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Be "cool" while you can

Gene ExpressionBy Razib KhanMay 19, 2011 6:35 PM


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Blaine Bettinger, who released his genotypes into the "public domain," has a post up, My Genome Online – A Challenge To You:

I’ve already done a fair amount of analysis myself, including the Promethease reports above (and see here), and a recent blog post about my vastly increased Type 2 Diabetes risk. However, perhaps there’s a recent but relatively study that applies, or perhaps there’s a story you can weave with a handful of SNPs. Or, even better, what can you tell me about my ancestry other than mtDNA and Y-DNA haplogroups? Don’t worry about the strength of the study, reproducibility, etc. – I’m aware of the uncertainties associated with this type of research, and my goal here is to make people aware of possibilities. Please post your findings in the comments below, and in two weeks I’ll pick the most surprising or interesting findings and make them the focus of a new blog post. Can you surprise me with my own genome.

As Blaine notes there are dozens of genotypes online which aren't anonymous (obviously you can get plenty of genotype data from the HGDP and what not). I'm pretty sure that there will be thousands online in a few years at least. This means that raw numbers will give people a natural sense of anonymity. But here's something which might be fun and feasible in the near future. Imagine that you meet someone at a party, and are curious about them. You google them on your smartphone and find that their raw genotype is online. Then you go to your Promethease-app and run it real quick and find out all sorts of interesting information on them! Like email this will be novel for all of 6 months. Though I assume it will be much more significant for those who want a serious relationship. Perhaps genotypes could be like photos on personal ads? Optional, but definitely a must if you want to increase views/interest.

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