Other than the obvious superficial traits and unfair generalizations we make when they’re babies (I believe I’m guilty of saying to my husband, of our son, “He’s a horrible sleeper, just like you.”) it’s been impossible to say who your child will resemble more in a genetic sense. But not anymore!
Can I tell you how much I want this test? But not necessarily for my kids, for myself. As my parents age, I’d kind of love to know whether I’m at a higher risk of developing either one’s particular conditions and find out if there are things I can be doing, eating or smoking to help stave off the more unpleasant varieties. (Assuming we’re going to be able to dodge the health insurance bullet of the “pre-existing” condition.”)
Of course if it were suddenly $49 instead of $499 I’d have one done for my entire family. I love how genetics are getting more and more layperson friendly every day. I realize aside from practicing healthy habits – which we should really be doing anyway – there’s little we can do about inheriting a disease. As Joel Stein, author of the Time piece that brought this crazy new possibility to my attention says, would it make a difference who decides to reproduce with you if there’s a risk your kid will get a particularly bad trait of yours? Not likely.
Feeling guilty, I asked Cassandra if she would have never married me if, on our first date, she had collected my spit in a more scientific manner than she did. But Cassandra said she likes that I have different genes, arguing that when, for instance, Jews procreate with other Jews, they increase their kid’s; risk for breast cancer and Tay-Sachs. “I always wanted to procreate with someone outside my gene pool because I think you get a more beautiful and genetically superior baby,” she said. “I was hoping for a black guy, but I got a Jew.” Right then I felt grateful both for Cassandra and for the fact that she didn’t put that in our wedding vows. I just hope Laszlo didn’t inherit her mouth.