Friday SNPpets

This week I’m taking a different tack. There was something bothering me about misuse of genomics, and I’m going to rant on that. Recently a friend pointed me to something that I hadn’t seen before: cranks are misusing 23andMe-type of data to “diagnose” kids as being likely to suffer “vaccine injury”. As you might recognize from the dog-whistle, this means that anti-vaccine cranks are taking their message to a new front: personalized genomics. They are misusing data to convince parents that vaccinating their kids is dangerous.

This is a very, very disturbing direction as vaccine fears already have led to tragic outcomes as kids get vaccine-preventable diseases at increasing rates.

In addition, cranks are coming together around “personalized medicine” to pitch their terrible ideas to people and sell them “detox” potions and supplements. They are out talking to the public on these things. We need to step up our game and get people better information. There will be serious consequences–misuse of genomics on many topics–with the potential for public health outcomes.

So below are a few links to illustrate this. It’s time to raise awareness of this in the legit genomics community. I expect others didn’t know this was going on, too.

SNPpets_2Welcome to our Friday feature link collection: SNPpets. During the week we come across a lot of links and reads that we think are interesting, but don’t make it to a blog post. Here they are for your enjoyment…

This week there was some mainstream communication on genomics as well. I’m not sure it helped. Sigh.