Episode #185 with Shivani Nazareth from Counsyl

Summary: In Episode #185 Ari interviews Shivani Nazareth, the Director of Women’s Health at Counsyl, a health technology and DNA-screening company that works to provide people insight into their predisposed genetic diseases using saliva and blood-based tests. Listen as Ari and Shivani talk about the importance of testing, why knowledge is empowering rather than limiting, and why fear isn’t a good reason to stay away from testing.

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Time Stamped Show Notes:

  • 11:31 – Introduction of Shivani Nazareth
  • 12:28 – Counsyl places an emphasis on pre-conception and pregnancy testing
  • 14:20 – Ari talks about his family’s experience with 23 and Me
  • 15:15 – When it comes to carrier screening, having the information BEFORE pregnancy is so, so important
  • 15:50 – Unlike other over the counter testing solutions, Counsyl uses next-generation sequencing technology to pick up all mutations within a targeted gene
  • 16:16 – Breaking it down in layman’s terms
  • 17:28 – 40% of people don’t know the TRUE ethnic background of all four grandparents
  • 18:18 – IVF is an option a lot of couples will pursue to avoid the risks of negative genetic mutations
  • 20:30 – Rare is actually pretty common with genetic diseases, collectively speaking
  • 21:03 – Did Counsyl always intend to focus on pre-conception testing?
  • 22:30 – DNA does NOT change when it comes to the types of mutations that Counsyl tests for
  • 23:30 – Genetic counseling helps people understand and process the data of their results
  • 24:05 – Often women end up being tested for disease before men
  • 25:25 – The differences between submitting tests based on saliva and blood
  • 26:00 – Shivani’s background
  • 27:28 – http://www.Counsyl.com

3 Key Points:

  1. 40% of people don’t actually know the ethnic background of their 4 grandparents
  2. Rare is actually common (collectively speaking) when it comes to genetic disease
  3. If considering genetic testing, make sure to enlist the help of  a genetic counselor to help you understand your results.

Resources Mentioned:

  • Robots Making Music – And not just any music, real, original, classical compositions
  • Pulling an All-Nighter – Tips to strategically approach an all-nighter, courtesy of the Special Forces
  • Breakout Room – An extremely quick, easy, and STABLE means of screen sharing, live-broadcasting, etc.
  • Universal Language – MIT claims to have found what is – apparently – a universal language
  • Mobile Passport US
  • June Oven – An intelligent oven (with an app) that can identify the food that is to be cooked, and how it should be cooked
  • Marcus Aurelius and Mediation – From Maria Popova, a discussion on mediation and stoicism
  • Text DOLESS – Text DOLESS to 33733