WILL SEQUENCING MY GENOME AFFECT MY CHILDREN AND MY RELATIVES?
We all have genetic mutations, and your genome sequence will reveal them.
It not only predicts your risk for disease, but indirectly affects your relatives as well. Your children will inherit one half of your damaging variants from you and another half from your spouse (which half is not known, but it can be tested). Likewise you share half of your DNA with that of your biological brothers and sisters and half with your mother and father. Thus, what you learn about you provides some information about disease risk for other related family members. In this sense, it is very much like family history, in which genetic diseases run in families due to shared DNA.
It is important to note, however, that a child’s risk for a particular genetic disease is not identical to that of his or her parent because only part of the genetic information is shared between parents and their children. The genetic predisposition loci randomly pass to children so the child may not get the mutation. Thus, just because a parent has a genetic disease does not mean the child will get the disease. A good example is the BRCA1 mutation. If a mother has this mutation, there is a 50% chance her children will inherit it. Thus, the chance is greater than the population as a whole (normally present in about 1 in every 400 people) but not a certainty.