A new trend has arisen within health and fitness that focuses around taking a DNA test. This is meant to allow people to find out more about how their individual bodies respond to different types of food and exercise. This niche in the market has been filled by start-ups who can supply mail order genetic tests. Speculation has now arisen to question how accurate and how effective these kits really are.
Of course, like many new areas of research, there are pros and cons to this development that are useful for students to think about. Students that want to study Medicine may want to think about the health implication of this kind of research. On the one hand, it could have positive results if it enables people to find out how to live healthier lives on a more individual basis.
However, on the other hand some scientists have argued that whilst there is still fairly limited information into this area of genetics it is wrong to give people misleading information in the pursuit of making money. Students that study Sociology may want to question the implications that these kind of new areas of research have within society. Are they useful to illuminate class structures and are merely modern day bourgeoisie fads? Or are they being used to manipulate the vulnerable to rinse them of their cash? Basic universal health information (eating more vegetables and drinking more water) is freely available on the internet so why do we need expensive testing kits to qualify this information? PPE and Economics students might want to look at the way that science and medicine are used by profit-driven organisations.
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