DNA testing

DNA testing: is it worth it?

The Beyond Today podcast team investigate genetics and fertility.
There are lots of reasons you may want to take a DNA test. Perhaps you want to find out where in the world your DNA comes from or connect to relatives. But people don’t always know what they’re getting themselves into and some make shocking discoveries about their families. We speak to Rebekah Drumsta from the NPE Friends Fellowship, a charity which helps people come to terms with finding out that one of their parents isn’t a biological relative. DNA tests also raise questions about healthcare. We hear from Nick in Kentucky, who thinks his life was saved after a DNA test spotted a hard to diagnose condition. So should they be used alongside traditional healthcare services such as the NHS? Kathy Hibbs from 23andMe tells us how the company would like to work with the NHS. And Adam Rutherford, who is a geneticist and author of ‘The Book of Humans: A Brief History of Culture, Sex, War and the Evolution of Us’, tells us why he’s sceptical about the idea.

Almost half of young women in the UK are considering freezing their eggs, according to a recent survey. It involves harvesting eggs from a woman’s ovaries and keeping them in storage so she might be able to still have a baby even if her fertility declines. But it costs thousands of pounds and currently the success rates are low. Many women either can’t afford it, or don’t want to spend so much on something that might not work. Should the state or employers shoulder the cost? And should we all talk more openly about fertility? The BBC’s Global Health Correspondent Smitha Mundasad and Ali, Molly and Monty join us.