An Asian health publication reports that a Singaporean company is offering DNA testing that claims to predict a child’s genetic predisposition to certain skills, such as intelligence, emotional quotient (EQ) and entrepreneurship. It is also offering another test to determine susceptibility to over 100 genetic diseases.
Personal genetic testing has been gaining attention in the media this year, with companies offering genome scanning services or direct to consumer testing for specific inherited diseases. Many concerns have been raised about access to genetic information, particularly when it comes to medical genetics, without the benefit of a genetic counselor or medical professional.
The topic of DNA testing for aptitude and talent in areas of intelligence and sports is even more controversial. The factors affecting such characteristics are complex and diverse, notwithstanding the effect of the environment. The article cites geneticist Peter Scambler, who noted that “On an individual basis, it is not possible to identify whether a child would be predisposed to possess certain talents. One must also keep in mind that a gene accounts for only 2 to 3 per cent of the variation in, say, athletic performance.”
UPDATE: Eye on DNA posts this comment, including links to related science blog discussions on the topic.