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I chose the topic of Direct to Consumer Genetic Testing from chapter 20 of our genetics textbook. My reason for choosing this is that I have been very interested in DTC testing over the past several years, and had my genome mapped through 23andme last year. After mapping my genome I became an advocate for this type of testing, urging my family and friends to do the same. I just found it so interesting that so much information was available about my own body. I thought it would be exciting for my family to participate and then take advantage of the ability to compare our genetic information online, and that my fianc should try it out so we can see what the likelihood of passing genetic problems onto our future children is. However, not a single person went through with the testing. Its so simple and inexpensive that I was quite surprised by the response. This is why I wanted to research DTC genetic testing: to learn more about the pros and cons of this great technology. I originally planned to write about these benefits and consequences, however, it appears that the availability of research articles on the topic is slim. Information is out there but it comes primarily from the individual DTC websites, and is not peer reviewed. Therefore, my proposal has changed. I plan to write about the current research on DTC genetic testing, including an overview of what is available. I have found several articles that are current research about this topic, and plan to use them as primary sources. Hogarth, Javitt, and Melzer (2008) explore legal, ethical, and policy issues regarding DTC testing, the legal and ethical portions will likely be used in my paper. I also plan to write about the attitudes toward this type of testing and expectations that consumers have of their primary physicians (McGuire, Diaz, Wang, & Hilsenbeck, 2009). An interesting study analyzed baseline and follow up anxiety levels and changes in behavior of patients who had used DTC genetic testing (Bloss, Schork, & Topol, 2011), so I plan to include this information. I was surprised to see that levels of anxiety, dietary fat intake, and exercise behaviors did not change much after using DTC testing (Bloss, Schork, & Topol, 2011). Finally, an example of a self-diagnosis using DTC testing was reported on (though with few details) as a possibility of how DTC testing can be beneficial (Roberts, RiegertJohnson, & Thomas, 2011). I understand that the research paper is supposed to be about the genetics of a chosen topic, and after researching this topic I have found that there is not much research available about the genetics relating to DTC testing. Rather, most information is about the ethics, regulations, and consequences of using DTC testing. This assignment was very difficult to complete based on the lack of research available, so I am happy to change my topic if you would like something more related to the actual science behind a genetic topic. I did not want to change my topic without contacting you first, which is why I have completed this based on what my initial topic was. If I were to change topics, I would choose a genetic disease and research gene therapy for that disease.

[Type here] I think your topic that you have described is a really good one and I hope you continue with it. I find DTC testing fascinating. I have been getting the kits for my family as holiday gifts. So, I am really looking forward to reading your paper. Consider your proposal approved. I have recently been researching The Personal Genome Project www.personalgenomes.org and Dr. Goerge Churchs work. You may find this interesting. I am considering becoming a volunteer. What do you think of that? Perhaps you can also address the pros and cons of doing this sort of testing in your paper.

Bloss, C. S., Schork, N. J., & Topol, E. J. (2011). Effect of direct-to-consumer genomewide profiling to assess disease risk. New England Journal of Medicine, 364(6), 524-534. Hogarth, S., Javitt, G., & Melzer, D. (2008). The current landscape for direct-to-consumer genetic testing: legal, ethical, and policy issues. Annu. Rev. Genomics Hum. Genet., 9, 161-182. McGuire, A. L., Diaz, C. M., Wang, T., & Hilsenbeck, S. G. (2009). Social networkers' attitudes toward direct-to-consumer personal genome testing. The American journal of bioethics, 9(6-7), 3-10. Roberts, M. E., Riegert-Johnson, D. L., & Thomas, B. C. (2011). Self diagnosis of lynch syndrome using direct to consumer genetic testing: a case study. Journal of genetic counseling, 20(4), 327-329.