This week CBS Sunday Morning reported that thousands of genetic tests are available — from minor things like baldness, to serious diseases like Alzheimer's.
They asked their viewers if they would want to know if they were likely to die of a terrible disease. Most said yes.
But not all researchers think knowing is a good idea.
“If I tell you, particularly incorrectly, that you have an increased risk of getting a terrible disease, that could weigh on your mind, that could make you anxious,” said Dr. Robert C. Green of Boston's Brigham and Women's Hospital. “That could be the filter through which you see the rest of your life as you wait for that disease to hit you. It could really mess you up.”
Researchers found, however, that most who wanted to know, were able to handle the truth.
What about you, would you want to know?
Tracy Simmons is an award winning journalist specializing in religion reporting, digital entrepreneurship and social journalism. In her 15 years on the religion beat, Simmons has tucked a notepad in her pocket and found some of her favorite stories aboard cargo ships in New Jersey, on a police chase in Albuquerque, in dusty Texas church bell towers, on the streets of New York and in tent cities in Haiti.
Simmons has worked as a multimedia journalist for newspapers across New Mexico, Texas and Connecticut. Currently she serves as the executive director of SpokaneFAVS.com, a digital journalism start-up covering religion news and commentary in Spokane, Wash. She is also a Scholarly Assistant Professor at Washington State University.