.

    Look at baby Einstein.

  6. #6 Ronald Binder
    November 20, 2009

    I checked It looked nice and trustable. I would like try it over there once I land in China. It sounds even better than 23andme.

  7. #7 Pet
    November 20, 2009

    People are very good in predicting kids talents from similarities between their kids and close relatives.

    What coverage of sequencing/testing do you need for entire population to get statistically significant correlations? Do you need to sequence just parents or everyone with the same grand-parents [ +neighbors 😉 ] to predict talents?

  8. #8 Jenn
    December 29, 2009

    If they are scams, how about their labs in Shanghai Biochip?

    Is the lab scam too?

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