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Sun, Mar 30

New DNA Test Can Predict Childhood Obesity. Has Gene Screening Gone Too Far?

Will your child become obese one day? Finding out may be as easy as testing your youngster’s blood. But this type of testing is raising concerns about how far science should go to detect genetic conditions and diseases—and the ethics of giving that information to expectant parents. Researchers at the Universities of Southampton, Exeter, and Plymouth in the U.K. have successfully used a DNA-reading blood test to examine the number of epigenetic switches that turn on the PGC1a gene, which controls the body’s fat-storage activity. The scientists conducted the blood test on 5-year-old children and found that it indicated which children would have high body fat and which would have low body fat as they aged. Read more.