DNA test

When Los Angeles resident Marie Kordus takes her rescue dog Anya out walking, some people say she looks like a wolf or a fox. Once a little boy even said, " 'Mommy, look at that lady, she's walking a coyote!' " Kordus recalls.

But when she adopted her slender, cream-colored rescue pup, she was told she was a German shepherd mix.

Still, Kordus decided to try to find out more about Anya's ancestry. She went online, ordered a DNA kit, swabbed Anya's mouth for saliva, put it in a tube, and mailed it off. One week later she had results.

Depending on whom you ask, finding out whether your genes make you a better athlete or give you healthier skin may be as easy as swabbing your cheeks for a DNA test on your way into a football game. But others say these "wellness" tests marketed directly to consumers are modern snake oil — worthless, or even misleading.

On Monday, the Food and Drug Administration gave a boost to direct-to-consumer genetic testing when it announced plans to streamline its approval process.