news

Taking a temporary blogging hiatus to celebrate a new family member

Hello, readers! I am so glad to see more of you visiting my blog and the Watershed DNA blog readership as a whole growing with each new post. I wanted to let you all know I'll be taking a hiatus from posting for a few months to focus on the addition of our new baby. By summertime, I hope to be back at the keyboard and already have some new post ideas in mind for when I return.

If you are a new reader, maybe you'd like to go back and review some of my past posts. I recently added a search box to the bottom of the page to make it easier to search the blog history based on topic. Scroll down to the bottom and try searching for terms of interest to you. I've tagged posts using these terms in the past:

  • 23andMe

  • ABC27

  • adoptees

  • adoption

  • advice

  • All of Us project

  • alpha-1 antitrypsin deficiency

  • Alzheimer's

  • ancestry testing

  • anniversary

  • APOE

  • Are Your Parents Related?

  • Baltimore

  • Base Pair

  • blog

  • Bone Marrow Transplant

  • Carrier Screening

  • Chimera

  • Chimerism

  • classes

  • conference

  • consultations

  • consumer awareness

  • cousin couples

  • direct to consumer DNA

  • DIY

  • DNA

  • DNA Quest

  • Dr. Oz

  • DTC genetics

  • education

  • event

  • expertise

  • Family

  • Family Health History

  • family history

  • Finding Your Roots

  • GEDmatch

  • genealogy

  • genetic counseling

  • genetic counseling assistants

  • genetic counselor

  • Genetic Counselor Awareness

  • Genetic Genealogy

  • genetic testing resource

  • genetics

  • genomics

  • gift

  • grandparents

  • GRIP

  • guest blogger

  • Health

  • helping

  • Home DNA Test

  • information

  • infosheet

  • interview

  • James Madison University

  • JMU

  • LHON

  • Maya Angelou

  • Media

  • medical genetics

  • mentoring

  • mitochondrial DNA

  • MTHFR

  • MyHeritage

  • news

  • NGS

  • NIH

  • NSGC

  • NSGC Gene Pool

  • nutrigenomics

  • NYMAC

  • online testing companies

  • Parkinson disease

  • PBS

  • Pedigree

  • Pittsburgh

  • poem

  • precision medicine

  • Presentation

  • Promethease

  • public policy

  • radio

  • raw data

  • regulations

  • research

  • resources

  • ROH

  • sharing

  • Small business

  • SNP

  • social media

  • speaking

  • STEM

  • Stem Cell Transplant

  • story

  • support

  • surprises

  • TapGenes

  • tele-genetics

  • telomeres

  • Third Party Sites

  • Tools

  • Twitter

  • unexpected results

  • utility

  • VaAGC

  • validity

  • variant

  • Video

  • Virginia

  • VOUS

  • VUS

  • Watershed DNA

  • Webinar

  • websites

  • WES

  • whole exome sequencing

  • writing

  • YouTube

Best wishes for the rest of the winter and blessings for a mild springtime!

Newsreporter shares DNA journey on ABC27 news

Kendra Nichols is a news reporter for ABC27 news, based in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania.

She recently decided to go on a DNA journey, given the limited information she knew about her birth father who was not a part of her life growing up.

I sat down with Kendra the day she swabbed her cheek to talk about a DIY genetic test and to help her prepare for the journey.

Click here to see what Kendra learned about the process, and the risks to be aware of before you sign over your DNA. 

If the link above does not work, try pasting this URL into your browser: http://abc27.com/2017/07/13/what-to-know-about-dna-testing-kits/

About that viral internet story of the husband and wife who found out they were twins...

How do you know a fake news story from a real one? We all thought we used to know. We all now have doubts creep into our minds. This is unfortunate, and it's our world now until we figure out how to solve it.

A recent "news" story has gone viral, a story about a couple struggling to conceive a child whose doctor did testing and supposedly determined they were siblings, twins even, by results of genetic testing and by putting together pieces from the history of their adoptions.

The possibility that this type of situation could happen is real. Closed adoptions and undisclosed use of donor sperm and eggs mean not everyone who is out there dating knows whether they have crossed paths with a genetic relative in their search for a mate. 

I retweeted the story when I came across it, and although I posted on Facebook soon after an update that the story was unconfirmed due to no identifiable first-hand sources willing to come forward, I have yet to retract it or say much more until now.

This story cannot be confirmed, because no names have been released. The doctor - if an actual person - has not stepped forward. The couple - if an actual couple - hasn't either.  

The source is sketchy. Other news sources found it un-sketchy enough to pick up the story and carry it forward, but should I have followed suit? Is there a right answer to this question? 

So here I am today, having possibly been a willing participant in the spread of fake news but unsure. I'm not going to retract the two tweets I sent out linking to the story, because they shed light on situations that actually do arise in the world. 

I still stand by a claim I made earlier that genetic testing has and will again suddenly and unexpectedly reveal a couple is closely related. There is precedent to this outside of this viral possibly real/possibly fake story, but no one is willing to step out publicly yet. 

So to my readers, I am sorry if I am spreading fake news.

I don't know if the "husband and wife twins" story is fake news or not.

I do know that DNA testing that identifies genetic/familial links between individual is powerful, and powerful in ways that can be devastating. Let's be aware, and let's be sensitive and compassionate when it does happen.