Shopping For A Different Kind Of Genes

SS Member Image By drodriguez 05.18.08
Shopping For A Different Kind Of Genes
Share Tweet

After a day of shopping in high end boutiques, browsing galleries, and eating at gourmet restaurants some U.S. residents can now pop in to a store to find out how likely it is that they will develop heart disease, breast cancer, or Alzheimer’s Disease later in life. This may sound far fetched, but the Navigenics store now located in the shopping district SoHo in New York City is very real.

A recent article from the New York Times discusses Navigenics, a California based company that just started offering genetic testing to the public. The New York City storefront surprises many people in the area because it is just across the street from a lingerie boutique. The way the store is juxtaposed within the cityscape makes it feel like genetic testing is becoming a mainstream easily accessible commodity to residents who wander in off the street.

But maybe not as easily accessible as some would think. Navigenics charges a fee of $2,500 to analyze a person’s DNA through a saliva sample in order to gauge the risk of 18 conditions which include heart attacks and breast cancer. After the initial test, the company charges $250 a year to provide updates regarding the latest research about all types of illnesses.

Even if a person has the money for a test, many are skeptical of the benefits of knowing their likelihood of contracting debilitating illnesses. New York resident Dr. Perry Starer does not believe Navigenics is offering a useful service to residents. “I would say live your life as if you might get any of these diseases,” he said. “The choice you’re going to make is healthy living.”

Professor of genetics at Harvard Medical School, Raju Kucherlapati, is on the other end of the argument. He believes that knowledge of what may lay ahead could motivate patients and doctors to shift resources from treating illnesses to preventing them. Dr. Kuchlerlpati says, “This is just the beginning of a wave of information that is going to be made available to patients.”

What do you think of the idea of a storefront offering genetics testing to the public?

If a store like Navigenics opened up in your neighborhood would you be tempted to get tested?

Make a Comment

Comment  *
  • maxandlucy By maxandlucy

    Usually when a business deals in volume, can't these people bring the cost of the testing way down? If it does become more affordable i'd get it done. Our family history on both sides is kinda scary, and even with stress tests some of my realatives died in thier 40's of heart attacks. Would and could it make me paranoid about developing fill in the blank test result from the dna test, sure, but the benifits could outway that risk.

  • dlwilhite By dlwilhite

    I am wondering if it test for carriers of genetic disorders that may affect your children. As a mother of a Fragile X child it would have been beneficial if I had this option in front of me before having a child. I love my son dearly but I could have made the decision more wisely if I had known I was a carrier of Fragile X. For more information all pre-moms go to and read about the disorder. It is the number one cause of mental retardation and Autism. The numbers of likely carriers would most definatly surprise you.

  • sharman421 By sharman421

    A GENE STORE! What a great idea! Wish I had thought of it first. That's American ingenuity at its best. Only hope the prices come down, and perhaps with supply and demand, who knows? Hey, maybe they'll start offering coupons and promocodes! Or a family plan! or two for one specials. Maybe they'll team up with Cryogenics so one can plan their demise and their remise (is that a word?)all at one low price.

  • laurielew By laurielew

    I would not want this test..I would just end up paranoid thinking I would be getting whatever it showed!!

  • Karmacidal By Karmacidal

    If I had that kind of money to spend, I would certainly do it if only for the curiosity factor. I'm pretty healthy, as is my family tree, but it would be nice to know if they saw anything interesting. The only problem I would have is if there was some sort of push after testing to purchase insurance or some other medical related service 'customized' to your results. Not much good could come from that.

  • rmhartsell By rmhartsell

    I think there is a practical reason for it; I don't know if I would pay that amount of money. But just like most things, as more companies start to provide the same thing, the price comes down.

  • scrap728 By scrap728

    I wouldn't be able to afford the test but if I did I wouldn't pay to have it done because my family history already tells me what could be expected.

  • sn0fl8k3 By sn0fl8k3

    I think this is a great idea. The best way to avoid illness, is prevention. If you have the genes that put you at more risk for some cancers or illnesses, there are things you could change in your lifestyle to help prevent the onset. Like if you knew you had a tendency towards adult diabeties, wouldn't you want to know so you could nip it in the butt now? I think it would be super helpful in the furture, but totally unresonably priced now.

  • JoeyWallace1978 By JoeyWallace1978



    That is a great Test Idea! However, Wuld you really want to accully wan to know every single detail thats wrong with you?

    Its just like knowing the exact minute a person is going to die or omething...Scary??..?????

More stories like this