The DNA Conundrum
It was a journey that began with a simple question: How much do you want to know? When reporter John Lauerman, a 53-year-old father of two, decided to have his DNA sequenced--an increasingly common procedure-- he hoped to obtain a blueprint of his future health.
Instead, he found himself plunged into a world of uncertainty. He might get Alzheimer’s disease, he was told. He could suffer an abnormal blood clot in his heart or brain. As Lauerman criss-crossed the country seeking answers, he and colleague Robert Langreth uncovered the stories of others--a pregnant mother, a worried father, an enraged breast cancer patient--struggling with the medical dilemmas unleashed by the brave new world of genetic testing.
On the fourth floor of a red brick medical building in Boston’s South End is an office where few want to go -- where people get a frequently unwelcome glimpse of their future through a careful reading of their DNA.