Recording Health in the Gulf, and a DNA Dilemma

Published on
August 2, 2010

For your Monday, some items to keep you busy this week:

Big Decision: Mary Carmichael has a "DNA Dilemma" over at her Newsweek blog. She begins a week-long social media-heavy process to decide whether or not to take a direct-to-consumer genetic test:

Even before the hearing, the FDA had announced its plans to regulate all DTC genetic tests, possibly so heavily as to keep them off the market; the hearing was just the sort of thing that could push it to move faster. What if, by the time I finally decided if I wanted one of these tests, I couldn't buy one anymore? My credit card was sitting next to my laptop. I did something that in retrospect seems a bit rash. There's a DNA-collection kit on my desk now, taunting me-because although I bought the thing, I still can't decide whether I actually want to use it.

As of this writing, 65 percent of her blog readers say yes and five people have commented. Unclear on the concept? Here's the FAQ.

Chemicals in the Gulf: Eileen Senn at the Pump Handle offers advice for Gulf workers who are being exposed to chemicals in the oil spill cleanup. While the tips are meant for things that workers might record for themselves, it's also a great tip sheet for journalists covering the health angle of the spill.

Holdover: In case you missed it at the end of last week, the Food and Drug Administration issued a warning about Mircale Mineral Solution, sold on Amazon with four- and five-star ratings. The warning says that if you consume the product as directed, you'll actually be drinking industrial bleach.