I recently had the opportunity to post a new article on the Committee for the Anthropology of Science, Technology & Computing (CASTAC) blog, Platypus. CASTAC is part of the General Anthropology Division of the American Anthropological Association.
Abstract: Users of direct-to-consumer genetic tests (DTCGT), commonly known as consumer DNA tests, often begin their journey with great hope. They have expectations of the amazing discoveries they will make from a genealogy and health perspective. Most, however, fail to grasp the benefits and risks, and many come to fear the privacy issues of exchanging their biocapital for promises of future-oriented knowledge. This article traces the transition from hope to fear and offers some suggestions for improving consumer safety.
Keywords: biocapitalism, bioethics, biotechnology, biovalue, BRCA gene, direct-to-consumer genetics, DNA tests, human genome project, personalized medicine, Precision Medicine Initiative, regime of hope, regimes of truth