Map My Gene - DNA testing for kids!
As a parent, don’t you think it would be fantastic to know beforehand your child’s strengths and weaknesses and even diseases that might be hidden in the family line? Now you can, with DNA profiling.
When Valerie was 5, she asked Mrs Kwong, her mother for a piano. Eagerly, she bought one for $5000 and got a tutor for her. However, Valerie lost the interest after a few months. As it turned out, it was only because she saw a friend owned a piano at home that prompted her whim. Today, 15 years on, she designs computer games and writes applications, without even having a single computer lesson to her name. That piano was left to collect dust. So, how do you know what is right for your child? And as a parent, don’t you think it would be fantastic to know beforehand your child’s strengths and weaknesses and even diseases that might be hidden in the family line?
Well, apparently now you can. No, we are not talking about crystal balls or a session with a gypsy! Rather, it is a DNA test that children can do that can unearth their inborn talents, characters and genetic diseases that may be in their family line. Artistic abilities, social problems, obesity and even whether they are susceptible to addiction, Eager to find out more, TheAsianparent hopped down to Map My Gene Pte Ltd to speak with Franck Wong, the company’s marketing director.
TheAsianparent (TAP) : Hi Franck, could you tell me more about DNA profiling, Map My Gene and how the DNA test works?
Franck Wong : Genetic Testing could do for schools what biomedical research has done for healthcare. Map My Gene’s inception was in November, 2008. Within a year, we have covered Philippines, Malaysia, Thailand, UAE, Hong Kong, Singapore, Indonesia and the whole of India. This shows the enthusiasm people have on the Gene Tests and the benefits that come with it.
We have two DNA tests.
Firstly, there is a Disease Susceptibility Genetic (Inherited) Test. This is done to identify any genes that may be susceptible to diseases such as cancer, stroke and even heart failure. (A comprehensive 120 disease test). After which our doctors will provide strategic therapies or customize screening options for the child as a form of intervention long before an expected disease becomes rampant. Remember, a genetic predisposition means a likelihood of developing and not a confirmation of the disease. Our mission is to provide insight into genes through Genetic Information, allowing parents to help their kids take action steps toward a healthier, longer life.
The other test is the Innate Talents & Traits Genetic Test which will show what talents and character traits the child may have inherited from their parents. The results will be interpreted by our Psychologists where the mapping of a child’s future begins. Discovering a kid’s sports, artistic, creative, dancing or musical abilities early on can help parents stretch their dollar properly and more importantly, not stress their children out with too many classes. Behaviours like shyness, over-optimistic character, risk-taking and even depression can be corrected when parents learn from us the proper methods of early interventions.
TAP : How are the tests conducted?
Franck Wong : A painless method of gently rubbing a foam tip to swab the inner cheek of the mouth. Once the DNA is on the foam tip, it will be dabbed onto the duct of the DNA Auto-Processing Box and the sample will be delivered to our labs overseas for analysis.
TAP : When will the result be received?
Franck Wong : About 6 to 8 weeks.
TAP : What is the right age to get tested?
Franck Wong : Babies from as young as 2 months old and I have people as old as 40 to 60 years old doing these two tests. You only do one Genetic Test in your lifetime.
TAP : So it’s not too late for even parents to get an Innate Talents & Traits Test?
Franck Wong : Not at all! Some parents want to know what career or subjects their teenage kids can major in when they have to choose between going into Poly or Jc. Some adults simply want to know if they had chosen the right career paths for themselves. Sometimes, we map both parents and their kids to help bond their character traits using their genetic profiles as intelligent tools. It also assists to mentally prepare a child for education in school.
TAP : What about nutrition and the environment, don’t they play a part?
Franck Wong : Nutrition and environment definitely play a vital role and that is why this test is all the more important. For example, Hay fever is hereditary but it needs pollen to form the allergy. Genes are not the puppet masters in a child’s behaviour. Genes are at the mercy of behaviour or environment. This test is like knowing what ‘vitamin’ a child is lacking and then providing the right dose of ‘nutrition’ as remedy. So, if we detect a bad character of a child through genes, say addiction (‘Vitamin’ defect), then proper intervention methods through our Psychologist’s sessions would help ‘turn-off’ the bad genes (the right ‘Nutrition’). If a child has a genetic propensity for shyness and parents who are unaware would inadvertently ‘turn-on’ the shy genes by labeling them as ‘the quiet one or the whiner at home’. With this test, it helps change parent’s attitudes towards raising their kids by saying more positive words to encourage self-confidence in them. Apart from nutrition that can help kids in intelligence, this test uncovers many other traits of a child that could be used by parents to bolster IQ in them. We have the technology to help transfer high-quality parenting skills using the genetic profile of their children as a guide.
TAP : In a way, can these tests change a child’s life?
Franck Wong : Yes, it can. DNA Profiling takes chance out of the equation and helps put control back into parent’s hands. If we are able to help parents know more about their children through Genetics in health and upbringing, we gain “pre-emptive strike” capabilities in our war against diseases and we equip our children with the right character to uphold their talents acquired or be successful and happy in life.
To find out more contact Franck at +65 91545642, +65 82259362 or www.mapmygene.com