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Editor's Note

We’ve got the genes for science journalism

By
7:15am, May 16, 2018

Before visiting my parents for spring break, I thought, “Gee, wouldn’t it be fun if I bought them those genetic ancestry kits?” But I never got around to making that purchase, and after reading Tina Hesman Saey’s cover story in this issue, I realize I might have inadvertently made a wise decision.

Consumer DNA test kits have become wildly popular, with millions of people hoping for a peek into their family history, their risk of diseases such as Parkinson’s or Alzheimer’s, or even a suggestion on what wine will pair well with their genes. While tests like the genetic wine guide are clearly frivolous, others, like those predicting disease risk, can come with consequences.

That’s a problem, because, as

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