DNA and You

Posted on January 29, 2008. Filed under: technology, Weird Stuff |

23 and Me – is so interesting when you think about it for a minute. Ad off course just the act that its a Googlewfe behind it – kind of gives another dimension. Off course Ester Dyson is in as investor/help 😉 – (ED you are amasing!)

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6 Responses to “DNA and You”

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Not gonna succeed. There are far too many steps -request spit thingy, get spit thingy, spit in spit thingy, mail spit thingy, await analysis, get password, go to website -from there choose between an array of opportunities. Add to that that you give away your personal dna, which might hinder. Am I interested in comparing broccoli taste based on DNA?

I am willing to eat my words and hope they do succeed!

I had the initial same feeling – ITs a bummer – but the more i think about it – it makes SO MUCH SENSE. Its the real core of all connections between people. And the one month, spit, bla bla – is nothing – when its done… Maybe I can get alert of stuff that will improve my health due to my DNA structure or off course negative alerts…

True, but what should the doctor do if one steps up and says “My DNA tells me I might get cancer”? The healthcare sector is not ready for this step yet (will probably be in 5-10 years time). As I see it they started with the “social network” thought and plan to execute it that way. I.e. they need critical mass. And currently, it will only be the wealthier of people, who might be able to benefit from knowing their DNA and be able to do something about it. Well, I just merely think they are too much ahead of time. But as stated, I am willing to eat my words 🙂

Initially I thought: hmmmm – no good. But after some time you can’t stop thinking about the possibilities. Of course, there is a lot of uncertainty and risks with the data, but I think this is revolutionary.

Many good things are available for the rich at first. It’s a matter of time and everybody will be able to benefit.

@ Frans -Which possibilities? Why will it be revolutionary? (Just want you to reflect instead of throwing “air” in the air, by not explaning and just stating). Words of advice: Why, how, what, when, where, which. Ask these questions and business schools will not provide you with much better frameworks.

@ LP – Good question(s). Let me elaborate on it a little bit more, that “blowing air into air” thing doesn’t feel comfortable at all. I guess you have watched the above youtube movie?

Anyway, some possibilities/revolutions – some of which are not my own opinion(s) but are things that immediately crossed my mind:
1. Mapping of personal DNA’s can be a lot of fun (I refer to all the examples in the movie – there are many). Look, it doesn’t really matter if I think it’s fun, or if you think it’s not, but people in general like those things. Who would have thought downloading a ringtone on your mobile phone would be a (at least temporary) $ 600 million business in 2007 (http://money.cnn.com/2006/04/12/commentary/mediabiz/)? Not me if you would have asked me in 1995. And still, I have never spend one dime on those things. My point is: you and I might not find it fun, but there’s bound to be a lot of people that do think so. And yes, it is still expensive. But over time it won’t be.
2. Healthcare can be changed radically. And immediately I agree with the fact that this is also a tricky/sensitive one that needs careful thinking (and maybe even legislation?). But I still would like to point it out as a thinking experiment. In the Netherlands we have just got used to the fact that our healthcare system radically changed. Our “old” model was not affordable anymore – our population is getting older and thus “more expensive” and there are not enough young people to compensate for the increase in cost. In our new model every citizen has the right to a base insurance for healthcare that covers basic costs for a market price – due to multiple suppliers of these base insurances and the competitiveness the prices are nearly the same and so called “standard”. I think you get the point. This was phase one. And phase two – no idea when, but the initial discussions have already been spotted – will go further than this. I expect the model to become more and more personalized. Why don’t we give people a reduction for their base insurance of 15% per year when they visit a gym three times per week? The same discussions for smokers have been going on – obviously no reduction but increase of 15% per year. So now image that at the date of birth with one’s DNA map specialists can make an analysis of expected “costs of healthcare”. Maybe with evaluations after every decade? Based on that your yearly insurance fee is based. Again: EVERY citizen, no matter who you are, what expectancy or whatever information, has the right to the base insurance, so there will be no drop outs in the system. There are many many very sensitive issues with this (e.g. I think equal treatment for everybody is very important), and I am not sure what to think about all these issues exactly myself – that takes a little bit more thinking and discussions, but now it has become possible there will be consequences, either sooner or later.
3. DNA-Marketing mapping: mapping one’s DNA (+ preferences) on a marketing database. The resulting statistics might produce interesting cross links. Such as: people with glasses tend to like …. . This might offer something like: marketing from day of birth. Again, I am not saying that a new born baby is waiting for the new Lexus hybride sports car brochure because he/she seems to like sports cars. But I am sure some people will be able to build a solid business model around this kind of concept.

Of the total 6.6 billion people living on this earth there are > 6 billion people that do think in “it’s not possible, or it will never work” terms. I tend to think in opportunities. Maybe that’s why I am an entrepreneur?


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