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Thread: What would you buy for 400$ ? A detailed DNA test or a smatphone ?

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    Satyavrata Maciamo's Avatar
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    Question What would you buy for 400$ ? A detailed DNA test or a smatphone ?

    I have tried convincing a lot of my friends to take a 23andMe test. I explained all the advantages of knowing one's medical predispositions, or how interesting it is to trace one's ancestry, compare genes, and so on. Most of them think it is too expensive, but they don't mind buying a new smart phone (usually over 400 euro, so close to 600 US$), buying expensive brand clothes, a huge flat screen or go on holidays costing many thousands euro/dollars.

    Perhaps they just don't care about their health and ancestry. Some admitted being afraid of knowing the results. But I think that in many cases they just don't realise how much money they are spending on other stuff. A medical DNA test is something that's useful for all your life. I know people who will do a routine annual blood test for 70 euro but still think that a one-time complete DNA test for 250 euro is too expensive. I can't understand the logic in that.

    What is really beyond imagination is why so many amateur genetic genealogists would purchase a simple Y-DNA or mtDNA test if they have the means to go for a 23andMe test (that is, if they have the means to buy an iPhone, or a TV, or a new car...). I would gladly skip or shorten a summer holiday/vacation, or stay at a cheaper hotel, in order to buy such a fantastic test. I can understand that not everybody is interested in genetics; but what if you are and already consider buying a test ? Why go for just Y-DNA when you can get the whole package ? Why is there still companies like FTDNA, Genebase, DNA Ancestry or DNA Heritage selling Y-DNA or mtDNA tests when it's so obvious that testing all 23 pairs of chromosomes is much more useful and interesting and doesn't cost that much ?
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    My results...

    My investment in my 23andme results are the gift that just keeps giving. When I got my results, there were about 99 traits and conditions tested and now there are 137. Not to mention, a lively forum of like-minded individuals offering up other SNP's to test ourselves with, poll's to test validity of SNP's and/or health advice, and ancestral genetics. Alot of the discussion here is based on haplogroups, genetic traits, and ancestral homelands. It's debated in abstract, but at 23andme I have almost 200 people I'm sharing genomes with from all over the world. I've seen these trends in action...see how I compare with reference populations, and it's fascinating.

    My relatives and friends are hesitant too...some have privacy concerns...some fear knowing bad things...some just don't care. For those who are interested, but on the fence...spend the $400 to get your DNA results, you won't regret it. You can always buy the next generation of the fancy phone when it comes out (in 3 months).

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    Regular Member Wilhelm's Avatar
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    Actually it is 500$, for the health and ancestry test.

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    Satyavrata Maciamo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wilhelm View Post
    Actually it is 500$, for the health and ancestry test.
    Yes the price went up recently, but that's only about 350 euro, so still cheaper than an iPhone or pretty much any smart phone.

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    I would take the DNA ancestry test rather than the smart-phone any day.

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    The only reasons i see to buy a genetic test are suffering from a genetic desease, having been adopted, having a strong doubt about your paternity or a strong interest in genealogy.
    Since I don't fall in any of these categories, i'll take the smartphone.

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    Satyavrata Maciamo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Smertrius View Post
    The only reasons i see to buy a genetic test are suffering from a genetic desease, having been adopted, having a strong doubt about your paternity or a strong interest in genealogy.
    Since I don't fall in any of these categories, i'll take the smartphone.
    How do you know that you are not a carrier of genetic disease if you haven't been tested ? Everybody has a least some genetic predispositions towards some diseases.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Maciamo View Post
    How do you know that you are not a carrier of genetic disease if you haven't been tested ? Everybody has a least some genetic predispositions towards some diseases.
    If I had people in my close familly suffering from genetic deseases like the Huntington's chorea for example it would probably make me think about it, but i'm not even sure that I would not prefer live with the doubt than risking to discover that I'm condemned to develop it.
    For the rest, knowing that i'm predisposed to have cholesterol or hypertension doesn't interest me. I won't change my lifestyle for it, i will simply cure it if I present the symptoms.
    Last edited by Smertrius; 29-03-10 at 23:15.

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