Now, you can get your genome mapped for under $1000. Not long ago, mapping your genetic code was prohibitive, costing 5 or even 10,000 dollars – but soon it will be available to everyone.
So, what are the pros and cons? Medical doctors use information from the genome to understand the nature of a disease, and hopefully design more effective treatments. Screening for a genetic mutation linked to breast cancer has compelled many women, including Angelina Jolie, to get preventative mastectomies before they are diagnosed with cancer.
Learning that you have a genetic predisposition to heart disease may prompt you to take diet and exercise more seriously, and that’s probably a good thing.
But what about knowing you have an untreatable, unpreventable condition that will likely kill you before you’re 50?
Genome mapping brings up privacy and discrimination issues that are very real. Some insurance companies are already asking for genome mapping as a prerequisite to applying for life insurance.
Screening babies for hundreds or thousands of genetic conditions could open a can of worms for parents who will then have to figure out how to protect their child from the so-called inevitable.
Then, there is the accuracy issue: what if there is a mistake made in the mapping? There is just a mountain of issues here that will soon be real choices for families to make in a living room near you.
Take a look at the results of a recent NPR survey asking folks if they would get their genome mapped if they could afford it:
Would you have your genome sequenced if you could afford it?
Yes, I would.81.45% (5,398 Clicks)
I’m undecided.9.9% (656 Clicks)
No, I wouldn’t.9% (573 Clicks)
It looks like, regardless of the pros and cons, genome mapping is here to stay.
* Please Note: We cannot effectively or legally answer personal health questions here, for further assistance please consider a personalized Ayurvedic Consultation.