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CMS: Is DNA Destiny?
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Curious about your ethnicity? Your risk for cancer? Genetic testing is providing answers. But are we ready for them?


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49:26 minutes (23.73 MB)
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Who is truly comfortable with his or her own genetic story?

The idea that some recording angel of polypeptides has already written a good chunk of one's future is ...confining. We want to think we're in the driver's seat of our lives.

I sent a sample of my saliva to a company called 23 and Me. They analyzed it and prepared a report on what they found out about me. My ancestry. My susceptibility to certain diseases. The degree to which I might be prone to certain addictions. My anticipated lifespan. And more than I really wanted to know about my earwax.

When the email came back with a link to my results, I let it sit there. For days. I didn't open it until my producer Patrick actually made me do it.  Too many answers, you know?

Today on our show, you'll hear about what I did learn and what a UConn genetics researcher learned when he did the same thing. 23 and Me. It's destiny in a test tube.

Leave your comments below or e-mail colin@wnpr.org

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Listener E-mail from Tom

Interesting show on DNA, I'm originally from Somalia but I grew up in here in Connecticut.  I thought I'll share you Somalia's version of DNA.  It is very easy to find out who related to you in Somalia by their names.  Every one has first name no middle name or last name you basically go by your first and and the second name is your father's first name and his father's first name and so on.  (Women, therefore, do not change their names at marriage.)  As a kid the first thing you learn and memorize is all your names which goes back over 500 years and every one has over 30 names.  The way to find out how one person is related to you is basically list all your names and the other person lists his name and some where down you will share a name.

Listener E-mail from David

some research that genes may be turned on and off by environmental influences and even mood and thought