Saturday, November 17, 2007

Genetic Testing for the Masses

Biology class was never very fun except for the labs. We got to do things like grow plants to find certain traits and make bacteria glow. The best one was when we got to separate DNA.

Of course, nothing we did would quite compare with what these people are doing out in Iceland.

For a while now, it has been possible for people to get personal DNA but it has been very expensive and only focused on a few genes. Now, due to an Icelandic company, it is more affordable and more useful to get your DNA tested many different genes.

The Icelandic company is called DeCode, and the service you can subscribe to is called DeCodeMe. It is only $985 for a subscription. You swab the inside of your cheek and send it in. When the testing is done, you can navigate a website and look at your risk to develop common diseases and other things like baldness. The good thing about the service is that you get to choose what you look at. If you want to know about your risk of balding, then you can. If not, you don't have to.

This company may have competition in the future for this unique service, which I think is only natural. And, of course, it's only natural that we have gone here as humans. I think that DNA testing is a bit extreme though. I, for one, don't want to know about how likely it is that I will develop Alzheimer's because I'd rather live the years that I have left in ignorant bliss. I don't want to know that my hair my thin either. I'll wait till it happens. But there are people out there that want to know these things. And what other markets can the economy take advantage of? With this service being this inexpensive, there will be a lot of people out there with heavy hearts, know that they may get Huntington's in the future.

Thanks MSNBC for the content. I'll add a picture later.

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