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Google Invests In Genetic Indexing

Soulskill posted more than 6 years ago | from the get-a-NDA-for-your-DNA dept.

Biotech 74

Bibek Paudel point us to a BusinessWeek report on Google's interest in the cataloging and analyzing of people's DNA. Google has recently invested in DNA screening firms Navigenics and 23andMe, which test customers' DNA for characteristics such as ancestry and predisposition for certain diseases. The customers are then able to give the information to their doctors. This is not Google's first foray into the medical industry. "Google wants to plant an early stake in a potentially large new market around genetic data. 'We are interested in supporting companies and making investments in companies that [bolster] our mission statement, which is organizing the world's information and making it universally accessible and useful,' Google spokesman Andrew Pederson says. 'We felt it was important to get involved now, at the early stage, to better understand the information generated by this fast-moving field.'"

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74 comments

Be afraid, be very afraid.... (5, Funny)

ColdWetDog (752185) | more than 6 years ago | (#23135292)

All your base (pairs) belong to us!

Bizarre finding... (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23135330)

They caught a slashdot troll and scanned its DNA. It was

ANGNAANGANANANGNNAGGNNGGNANNAGA....

Re:Bizarre finding... (1)

ichthyoboy (1167379) | more than 6 years ago | (#23138518)

Wow...who knew that /. trolls knew the IUPAC ambiguity codes for any base. That, or else /. really needs a new DNA sequencer...

Re:Be afraid, be very afraid.... (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23136872)

actually, searching for a blond girl with big boobs for a date will be easier.. google can become the ultimate dating service.

Re:Be afraid, be very afraid.... (1)

mabhatter654 (561290) | more than 6 years ago | (#23138912)

I think the capacity for good is there. Google has programmers that are very good at cause-effect relationships in web page data... applying that to human DNA would be relatively easy if they had a handful of very good data and medical history.

It would be neat to see medical charts from 100 year olds compared to infants, that would get you 3 generations of good data. You could work out the genetics into the past and predict the future pretty well. Imagine dating by emotional and Genetic compatibility. To know that the optimal choice for a mate to have very healthy offspring, or perhaps even weed out a defect from your line could be determined. I think relationships work outside those limits and people would have a hard time mating for genetic reasons over romance.

On the other hand, then does it become some kind of crime for "bad mating", ending a world where people are more than the sum of their parents and pasts.

Re:Be afraid, be very afraid.... (1)

Tolkien (664315) | more than 6 years ago | (#23138012)

I've always been an avid fan of Google's. That said, though this is innocent enough, it seems like a step in a dangerous direction (think 1984).

Re:Be afraid, be very afraid.... (1)

MrNaz (730548) | more than 6 years ago | (#23138538)

Innocent enough? Think 1984? Dude, your danger sensors are turned waaaay too low, they need recalibrating. You're the kind of guy who sits in a boat with water up to his knees and says to his crewmates:

"OK, something's not right here. Did one of you fart?"

Re:Be afraid, be very afraid....GATTACA (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23140898)

GATTACA...

I'm just dying to know (4, Funny)

way2trivial (601132) | more than 6 years ago | (#23135294)

what kinds of adsense relationships they can match to genetic markers.

the mind boggles....

marker for a small penis and low intelligence? show them a camarro
small penis and high intelligence? corvette

Re:I'm just dying to know (4, Insightful)

FooAtWFU (699187) | more than 6 years ago | (#23135318)

Your (small) mind may boggle, but really, a) it's not about AdSense, it's about being a major player in the medical industry (where you get paid by hospitals and insurance companies and what-have-you, not just advertisements), and b) even if it was, if you had (say) a propensity for heart disease, one could see ads for all those "heart healthy" oatmeal+etc things.

Re:I'm just dying to know (4, Insightful)

ColdWetDog (752185) | more than 6 years ago | (#23135388)

it's about being a major player in the medical industry

I think this is it. The Next Big Thing in the Medical Industrial Complex (other than taking out all of the insurance company executives and shooting them) is going to be managing enormous amounts of data. The Industry has shown it can't do it: Insurance companies have a vested interest in NOT letting anyone else see what they are doing / what data they're finding. The government - Bush's weak pronouncements aside - won't do anything. The various private companies involved in Health Care computing are still too small and fragmented to get anything done on a major scale within the mess that is the current US Healthcare system.

This means either medical information will remain balkanized for the foreseeable future (which isn't necessarily a bad thing), or somebody (ie. Google and / or Microsoft) is going to try to tie everything together. Of course, this won't fix the major issues in healthcare delivery and financing in the US but it's one piece of the puzzle.

How do I get in touch with these guys? (2, Interesting)

Scubaraf (1146565) | more than 6 years ago | (#23136726)

Seriously - I do genomics research in cancer. We use a variety of tests that generate reams of information. Most academic institutions develop their own overly complicated and highly specialized tools to look at this data. If Google is venturing into the realm of user accessible genetic information, they must be creating simple UI tools for the masses.

I would love to get in on that aspect of things - either as a consultant or beta-tester. A Google Earth like genome browser is at the top of my wish list.

ARE YOU LISTENING MR BRIN? If so, drop me an e-mail - seriously!

Re:I'm just dying to know (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23135790)

And according to *your* small mind, Google can do no wrong. What if you replaced Google by Microsoft in the article? You'd be raising hell, that's what you'd be doing. Google is nothing more than Microsoft in 1990.

Privacy (3, Interesting)

dreamchaser (49529) | more than 6 years ago | (#23135974)

What really concerns me about Google and MS getting into the medical data business is that they are NOT covered by the HIPPA law (privacy rules). They can data mine your medical data, should they get it, to their hearts content.

I suggest people in the US contact their Congresscritters about revising HIPPA to cover online web accessible databases.

Re:Privacy (1)

WaltBusterkeys (1156557) | more than 6 years ago | (#23136132)

Even if Google were covered by HIPPA, there are still problems. HIPPA is far from a complete solution, and it's even worse when the data is in Google's hands. I've said it before and I'll say it again, Google knows too much [reputation...erblog.com] already.

The problem isn't necessarily that Google would misuse any healthcare data -- Google has too much at stake to do anything stupid like sell personal data to the highest bidder. The problem is that any concentration of that much data in one company's hands--from email to search history to medical records--makes a very inviting target for prying government eyes and malicious hackers/crackers.

Think about it -- Google is a multinational business and Yahoo! has shown that the pressure to bow to local demands is often overwhelming (see the Yahoo!-China debacle [sfgate.com] ). Even if the US passed the most privacy-protective laws, there's nothing that would stop China from leaning very hard on Google to give up records for political activists that traveled between the US and China, or even for politicians or others.

Having that much data in one set of hands is mighty dangerous, even if Google itself isn't going to misuse it.

Re:Privacy (1)

rtb61 (674572) | more than 6 years ago | (#23138318)

Of course genetic profiling does remain a real threat. So would corporations abuse genetic profiling, would governments abuse genetic profiling, the answer is currently, yes. Knowing which individuals are likely to remain free thinkers and oppose bad government decisions and should be targeted from a early age, is a threat. For corporations being able to target people who are more susceptible to marketing, those who would willingly bury themselves in debt to buy the latest B$ marketed piece of shiny junk, is really offensive.

Google seems stuck in the whole privacy invasive marketdroid trap. It's managements has now becomes lopsided and seems incapable of diversifying into other technology areas and sees the market from only one viewpoint. When management becomes like that, the company has real difficultly escaping the trap, as the management teams seeks to preserve and strengthen it's position as individuals defined by their expertise and will eliminate threats from other areas of business who threaten their ascendency.

Cheap hardware makes mass data storage. Cheap hardware also makes data mining very easy, and at the end of the day, the easiest method of industrial espionage would be by mining other companies data. As for google misusing data, they are a public corporation, their behaviour is defined by the majority shareholders and has already shown major changes in behaviour for the worse over the last five years.

Re:I'm just dying to know (3, Informative)

dookiesan (600840) | more than 6 years ago | (#23137040)

These are nice theories but I have a simpler one. The founder of 23andMe is wife of one of the google founders (so I heard).

Re:I'm just dying to know (1)

orpheum (1064692) | more than 6 years ago | (#23137192)

This is true and should be modded up immediately.

Re:I'm just dying to know (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23153622)

I do remember when Nancy (des Jardines) gave an interview to NY Times without revealing her marriage connection to Google. Please mod parent up, as we deserve to know the marriage connection between Google and 23andMe.

Re:I'm just dying to know (1)

dookiesan (600840) | more than 6 years ago | (#23137198)

I should say that the data 23andMe will collect is very valuable. People are talking about them and what they're doing deserves funding. It's just that if you want the most obvious reason why Google would announce investment in a small biotech startup, I think that is it. I don't doubt that it will be an excellent investment, but the obvious has to be pointed out.

Re:I'm just dying to know (1)

Jerry Smith (806480) | more than 6 years ago | (#23139084)

I should say that the data 23andMe will collect is very valuable.

Yes, I am quite sure that some companies will pay a lot of money for the results in this research. I'm also quite sure that it's a bit double-sided: the company with the winning bid could be researching the cure for cancer, but it could also be an insurance company. I don't know but I suggest to be careful in these matters.

Re:I'm just dying to know (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23142422)

Wow, man. IT'S A JOKE.

Re:I'm just dying to know (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23137626)

You spelled camaro wrong, genius.

They told us at uni... (0, Offtopic)

26199 (577806) | more than 6 years ago | (#23135306)

...that the field of biology was ripe for an investment of programmer time. We even had a course touching on the basics of DNA and the types of searching/sorting/etc that would be relevant.

I suppose it's not surprising that the big boys are coming to play, then :)

Re:They told us at uni... (1)

espressojim (224775) | more than 6 years ago | (#23135654)

Yup. Bioinformatics is a big field now. I started in biology 10 years ago, but I'm now a very good engineer (who is also often the subject matter expert for our group.)

This will also help recruiting (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23135344)

They're stealing a few ideas from the X-Men's Mr. Sinister. By cataloging DNA, they'll be able to find perfect matches and breed super intelligent engineers, ala Scott Summers/Jean Grey turning out Cable.

Re:This will also help recruiting (1)

Barny (103770) | more than 6 years ago | (#23135506)

Actually imho google just won the race to become the first cyberpunk style "mega-corp" with their finger in EVERY pie.

How long before we see genetically enhanced, cyber augmented killing machines storming microsoft headquarters?

Hopefully not long :)

hehe (2, Interesting)

someone1234 (830754) | more than 6 years ago | (#23135632)

They are surely the closest to host an awakened AI.

Sweet! (1)

NothingMore (943591) | more than 6 years ago | (#23135346)

Iv always wanted to see ad's based on my genetic makeup.

Just got a job interview (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23135354)

I just had a job interview, I got as answer "Sorry, Google compared your DNA with other ppl similar to yours and people like you are the ones performing stupid searches on Google".

always the marketing angle (0, Troll)

kennylogins (1092227) | more than 6 years ago | (#23135392)

fucking parasites

I read about this in Wired (4, Informative)

Cytlid (95255) | more than 6 years ago | (#23135396)

Here's the link:

http://www.wired.com/medtech/genetics/magazine/15-12/ff_genomics [wired.com]

I thought it was interesting then. It's also important to point out, Anne Wojcicki's husband's name is Sergey Brin. Having access to massive amounts of computing power makes sense for a genetics company.

Sooner or later (0, Troll)

JamesRose (1062530) | more than 6 years ago | (#23135402)

You become evil simply by being too big.

The new meaning of DNA (1)

4D6963 (933028) | more than 6 years ago | (#23135410)

Do No Anvils

Sorry, I know..

No evil doings here! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23135512)

None whatsoever!

Insurance implications? (5, Informative)

nathan_w_cheng (700551) | more than 6 years ago | (#23135542)

I recently attended a legal studies lecture in which the professor (a lawyer) asserted that if any of us were to participate in such a program and any disease or predisposition for disease were discovered, that we would be legally obligated to make this known to any potential medical insurers the next time we apply for medical insurance. According to this lawyer, failure to disclose in this manner would result in annulment of the insurance should the failure be discovered.

Re:Insurance implications? (2, Informative)

Trutane (735208) | more than 6 years ago | (#23137472)

Don't trust everything your professors (or lawyers) tell you.

A genetic predisposition for a disease in a currently healthy individual is not the same as having the disease. According to HIPAA [genome.gov] , genetic information in the absence of a current diagnosis of illness does not constitute a pre-existing condition.

But HIPAA [wikipedia.org] is just the beginning of genetic information protection. The real deal is something called GINA: Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act (GINA) [wikipedia.org] , which recently passed in the U.S. Congress and is pending in the Senate. President Bush has openly supported this bill. So it has some decent momentum.

Further reading: Navigenics provides some good resources [navigenics.com] about legal rights regarding the use of your genetic information, and there was a good article in the Boston Globe [boston.com] on this in Sep 2007.

Re:Insurance implications? (1)

Trutane (735208) | more than 5 years ago | (#23177202)

Good news for the Senate finally passing GINA: Congress Near Deal on Genetic Test Bias Bill (23 Apr 2008) [nytimes.com] Quoting from the article:

"More than a decade after we began the effort to protect Americans from genetic discrimination, the Senate is finally poised to see the fruition of those efforts," [Olympia J. Snowe, Republican of Maine] said in a press release that quoted another senator describing GINA as "the first civil rights act of the 21st century."
Big stuff.

Our Mission: (1)

McGiraf (196030) | more than 6 years ago | (#23135546)

Our Mission:

"organizing the world's information and making it universally accessible and useful" ...for targeted advertising.

23andMe = Sergey Brin's wife's company (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23135580)

conflict of interest.

universally accessible and useful (4, Interesting)

delvsional (745684) | more than 6 years ago | (#23135596)

What if I don't want my medical data to to "universally accessible"?

Re:universally accessible and useful (1)

cpricejones (950353) | more than 6 years ago | (#23137050)

Why should that set of chemicals (your chromosomes) or that long string of letters (ATCG) belong to you?

I assume you are only talking about your DNA sequence. There is much more than simply the base pairs. There are epigenetic modifications, RNA genome, and your proteome to name a few. In my work, it would be very advantageous to have a large number of sequences for a particular gene. This information can be used to learn how conserved the sequences are. Conservation is often a hint at function. But the key is having a large number of sequences.

The dark side of Dawkins... (0, Flamebait)

tjstork (137384) | more than 6 years ago | (#23135598)

Well, the dark side of secularism looms its ugly head. Pretty much all physical evidence proves that people are not equal, and, every day we investigate our genes only proves it more and more.

Equality is a religious belief, born of the idea that people great and small are luminous beings, each possessing a soul that beyond our means to measure and categorize.

Evolutionary biologists can say that animals are all "equal" in some abstract way, but, science has already told us that fish live better underwater than humans, that birds can fly and fish cannot, and now, we will find out that we humans too, have different genes that render us better or worse at fighting diseases, giving us a better or worse propensity to engage in certain kinds of athletics or certain types of thought. Even the idea of free will is under academic assault, as scientists unravel the very structure of our minds.

With this knowledge will come new kinds of racism, a racism based on genetics and statistics and all other facts that are provably true. To oppose social engineering based on genetics and population statistics might well be as quaint in academic circles as someone opposed to vaccines is today. We may find it loathsome that the Nazis exterminated the Jews in Europe to achieve their peaceful society, but, will find it loathsome in the future when we decide whether or not breed out or exterminate a class of people with a particular gene that we might calculate to be disruptive or costly?

Congratulations people! You've crushed the Church and disproved God, only to find that made genetic Nazism not only the most logical course of social action, but also the most inevitable.

You have made the very liberalism to which you supposedly ascribe obsolete. Nicely done.

Re:The dark side of Dawkins... (1)

maxume (22995) | more than 6 years ago | (#23135760)

Wait, you need science to tell you that fish live better underwater than humans and believe that the Nazi's achieved a peaceful society? Wow.

And it isn't the notion of free will that is under assault, it is the definition of free will. "I'm a product of incredibly complicated information and I am not particularly subject to the information in my immediate surroundings" isn't really all that less satisfying than "I have a soul that exists separate from my body", unless you are very hung up on the "separate from my body" part.

Re:The dark side of Dawkins... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23136416)

unless you are very hung up on the "separate from my body" part.
Yeah, there's no logical reason to get hung up on defining what controls human actions as being this magical ethereal thing.

Re:The dark side of Dawkins... (1)

nawcom (941663) | more than 6 years ago | (#23135914)

So, is your proposition to halt scientific study as we know it? So we don't enable this racism that's gene-based?

Last time I checked, most liberal secularists openly accept differences. This is where racism ceased to exist in their minds. Let's say we find out that africans, asians, and europeans have differences in genes that we didn't notice before. The only people who will take advantage of those differences are people who are closed-minded, unhappy, are scared of people who look different, and still believe that correct morals were written 2 thousand years ago. I happen to know a few on my father's side of the family. Ignorant little boogers. They can be annoying.

But anyway, the only way people would use genetics as a reason for some genocide are people who simply didn't have a mom when they grew up, or they have ridiculous fears towards people who look different or follow different philosophies in life. Do you have that problem? I assume you do. You directly linked the science of genetics to nazi-thinking. One book that everyone seems to love in the united states is the bible. now that's a book that can teach nazi-thoughts. Like enslaving people from other countries.

Oh well. enough ranting. If you want me to give you a suggestion, I'll say go find your mommy and hug her. You need something decent to replace your hate-logic, maybe that'll do.

not a reason, but a means to (1)

way2trivial (601132) | more than 6 years ago | (#23135986)

I take a fragment of your statement
Let's say we find out that africans, asians, and europeans have differences in genes that we didn't notice before...
...the only way people would use genetics as a reason for some genocide

and imagine


Let's say we find out that africans, asians, and europeans have differences in genes that we didn't notice before...
...the best way people would use genetics as means to commit genocide

Re:not a reason, but a means to (1)

nawcom (941663) | more than 6 years ago | (#23136212)

What are you trying to say? That if you take parts of two sentences that I typed, it shows opposition to what the whole purpose of the paragraph? Congratulations. Send your resume to the NSA, they are looking for code crackers like you.

no-- not at all.. (1)

way2trivial (601132) | more than 6 years ago | (#23136584)

I read what you wrote, and a thought came to me, and they are my fears.

I wasn't thinking of anything as complex and gentle as the original posters suggested " not breed out "

I was thinking more like a very specific engineered bio-weapon, something based on your comment of
"Let's say we find out that africans, asians, and europeans have differences in genes that we didn't notice before..."

if specific such gene were discovered, that allowed for five 9's of probability that a person was black, how long do you think
it would be before the first supremecist jackass with a little know how would attempt to use that knowledge in a way that would be particularly malevolent.

a few people, call them dedicated, call them focused, call them fanatics-- could make something that would on the surface appear to work
to further their goals.. and they would think it was 'safe enough' to release..

that's my concern...

Re:no-- not at all.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23140182)

a couple of years ago there was the (unsourced, but you get the idea where it came from) rumour that israel developed a virus that specifically targetted arab people. so the idea is old hat. BUT genetic engineering seems to offer a method for accomplishing something like this.

Re:The dark side of Dawkins... (1)

servognome (738846) | more than 6 years ago | (#23136574)

The only people who will take advantage of those differences are people who are closed-minded, unhappy, are scared of people who look different, and still believe that correct morals were written 2 thousand years ago.
That's the problem, there are too many of those sorts of people in the world who will take advantage of any small shred of evidence they can bend towards their cause. Imagine if we discover that race X tends to have genes which make them less intelligent and more aggressive. Doesn't matter that the actual behavior has more to do with environmental factors, the conservative talk radio pundits will point to the "discovery" as evidence certain groups should be jailed or denied job opportunities.
Do we allow the entrenched aristocracy to genetically engineer themselves so not only do they have socio-economic advantages, but they also have genetic advantages which further widens the gap between rich and lower class.
I'm not saying that scientific study needs to stop, but the philosophical and moral discussions need to also happen.

But anyway, the only way people would use genetics as a reason for some genocide are people who simply didn't have a mom when they grew up, or they have ridiculous fears towards people who look different or follow different philosophies in life.
Not necessarily. Widescale abortions (whether or not somebody considers that genocide is a different discussion) could deplete those genetic lines which are seen as "unfavorable." Many times this will be done because the parents want "what's best" for their child, sacrificing individuality for conformity on the most fundamental level. Too short, not athletic, autistic, social issues... abort or reengineer those "issues" away.
Even if there are those who will fight the conformist attitude, they will be in the minority and will face significant social implications

It's important the moral debates on genetic profiling & engineering start now, because things could always backfire [khaaan.com]

Re:The dark side of Dawkins... (1)

tjstork (137384) | more than 6 years ago | (#23137172)

Last time I checked, most liberal secularists openly accept differences.

No they don't. They are just as fanatical about their ideals as people on the opposite side of the idealogical divide. Besides, the thing is, the people most likely to commit genocide are those who think they are incapable of wrong.

Let's say we find out that africans, asians, and europeans have differences in genes that we didn't notice before.

That's not what I'm talking about. I'm saying, what if we find that people with some gene, call it, for example, T-1742 ABC, are 10% more likely to be murderers. If you did the math, and the social cost of murder, you might be able to make the economic case that you should ethnically cleanse your society of them (of course, through deportations... but if no one wanted them... then, well, there's other solutions).

Of course, it doesn't even have to be that evil. I mean, we could make the serious argument that why should people without cancer genes pay for cancer treatments in people who have them?

I'm not talking about racism along existing racial lines... I'm talking about a new kind of racism, based on genetic analysis. Or, it could even be a national health care plan allocating less resources to those with weaker genes. It could be men or women administering genetic tests to partners and screening each other or unborn children for genetic problems. Really, the sky is the limit.

Of course, if such things happened to take place along fault lines that coincided with today's racial labels, that's one thing. And we haven't even gotten to the parts about using cloned human skin to make human skin coats...

Re:The dark side of Dawkins... (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23136000)

The way you're talking about it, complete genetic prediction MUST lead to harmful discrimination, which of course is taken to its extreme with Nazi eugenics. You can have your dim view of humanity if you like, but I'd like to explore the possibility that knowing what genetic diseases someone might have _doesn't_ lead to the end of society. If you will, I'm going to take this away from the idea that all knowledge ABOUT you is knowledge used AGAINST you. Maybe a cut-throat society where everyone is out for themselves, as is encouraged by health insurance would have this problem, but what about the _nice_ idea of society, where the government acts in your interests, there's a genuine sense of cohesion between people, and people generally help people who need it. If the right people know about a genetic weakness, they can help with it. A government that acknowledges that most people have some genetic complaint that will appear later in life, and puts the appropriate resources in would be able to give people the support they need, with preventative treatment, lifestyle advice, etc. In summary, knowledge can be used for good or bad, and the constant fear that it will be used for ill is simply the dim view we hold of humanity. Personally, I'm hoping that, if we get the knowledge and technology that used to be considered 'future society', we'll get the appropriate changes in attitudes to go with it.

Re:The dark side of Dawkins... (1)

tjstork (137384) | more than 6 years ago | (#23138472)

where the government acts in your interests,

LOL.

A government that acknowledges that most people have some genetic complaint that will appear later in life, and puts the appropriate resources in would be able to give people the support they need, with preventative treatment, lifestyle advice, etc.

I would be more willing to bet that the government is the last place you would want to have accumulating genetic data.

n summary, knowledge can be used for good or bad, and the constant fear that it will be used for ill is simply the dim view we hold of humanity.

Some knowledge is worse than others. What does the knowledge of making an atomic bomb do that is positive?

Personally, I'm hoping that, if we get the knowledge and technology that used to be considered 'future society', we'll get the appropriate changes in attitudes to go with it.

It can't happen, because, at the end of the day, people with bad genes aren't as good, and never will be. That's the thing. Once people learn something or someone isn't as good, that's just it, the floodgates open and they move on.

Google DNA Mashups! (4, Interesting)

KnowledgeEngine (1225122) | more than 6 years ago | (#23135612)

New from Google for 2009 DNA Mashups!

Just login, choose your favorite DNA Samples (or upload your own), and select the chromosone pairs from the samples you wish to combine!
Next choose Preview to see what your new organism will look like! Also, upload a base sample for a comparison chart between the original organism and your new lifeform!

Last but not least our engineers hope to have a special suprise ready by April of 2010. Ordering! We hope to offer both "Retrovirus" for exisiting organism modification, and "Test Tube Compatible" for creating new lifeforms!

Warning: Google claims no responsiblity for lifeforms based on DNA created with the beta.

Re:Google DNA Mashups! (1)

Ox0065 (1085977) | more than 6 years ago | (#23140344)

(or upload your own)
the mind boggles. I don't think I want to think about this any more.

Searching for a mate just got easy (1)

infonography (566403) | more than 6 years ago | (#23135746)

now you can find out if she snores with a few clicks of a mouse. Find out what she'll look like in 50 years by doing a genetic projection. Better then a background check.

Re:Searching for a mate just got easy (1)

dreamchaser (49529) | more than 6 years ago | (#23135994)

We've been doing that for centuries. Anyone who marries a girl without seeing what her Mom looks like is daft. Granted, this would be higher definition, but still...I'm just sayin'...

The adage is "Like the mother, marry the daughter" as I recall, and yes my tounge is lodged in my cheek.

Re:Searching for a mate just got easy (1)

daveime (1253762) | more than 6 years ago | (#23136296)

1. Watch the potential mother-in-law sleep for 9 hours.
2. Enquire if the potential father-in-law sleeps in the same room as the mother-in-law.
3. ...
4. Profit (at least in terms of not dreaming about chewbacca every night, then waking up to discover its just the wife lying on her back again with her head tucked into her chest).

Ads by Google with GenticBoost(TM) (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23135754)

Farnsworth: Oh, my, yes. Thank you all for saving me. Especially you, my little clone. No matter what you decide to do with your life, I'm still proud of you.
Cubert: I've already decided. Dad, when I grow up I wanna be just like you.
Farnsworth: Don't worry, son, you will. Incidentally, you might want to read up on a condition known as "wandering bladder".
Cubert: Why?
Farnsworth: No reason. No reason at all.

Direct to consumer genetic testing (5, Informative)

chooks (71012) | more than 6 years ago | (#23135784)

The New England Journal of Medicine actually had an interesting article about direct-to-consumer genetic testing (Jan 10, 2008 [nejm.org] -- sorry not a free link (unless you can get it through your institution)). Three main points it makes is that

1. There are questions regarding quality control and transparency. Due to the numbers involved, even small percentage mistakes in sequencing can add up and give wrong information.
2. What is the clinical validity of the sequence such that it can accurately predict the disease? Lack of a sequence may give a false sense of security, and presence of a sequence may cause unnecessary harm.
3. What can you do clinically given the answers? There is little observational or clinical data for how the genetic information can be used effectively, especially for low penetrant conditions.

Clearly, there are disease where knowing ones gene status is very helpful (e.g. BRCA1/2, MEN1/2A/2B, etc...) but many disease we are just in the infancy of determining their genetic basis. The article sums things up like this:

So what advice should a physician offer patients? For the patient who appears with a genome map and printouts of risk estimates in hand, a general statement about the poor sensitivity and positive predictive value of such results is appropriate, but a detailed consumer report may be beyond most physicians' skill sets. For the patient asking whether these services provide information that is useful for disease avoidance, the prudent answer is "Not now -- ask again in a few years." More information is needed on the clinical utility of this information in the light of existing disease-specific opportunities for prevention or early detection and the potential value that genomic profiles can add to that of simpler tools, such as the family health history. Finally, given the risk of commercial exploitation, if patients are determined to proceed, perhaps because they are simply curious, are genetic hobbyists, or are "early adopters" of new technology, it would make sense to encourage them to enroll in formal scientific studies.

Re:Direct to consumer genetic testing (1)

Scubaraf (1146565) | more than 6 years ago | (#23136686)

This is the key issue. You are not doing a home pregnancy test when you do a genome wide scan. The answer is not yes or no. Even if you accept that disease risk is a) not all genetic and b) is an imperfect number, there will come new associations that can not currently predict. This will include new diseases, behavioral traits such as aggression, meekness, and intelligence. Like the associations we know about know, the degree to which the genes matter will be uncertain. But, your information will already be out there, telling others a story you may not want told and can easily be misinterpreted. How would you like to be fired from your post office job because the NSA learns you may not be very bright, may have aggressive tendencies, and your upcoming heart attacks are going to drain the USPS healthcare pension account?

Free Alerts! (2, Funny)

Apoorv Khatreja (1263418) | more than 6 years ago | (#23136018)

This has to be the most awesome thing Google has done. Now, when Google has DNA from both your parents, they'll send you a free email alert in your GMail inbox, a day before you are expected to get a heart attack.

George Orwell's predicted this long ago (1)

bibekpaudel (1113383) | more than 6 years ago | (#23136118)

Google looks all set to become the next evil guy in the tech-world. What if the next "matrix" is built inside the Googleplex? After Google starting to aggree sharing its data with the CIA, the government beginning to index DNA of everyone arrested and now google willing to index the world's genetic information, the BIG BROTHER that George Orwell predicted is now only a matter of time.

Um, pass... (2, Funny)

Angst Badger (8636) | more than 6 years ago | (#23136218)

I'm not terribly interested in having my genetic information be "universally accessible and useful".

I'm sure Google will enable one to opt out of this kind of thing, but I'm not sure which chromosome I need to store my robots.txt file in.

Ooooh! (1)

stigmato (843667) | more than 6 years ago | (#23136282)

Mr DNA, where did you come from?

For those who aren't already afraid. (4, Interesting)

Prisoner's Dilemma (1268306) | more than 6 years ago | (#23136826)

The classifying and storage of all your medical information is already taking place. Read the fine print on most insurance forms you sign. Where it says MIB they aren't taking about the movie.

The Medical Information Bureau is a private company that almost every insurance company reports your medical information to under the guise of (fraud prevention). The maintain records on everyone and then sell that information to their members. Also interesting, they are classified as a âoeconsumer reporting agencyâ according to FACTA. And, according their website, they are required to comply with FCRA, but Its wholly-owned operating subsidiary, MIB Solutions, Inc., MAY be required to comply with FCRA.

Also from their website "Most of MIB's codes signify medical conditions. A very few of these indicate risks involving HAZARDOUS AVOCATIONS or ADVERSE DRIVING RECORDS, etc." (These are currently being used to deny insurance to people.)
"MIB's Security Alert Services is a compliance solution designed to assist insurance and FINANCIAL SERVICES companies in fulfilling their legal obligations under the USA PATRIOT Act - U.S. Treasury Department's Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) and Canada's Office of the Superintendent of Financial Institutions (OSFI)" (OFAC, OSFI, PATRIOT Act!!!!)

For those who think they have some protection under HIPAA. HIPAA, the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act, has been publicized as helping to protect your privacy by instituting huge penalties for disclose of medical information. It's a joke. Its definitions of when disclosure of your information are so general that almost anything can be allowed. For 10+ years I was a professional preventer of natural selection. As far as privacy is concerned, there is no HIPAA.

I don't thing Google will add a feature to street view that shows that the resident has CF or Sickle Cell. I do however think that once the information is in a form where these links could be made, they will be.

Re:For those who aren't already afraid. (1)

rubycodez (864176) | more than 6 years ago | (#23145386)

well of course we didn't think MIB meant a movie,you silly goose, we know what it takes to do SNMP

Intellectual Property? (1)

dosh8er (608167) | more than 6 years ago | (#23137810)

Would my entire genetic code be considered Intellectual Property, and if so, can I get a patent? Hmmm... maybe my parents would get me the birthday gift that keeps giving (legal entertainment), the patent for my genes. w00t!

May I bee the first to say.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23138570)

Let's welcome our omniscient google overloards [nytimes.com] !

Sponsored links (1)

chiller2 (35804) | more than 6 years ago | (#23139292)

Oh won't that be delightful? Tapping away one day and suddenly you see...

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googledate (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23143140)

Great Google is entering the online dating business...

DNA.Match.Google.com : At Google DNAMatch.com we scan your DNA for over 11 billion distinct personality traits - and match you with the perfect mate.

WHAT? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23160448)

Hey, Google, eat a dick.
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