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2008 National DNA Day Online Chatroom Transcript

This is just one question from an archive of the National DNA Day Moderated Chat held in April 2008. The NHGRI Director and many genomics experts from across NHGRI took questions from students, teachers and the general public on topics ranging from basic genomic research, to the genetic basis of disease, to ethical questions about genetic privacy.


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Q: What conclusions can you draw for me if I have the gene that says I have zero ability to flush alcohol. From what I've read, I shouldn't be having my occasional glass of wine. Am I overreacting? As of right now, I simply haven't had any alcohol since learning of this from my genetic code.
     Don Hadley, M.S., C.G.C.: Researching the components of a genetic counseling session, including how people are informed of genetic disorders and how they make decisions regarding genetic testing. This is a very interesting and complex question. We may not have enough information at this point in time to completely answer your question. The ability to "flush" alcohol may involve other genetic factors, as well as environmental influences. The information you received may be accurate, however, there are likely other factors that influence alcohol metabolism. The option to completely avoid alcohol is the safest approach, but it may not be absolutely necessary since the information we know about alcohol metabolism is still in it's earliest form. Thanks for writing.
Murph ()


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