The above is the title of a talk I will be delivering at this year’s OpenTech (21 May 2011), a conference whose objective is to provide a forum of discussion for “people who work on things that matter“. Here is an outline of what I’ll be presenting:
Direct-to-consumer genetics testing is a new field of commercial activity that makes genome screening available to the general public. Test results are delivered on line via a password-protected account contextualized with state of the art inferences about the individual’s clinical features, disease risks and ancestry. Interpretation of results is limited to the information supplied by the provider and usually not accompanied with genetic counseling. Custodians of genetic information may not have the necessary skills to interpret results, let alone interpret results for others. This talk presents a personal journey of a genome bioinformatician acting as genetic counselor for his whole family, yet with no formal training to do so. Becoming custodian of genetic information for a whole family resulted in unanticipated situations and reactions that are hereby presented. As the utilization of these tests become ever more widespread, it is hoped that these experiences provide useful insights to new customers of genomic technology who try to understand their own genes.
For more information on this conference click on the image below.