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Program at library to show how DNA tests can shed light on health as well as ancestry

Posted Feb. 21, 2020

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By the start of 2019, estimates suggest that more than 26 million people have taken at-home ancestry tests. The kits are a popular method to help people discover unknown parts of their family trees, but there is much more information the testing can provide.

The Fort Worth Public Library will play host to four free classes that delve into the power of DNA, hosted by librarians from the Health Science Center. The “DNA Basics: The Impact of Genetic Testing” classes will help participants understand the benefits and limitations of genetic testing, the impact of precision medicine and how DNA is changing society. Besides tracing where ancestors came from, DNA also provides important clues about health.

An emerging field, precision medicine is defined as an approach to disease treatment and prevention that considers individual variability in genes, environment and lifestyle of each person, according to the Genetic Home Reference.

“DNA information is becoming more and more prevalent in the health care profession and as a way of understanding our biological history,” said Lorraine Sheldon, a librarian at the Health Science Center. “By coming to this class, we plan to explore all the facets that would help an individual make an educated decision about how to manage their DNA information choices.”

The classes help fulfill a major part of the Library’s mission to offer resources and services that go beyond books to provide education and growth opportunities to the community.

The classes are free, open to the public and do not require registration. The first class is Feb. 26. Find dates and locations.

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