November 18, 2007

Gattaca: Today

Gem DNA by Paul ThiessenI just came across a Wired article about 23andMe, who will decode your genetic sequence for a mere $1000. After submitting a sample of your saliva, your genotype data will be available for you to view on their web site. This isn't exactly the same as the early scene in Gattaca where upon being born, Jerome is given specific probabilities for certain diseases and health problems, but it's close. Based on the latest research into genetic influence on physical, mental, and health characteristics, you can see if there is some likelihood you might want to pay attention to certain things. You can also see how genetically similar you might be to other people in general.

deCODEme is another service that does the same thing, for about the same price. I'm not particularly sure if there is any difference in these services. Technically, they should be able to deduce and tell you the same thing, at which point it just comes down to price, but more than that privacy and the user experience. Privacy is going to be the most important, because as seen in Gattaca, it will all be about the protections in place and attitudes we adopt that determine what happens with this new capability.

Posted by josuah at November 18, 2007 4:04 AM UTC+00:00

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