From Wired Magazine, a quote from Anne Wojcicki regarding her Gene Journal and risk calculator
"A lot of this is unknown. It's totally experimental," Wojcicki told me a few weeks before the science board meeting. "No one has looked at all eight diabetes markers together. They've all been identified individually, but they don't know exactly how they work together. So we've tried to make that clear."
To crunch these numbers and determine one person's risk factor, 23andMe has opted to multiply the risks together. But a competing school of thought argues for adding the risk from SNP to SNP. The two approaches can result in wildly different tallies.
Welcome to the first Google driven experiment in genetics, paid for by the customers......
Unfortunately that poor author from the NYT demonstrated her clear lack of that understanding. And she is a learned journalist, what's to happen to the layperson who has never had any education in genetics/science? Well, I guess you have to break a few eggs to make an omelet....... Primum Non Nocere....oh wait, I forgot, Anne isn't a physician...
The picture here is that of the Tuskegee syphilis study. A horrible experiment carried out on unwitting subjects that sparked the founding of Institutional Review Boards. IRBs were formed to protect research subjects. Why could Dr George Church only get a select few for his first personal genome project? The IRB deemed laypeople unable to give informed consent. How did they end around the IRB?
23andMe's mission is to be the world's trusted source of personal genetic information