Video Ideas: Consumer Products

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Direct to consumer genetic tests

Traditionally, genetic tests were available only through healthcare providers and professionals. However, now some genetic tests are marketed directly to consumers, via television, print advertisements and the Internet. In this case the test kit and results are mailed directly to the consumer. This form of testing provides access to a person’s genetic information without necessarily involving a doctor or insurance company in the process.

  1. How do / will health professionals deal with patients who walk in with genomic test results?
  2. How can you tell the responsible genetic testing companies from the charlatans?
  3. What should the government be doing to regulate these tests?
  4. Do direct to consumer genetic testing companies help society and the advancement of science and healthcare by promoting awareness of genetic diseases?
  5. Does direct to consumer testing put responsibility for healthcare back to the patient, allowing them to feel empowered and take a more proactive role in prevention and care?
  6. What are the risks and limitations of direct to consumer genetic testing?
    a) Will the burden of interpretation add pressure to our physicians?
    b) Is there a risk of unauthorized use of genetic information and invasion of genetic privacy to the consumer?

Recreational genomics

DNA is everywhere. It is in art and design. It touches our social lives. Nowadays it is not impossible to find yourself relaxing at a club called DNA, wearing jewelry that contains DNA from your favorite movie star and enjoying a beverage called DNA at a saliva collection party where you hope to be paired with your soul mate based on their DNA. There is even a DNA test that will determine if your kids will likely be good at sports. Your spiritual guru may even claim to be able to re-program your DNA for you.

  1. What is an acceptable expression of DNA and genomics in our society and what is not?
  2. What are the risks and benefits of choosing a mate based on DNA?
  3. Should we guide our children’s careers on DNA profiles?
    a. Is this a helping hand that can speed up education and development?
    b. Does it limit an individual’s freedom to experiment and choose what they love?
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