Discounts on Personal Genome Scans

Written by: Captain Skellett // July 28th, 2009 // Jibber Jabber, Unethics

I was reading New Scientist this weekend (nerdy, I know) and I came across this – genetic companies are offering personal genome scans. WTF.

Essentially, you provide a saliva sample, and they provide you with a bunch of info about your genetics. Here are some marketing gems. And ’cause I’m starting to learn how lazy people are about clicking through, here are some grabs.

And I quoteth:

deCODE genetics
• For $985 they will scan over one million variants in your genome
• Calculate genetic risk for 18 diseases based on the current literature
• Find out where your ancestors came from and compare your genome with others
• Get regular updates on future discoveries and a growing list of diseases and traits

23andMe is a web-based service that helps you read and understand your DNA for $999. After providing a saliva sample using an at-home kit, you can use their interactive tools to shed new light on your distant ancestors, your close family and most of all, yourself. 23andMe uploads your genome data to a secure database. With your own private login, you can then explore your genome. You can discover your origins, learn what the latest genetic findings may mean for you, and connect genetically with friends, family, and others across the globe.

/quote.

Did you hear that mateys, you can connect GENETICALLY with people all across the globe! It’s like the new Facebook!

These things have been around for a while, I never thought that people were actually SELLING them until now, but blow me down with a feather if they haven’t been. Wait, there’s more.

Discounts are now available! 23andMe have just started a new $99 version of the genome scanning service, and TruGenetics are offering 10,000 free scans. The catch? You have to “self-report” on your health and allow your genetic info to be used by researchers.

Is anyone else getting a GATTACA flashback? It reminds me of Scrubs too. Season 3, Episode “My Fault” in which Kelso starts offering full body scans to patients. In the words of Dr Cox “I think showing perfectly healthy people every harmless imperfection in their body just to scare them into taking invasive and often pointless tests is an unholy sin.” Although I found Dr Cox got a bit ANNOYING!!! in later seasons, I have to say I agree with him here. Seems like a bad idea, perhaps not an unholy sin (bit dramatic, isn’t it?) but not cool.

Like I told myself today – be a warrior, not a worrier. (That’s quite good, don’t you think! Wrote it myself.) My advice is to just have a mug o’ rum and stop stressing about things you can’t change. Might have to take myself up on that.

Captain Skellett

I be Captain Skellett. Me blog started in April 2009 when I was working full time and didn’t get a chance to talk science. Now I have changed jobs and talk science all the time, but that doesn’t stop me blogging. More About Captain Skellett   Google

   

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