This past September, Silicon Valley startup 23andMe took another step in its self-described mission of “democratizing personal genetics” when it slashed the price of its gene-scanning service from $999 to $399. Increasing its user base is part of the company’s goal of becoming a robust platform for web-based genetic research. And by starting to collect, compile, and compare phenotypic and environmental data from these users, 23andMe is catalyzing DNA’s move from labs to Facebook tabs.
23andMe.com has the feel of a social-networking website, but its users are sharing genetic information rather than photographs. For $399, you don’t get a full genome scan, but rather a look at 580,000 different single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs): the genetic variants most often tied to distinctive personal traits. Users can elect to share this information with family and friends via their site-based profiles. 23andMe’s competitors, deCODEme and Navigenics, have different price structures and focus on different selections of SNPs, but the basic premise of their services is the same.
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ABOUT THIS BLOG
“The Future of Self-Knowledge” research blog encompasses the techniques and methodologies used in corporate horizon scanning & forecasting, and their counterparts in ancient divination practices and the rise in personal genome services.
This research is used as a platform to develop personalised futures techniques for The FATE Institute (The Futures Association for Therapy & Entertainment), a think tank dedicated to developing personalised foresight services and products.
Posts on this site will capture thoughts, experiments and current areas of interest in relation to speculative and personal futures.
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