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New detection technology reveals hidden talents


07-19-2016 01:20 BJT

Have you ever thought you might have a hidden talent -- and wondered what it might be? New gene detection technology could help you find out. More people in China are getting tested. And a growing number of parents hope it can help their children maximize their potential. But is the technology being oversold?

The future is coming, at least when it comes to finding your hidden skills. A new gene technology test is helping parents in China assess their children's genetic abilities.
The procedure may sound like a scene from the 1997 sci-fi film "Gattaca".

But is it really so advanced? I found a gene detection institute in Guangzhou to give it a try. The procedure is painless. I put two cotton swabs inside my mouth to collect the DNA. Samples are then sent to a lab for analysis. I'm told it will only take two to three weeks to get my results. The procedure is gaining in popularity in China. But not everyone thinks it's a good idea.

"I think it’s great. And I want to have one for my kid so I can know what he’s good at without blindly wasting time," A parent said.

"It’s too expensive. I don’t know if it’s accurate enough. And I don’t want my kid’s development to be limited by the test,"

Practitioners say the tests ARE accurate and recommend parents get their children tested early.

"The global Human Genome Project has identified our talent genes and we have optimized our database for people with Asian descent. Our accuracy at detection can be as high as 99.7%. The best time to get tested is for kids between 2-16 years old," Lin Weiming, tech.director with Noah Health said.

The procedure isn't cheap. A gene test for hidden talents costs around three thousand yuan. To have your genes tested for cancer risks costs over twenty thousand yuan. And it could lower your monthly health insurance payment.

"Insurance companies and hospitals are encouraging their customers to do the gene tests. Their willingness to provide insurance could be higher for people whose genes carry a lower risk of cancer," Deng Wei, general manger of Rui An Medical Tech. Institution Co., Ltd in Guangzhou, said.

After two weeks of waiting, I’ve finally received my gene detection report. Now I’m going to find a doctor to tell me what my hidden talents are.

A combination of genes determine each person's natural talents -- like music, dancing or memorization.
The higher your score, the greater your talent.
But the test can also reveal hidden problems. If the reading on this chart goes above 1.0, you are more likely to suffer from shortsightedness.

According to my report, It’s not easy for me to get fat. I also have great genes for learning the piano. But I guess it's too late for that.

The gene test can reveal your children's talents. But it can't tell you your children's future.

"Parents don’t need to be overly-concerned. Genes only indicate a child's potential. But in actuality, skills are developed through training. So hard work is really what's important," Dr. Xu Bin with Noah Health said.

Experts say the gene test can help parents understand their children better -- but warn them not to take the results too seriously.

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