Tuesday, March 08, 2011

DNA test could reveal incest

Okay, so it is said. The DNA test could accidentally reveal incest, but I would disagree in all points that the incest is accidental, eh?

Who says that our science today is no longer discovering new things? And while this discovery on DNA test 'revelation' thing is new, the thing about incest is not.

Read on, and find out more.

Posted: 11 February 2011

A technician prepares vials for DNA testing at a laboratory in Madrid. (file pic)
PARIS: DNA tests designed to pinpoint development disorders in children can also inadvertently reveal whether a child was conceived through incest, a letter published by The Lancet on Friday warned.

Doctors led by Arthur Beaudet at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, Texas, said the discovery opens thorny ethical and legal problems for clinicians.

The test, known as DNA microarray analysis, looks for patterns of single changes in the genetic code that can point to known disorders.

But the patterns can also reveal details about the donor's parentage without the parents having to undergo a test.

The letter gives the example of a three-year-old boy with multiple development problems where there was a telltale homogeneity, or a lack of variation, at key points in his chromosomes.

"These regions accounted for about a quarter of the genome - a finding most consistent with the child having been conceived by first-degree relatives," the letter said.

"Disabilities are known to be frequent in children born of incestuous parentage."

The discovery poses a dilemma for doctors that will amplify as microarray analysis becomes used more widely, the authors said.

In some jurisdictions, a doctor is required to report a likely incestuous relationship to the police or child protection services if the mother of the child is a minor.

In cases where the mother is an adult, the doctor's legal obligation is less clear, although there remains ethical concerns about whether she had been a victim of sexual abuse by her father or a brother.

The letter calls on medical institutions to compile a list of guidelines for doctors, drawing on the expertise of geneticians and ethics committees.

- AFP/de

Taken from ChannelNewsAsia.com; source article is below:
DNA tests could also accidentally reveal incest

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