The Secrets in Our DNA

Synopsis

Today, DNA testing is exploding in popularity. Caught up by an explosion of popular interest in genealogy research, more than 26 million people have sent their DNA to be analyzed by companies like 23andMe and Ancestry DNA, and that number is expected to grow to over 100 million within the next two years.  Many customers hope to obtain hidden clues to family origins and forecasts of their future health, but what actually happens once the sample is in the hands of testing companies?  What are they looking at and how accurate are their results?

Kikim’s upcoming NOVA documentary Follow the DNA will explore the value of this information and the risks of entrusting our most private data to commercial enterprises and online databases.  DNA results that reveal estimates of health risks can easily be misinterpreted, while unexpected details of intimate family secrets have torn relationships apart. Meanwhile, law enforcement is increasingly turning to the DNA-sharing websites as extraordinarily powerful tools for cracking cold cases, demonstrated by the recent arrest of California’s notorious alleged Golden State Killer after 32 years at large. What is the promise and peril of personal DNA?

Stay tuned for production updates and broadcast information!