WellesleyWeston Magazine

WINTER 2017/2018

Launched in 2005, WellesleyWeston Magazine is a quarterly publication tailored to Wellesley and Weston residents and edited to enrich the experience of living in two of Massachusetts' most desirable communities.

Issue link: https://wellesleywestonmagazine.epubxp.com/i/897427

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Page 117 of 195

P H O T O C R E D I T T O C O M E In April, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration allowed marketing of 23andMe Personal Genome Service Genetic Health Risk (GHR) tests for 10 diseases or conditions. These were the first direct-to-consumer (DTC) tests authorized by the FDA that provide information on an indi- vidual's genetic predisposition to certain medical diseases or conditions, which may help to make decisions about lifestyle choices or to inform discussions with a health care professional. There are 10 diseases or con- ditions for which genetic variants can suggest increased risk, including Parkinson's disease, late-onset Alzheimer's disease, and Celiac disease. The FDA released a statement in April warning that the GHR tests "are intended to provide genetic risk information to consumers, but the tests cannot determine a person's overall risk of developing a disease or condition. In addition to the presence of certain genetic variants, there are many factors that contribute to the development of a health condi- tion, including environmental and lifestyle factors." * * * While unlocking mysteries of one's ancestry is exciting, it can some- times lead to unexpected results. For Wellesley resident Kathleen Baum, some free time over the holi- days in 2012 led to finding a half sister she didn't know she had. Baum says, "For 47 years, I was an only child." Baum was initially hooked by the two-week free trial offered at Ancestry.com. She entered names, family information, and pictures. "I became very interested, and spent a lot of time on it," Baum recalls. After the trial was over, she let the temporary membership lapse. About three months later, she logged back on to the site and opened up an email in her account: "Hi, my name is Hailey. I think my grandfa- ther was your father, and that you and my mom are half sisters." Baum knew her father had been married and divorced before marry- ing her mother, but neither she nor her mother had knowledge of any While unlocking mysteries of one's ancestry is exciting, it can sometimes lead to unexpected results. Researching Your Family M E D I A B A K E R Y 116 W e l l e s l e y W e s t o n M a g a z i n e | w i n t e r 2 0 1 7 / 2 0 1 8

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