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Purchase Your Personal Gene Map

timothy posted about 12 years ago | from the priceless dept.

Science 298

dstone writes "Craig Venter, Time Magazine's Person of the Year in 2000 has a new hobby: collecting rich people's DNA. Millionaires are lining up to buy their personal gene maps for the cool price of USD$621,500. The process takes a week and you get some insight into your genetic mutations that may correlate with illnesses, cancers, Alzeimer's, etc. Venter is a high profile character in the genetic sequencing scene and the Human Genome Project. More info on him may be found here(1) , here(2), and here(3) . If you had the pocket change, would you give this man your business?"

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Anybody want to venture a guess (3, Funny)

Noose For A Neck (610324) | about 12 years ago | (#4316500) to how long it is until someone patents my genes?

Re:Anybody want to venture a guess (5, Funny)

micromoog (206608) | about 12 years ago | (#4316582)

I wouldn't worry if I were you.

Re:Anybody want to venture a guess (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#4316608)

Mmm, if they did this as a work for hire, couldn't you patent your own genes? That might be fun!

Copyright yourself so others can't do it for you...

Yes or No: (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#4316624)

Are you braced for sudden unlubed anal penetration? (y/n)

Re:Anybody want to venture a guess (2, Funny)

Suicide (45320) | about 12 years ago | (#4316690)

I already have. There will be a per child charge, for using my patented material to create a derivative work. Charge will be based on whether or not you'd like to buy the rights to said derivative work outright (allowing your children to have charge free children), or simply borrow it for the single copy (they will have to pay for the patented material received from you passed down to their derivative work, although at a lesser rate).

Re:Anybody want to venture a guess (1)

vladkrupin (44145) | about 12 years ago | (#4316695)

... you mean, you still think they haven't been patented yet? I guess naive people leave longer. Can I have a sample of your DNA please?

Re:Anybody want to venture a guess (1)

vladkrupin (44145) | about 12 years ago | (#4316732)

... and, no, I am not intending to patent it, honest [] ...

Of course... (1)

JoshMKiV (548790) | about 12 years ago | (#4316507)

I know I'd want to know, but what if you find out something that you can't do anything about? Maybe I don't want to know... Good thing I can't afford it.

Re:Of course results may vary... (2, Insightful)

saskboy (600063) | about 12 years ago | (#4316649)

I think this would be one of the best investments a person could make. Too bad it will be all of rich people, which will skew the results of any statistics that could pop out of the research. All super rich people must have a gene or two that supplies an aggressive desire for money, and stupid gold digging mates.

Like PT Barnum said (4, Funny)

rimcrazy (146022) | about 12 years ago | (#4316509)

A sucker is born every minute....

Re:Like PT Barnum said (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#4316735)

Yes, like the suckers who believe that Islam is actually a religion of peace:

A Palestinian accused of collaboration who managed to flee from Hebron last week has accused Palestinian Authority General Intelligence chief Tawfik Tirawi's men of torturing him and many others suspected of working as "informers" for the Shin Bet.

The man, 32, is now hiding in an apartment in Jerusalem that was provided by the Defense Ministry. He is sharing the apartment together with two others who also managed to escape from Tirawi's prisons.

Tirawi is one of 20 wanted Palestinians who are reportedly hiding in PA Chairman Yasser Arafat's Mukata headquarters compound in Ramallah.

The man said Tirawi's men had brutally tortured him since his arrest about 18 months ago. He said he was released only after a relative paid a top General Intelligence official $10,000.

"I was summoned to the General Intelligence offices near Hebron for a routine interview," he said. "I had a big appliance shop in one of the towns in the Hebron area. "One day there was a big explosion that destroyed the shop. I lost all my money.

"I thought they were going to tell me that they had discovered who was behind the gutting of my shop. When I arrived, I was surprised to hear that I was being accused of being a spy for Israel."

He said that for the first month, he was tortured almost daily inside his small cell. "They beat me with telephone cables all over my body. For many days my head was covered with a stinking bag. They would also tie me to the ceiling by my arms. On other occasions, they made me stand for several hours on a small cup."

He said his interrogators threatened several times to shoot him if he did not confess. Last April, he added, his interrogators informed him that a decision had been taken "on the highest levels" to kill him.

He was blindfolded, handcuffed, and asked for his final words. He was then taken into the back yard. There, the cover was removed from his eyes, and he saw a firing squad of five masked, uniformed policemen.

"They tied me to an electricity poll and pretended that I was about to be executed," he said. "I shouted out that I'm innocent and that Islam does not permit killing innocent people, but they only looked at me with smiles. Then the policemen aimed their rifles at me and waited for the order.

Seconds later one of the officers shouted: 'Fire.' I could hear them pulling the triggers, but I didn't feel the pain.

"For a moment, I didn't know if I was alive or dead. I heard shots, but there was no pain or blood. I quickly realized that it was a mock execution. It was the worst experience in my life.

For a while, I thought I was dead. Only when I heard them laughing did I understand that they were just trying to intimidate me.

"They agreed to release me for health reasons; that's what they wrote in the papers they gave me. If it wasn't for the bribe, I would have been dead by now."

He said that while in prison he met many detainees who were also suspected of helping Israel. "Tirawi's people specialize in arresting Palestinians who are accused of being collaborators. The prisons are full of people like me. Many were released when the IDF entered the Palestinian cities. But others are still being held in secret locations. In the prison where I was, there were more than 25 people, all accused of collaboration with Israel."

He said some were very sick and required immediate medical attention. Those whose families could afford to pay the bribes were released after a short while.

"I have no sympathy for Tirawi or any of his men, and I hope Israel will put him in prison," he said, while refusing to confirm or deny any connection to Israel. "When I see what's happening to Tirawi today, I say to myself, thank God he's finally paying the price for what his men did to me."

Wow (0)

SargeZT (609463) | about 12 years ago | (#4316510)

What implicatiosn could this have, thoughts?

Holy shit (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#4316511)

You shitbags are slow tonight. Two in a row!

Why so expensive? (2, Insightful)

Pupp3tM (182264) | about 12 years ago | (#4316516)

I'm sure it's not that easy to map someone's genes, but hundreds of thousands of dollars? They'd better tell me what kind of cancer I'll get, and when, for that much.

Re:Why so expensive? (5, Informative)

Rich0 (548339) | about 12 years ago | (#4316703)

I haven't been staying current in the field, but sequencing 4 billion bases of DNA is a LOT! Those costs are not really outrageous when you break them down.

A typical sequencing reaction is good for about 600 bases (well, that actually is a high-end number - but I think Celera has figured things out well enough to make that regularly). Figure you have to sequence at least 12 billion bases since you have to have some overlap on all the fragments in order to assemble them into a singe genome - 3x overcoverage is a very generous estimage. So 12E9 / 600 = 2E7 reactions. Assume you can do one in two hours (which is probably a bit fast) - that means time for 84 reactions in series in one week (not counting the time it takes to assemble it all - corellating all those sequences takes a LOT of CPU). So - 2E7/84 = 238,095 reactions running in parallel at all times. A $100k sequencer can do about 64 at once.

I am a biochemist - but I've been out of the field for about three years. So those are ballpark estimates based on where things were going back then. As I see it - they would need to commit $372M in capital to get an earnings of $650k per week - a 9% return on capital, and I didn't even figure in the cost of the reagents and all the robotics it takes to prep the samples, let alone the janitor that sweeps the floors at night. Now, if there has been a 10-100x increase in sequencing throughput in the last year or two I could believe that this is feasible, but it seems a bit far-fetched. Definitely a Craig Ventner idea...

Then again, that people are even talking about this is very amazing. Keep in mind that only a few years ago they were expecting that the Human Genome still would be undone today - they've been working on it since the '80s. Craig came in and said he'd beat the NIH to the punch by a few years - they changed their methods to come in at a close tie. Now we're talking about being able to do the whole thing in a week. A few years ago the first bacteria was sequenced at less than 1 million bases - and that was BIG news - it took years of work if I recall correctly. At the peak of the Human Genome race Celera was doing one of those each day and then some - mostly because of an ENORMOUS investment of capital as well as a few technology advances.

This makes me wonder if they will make the customers sign a release to giving Ventner access to statistical data within their genome. One question the completed Human Genome did not answer is how genes vary from person to person - and the only way to answer that question is to sequence lots of genomes. If Ventner can get others to pay for the work and then patent the results that would certainly be a good business move.

Re:Why so expensive? (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#4316839)

The article mentions a critical point:

...scientists know the genetic abnormalities associated with only a few dozen diseases, but it pointed out thousands more were expected to be discovered in the coming decades...

This is key. Ignoring all junk DNA, the extreme majority of our genomes is identical. Most of the differences are just occasional single base changes ("single nucleotide polymorphism" = SNP). Most of these SNPs code for nondisease traits like hair color.

Finding disease SNPs is a *huge* job and has only really begun. It requires lots of hands-on science and genetics research; it's not a press GO and wait for an answer problem.

The other critical factoid is that sequencing a genome will get cheaper over time. So, today a foolish rich person can spend a lot of money and know their genome, but do little with the data. Or, a smart person can wait five years, sequence their genome more cheaply, and understand much more.

Neat (3, Interesting)

whereiswaldo (459052) | about 12 years ago | (#4316517)

That's neat. If you charge for a service, people line up for it.
If the government mandated that you had to let them figure out your genome, people would scream.

Are these millionaires naive enough to think that a copy of their data will not be kept somewhere?

Re:Neat (2)

ealar dlanvuli (523604) | about 12 years ago | (#4316611)

On slashdot, everything is a slipery slope

(joke!! - sorta)

Re:Neat (5, Interesting)

bmetzler (12546) | about 12 years ago | (#4316637)

Are these millionaires naive enough to think that a copy of their data will not be kept somewhere?

What difference does it make whether their data is kept somewhere or not? More to the point, wouldn't they want a copy of their dns on file somewhere?

Imagine if I had a medical emergency. I'm going to die. Someone needs to make a life or death decision fast. It could save me or kill me. What to do, what to do, what to do? But if I had my DNA on file somewhere, just look it up, and the decision is made.

I think that it should be mandatory for everyone to have their DNA on file. Imagine the benefit it would provide for not only medical emergencies, but even criminal investigations, and other things.


Re:Neat (2)

NASAKnight (588155) | about 12 years ago | (#4316782)

Someone needs to make a life or death decision fast.

Oh, and I'm sure that this information would be readily available to anyone that could save your life, and that they would be able to procure the information in time. If the decision is needed so fast, I'm doubtful anyone could get through all the red tape in time. And as for doctors ... they already have a chart of your medical history, what good is your DNA genome going to be?

I think that it should be mandatory for everyone to have their DNA on file. Imagine the benefit it would provide

Imagine the privacy it would violate. Countless examples of misuse of data have already been provided. Let's not give the government any more information than we have to, ok?

well (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#4316519)

Sure, i'd do it, I could finally have scientific evidence that 1000's of dollars spent on therapy has told me - I'm insane, at the GENETIC level!

Well. (5, Insightful)

RaboKrabekian (461040) | about 12 years ago | (#4316523)

While this is neat and all, and it was an inevitable use of the technology - does this scream "Gattaca" to anyone else? How long before we're doing this for unborn fetuses, and aborting those with serious defects? Or choosing among the choicest embryos?

Re:Well. (5, Funny)

delta407 (518868) | about 12 years ago | (#4316554)

How long before we're doing this for unborn fetuses
Yeah, but how many unborn fetuses have six hundred thousand dollars?

Re:Well. (2)

RaboKrabekian (461040) | about 12 years ago | (#4316598)

Yeah, but how many unborn fetuses have six hundred thousand dollars?

I think the correct question is how many unborn fetuses have parents with six hundred thousand dollars who'd want to make sure they have a perfect baby.

Re:Well. (1)

kormoc (122955) | about 12 years ago | (#4316652)

err, how bout a few million or a few billion, there is not a perfect baby

Re:Well. (1)

Buck2 (50253) | about 12 years ago | (#4316712)

Just to state my opinion on this question, if anyone cares:

I believe all parents should be able to perform any and all testing they desire on their unborn children. I also believe that parents should be allowed to abort any children they are dissatisfied with before the children are actually brought to term.

Re:Well. (2)

Scrameustache (459504) | about 12 years ago | (#4316833)

I was with right up until the word "dissatisfied".
Abortion because you lnow your kid will be crippled is a good thing, abortion because you're trying to have green-eyed kids isn't.

Re:Well. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#4316752)

well my parents bought a computer for $8000 in 1987

today i can build a fast athlon for $500

so you tell me how long it will take before there are parents with enough money to genetically map their fetuses.

Re:Well. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#4316589)


Re:Well. (1)

ollywompus (599105) | about 12 years ago | (#4316632)

We already do things like this for unborn embryos. No, maybe we don't do it to the extent of gene mapping yet, but primitivly, things like amniocentesis are there to determine sex and illnesses that may come along with a fetus... and sometimes, that info is used for aborting an unwanted fetus. In China, for example, where male children are highly prized and female children lamented, this kind of thing is already happening, if not prevalent yet.

Pretty much all gene mapping would do would refine this. Let's keep in mind however that gene mapping is not the same thing as gene manipulation... choosing to abort is possible, but Gattica like changes are not... at least as of yet.

Stupidity should be as painful as Windows...

Re:Well. (4, Informative)

RaboKrabekian (461040) | about 12 years ago | (#4316655)

choosing to abort is possible, but Gattica like changes are not... at least as of yet.

You make a good point, but I just want to clarify something. If I remember correctly, they weren't changing anything in Gattaca. The process described worked by choosing the best of among many embryos - resulting in once in a lifetime "super babies" every time.

The process of reading a gene map became so easy that the world descriminated heavily against people with any possible or probably defects, even if they hadn't manifested themselves.

That's why this news is kind of frightening.

Re:Well. (1)

ollywompus (599105) | about 12 years ago | (#4316694)

I haven't seen Gattaca in years... you're probably right, sorry 'bout that!

Re:Well. (1)

DCowern (182668) | about 12 years ago | (#4316754)

This smacks of arguments about evolution. This kind of artificial selection has been used for millenia to breed cats and dogs... maybe this is just how the human race will evolve to the next evolutionary plateau.

Who says a race of rich, superhuman babies is a bad thing anyway. ;-)

Re:Well. (1)

Wyatt Earp (1029) | about 12 years ago | (#4316688)

In developing nations as well as China and India, sonograms are used to sex the unborn children.

I think I read that in India it's against the law now to do this for sexing to abort in the case of a female.

Re:Well. (1)

Surye (580125) | about 12 years ago | (#4316715)

I know this may be over used, but this is slippery slope logic if I ever heard it. Every advancement in science doesn't lead to the extream. If we thought this, back when computers were first in development, we could have looked to movies about robots taking over the world, and stoped all computer advancement. Forsight is important, but assumtion is bad.

Re:Well. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#4316790)

Really now?

Agriculture. Now, most of what I see lacks biological diversity. We've got farms of thousands of acres of monospecies. Meanwhile, human population took off, and we've destroyed millions of acres for fuel.

Nukes. Cold war. Enough said.

Medical advances. See our current nation's demographic. Abortion.

Industrialization. Smell the smog. Global warming.

etc. etc.

We have lacked foresight for nearly 600 years. You think we're going to "discover" that now?

Computers are still here. Robots will take over the world. Just as someday will drop a nuke to kill thousands--wait, we already did that...

You want a big change? Wait until we start colonizing space en masse, and watch the political breakup from that. Gundam cartoons won't look the same.

Re:Well. (1)

jcam2 (248062) | about 12 years ago | (#4316773)

And if people do use this technology to screen unborn children, so what? Is anyone being harmed if a couple choose to abort or not implant an embryo with a serious defect?

It is already quite common to test for Down's Syndrome and other common congenital disorders using both non-generic (ultrasound) and genetic (amniocentis) methods. If something is detected, the parents can choose to abort and
try again ..

Be that as it may.. (2, Insightful)

fadeaway (531137) | about 12 years ago | (#4316525)

..there's still no gene for fate.

Re:Be that as it may.. (1)

zapod4 (592860) | about 12 years ago | (#4316610)

But isn't fate the result of cause and effect? Natural events cause other events to happen and your genes decide how you will act. Other peoples' genes determine how they will act, causing others to act, &cetera.

Personality traits that are not part of your DNA are caused by things that have happened to you by other peoples' forced will of their genes and by the cause and effect of natural occurrences.

Free will doesn't exist. Randomness doesn't exist. Fate doesn't exist.

Re:Be that as it may.. (2)

3141 (468289) | about 12 years ago | (#4316634)

Randomness doesn't exist

Tell that to a decaying atom.

Re:Be that as it may.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#4316643)

> Free will doesn't exist. Randomness doesn't
> exist. Fate doesn't exist.

Ahh, but it was your destiny to say those very words on this day.;-)

Re:Be that as it may.. (1)

zapod4 (592860) | about 12 years ago | (#4316677)

>Ahh, but it was your destiny to say those very words on this day.;-)

It was my destiny because the slashdot editors' genes thought that this was interesting and because I am genetically predisposed to reading slashdot. Then my genes took this input and my mind processed it in a formulated way and submitted the output for posting.

Re:Be that as it may.. (1)

GigsVT (208848) | about 12 years ago | (#4316659)

This pseudo-mystical shit flies here? I thought most of the people here believed in science.

Top-secret information? (5, Insightful)

wmspringer (569211) | about 12 years ago | (#4316528)

Now here's something you don't want your insurance company getting their hands on....

Increased risk of cancer? Sorry, not covered...

Increased risk of alcoholism? Those driver's insurance premiums just doubled..

Re:Top-secret information? (1)

theRiallatar (584902) | about 12 years ago | (#4316801)

I find it unlikely that that will happen. There will basically be two groups of people. Those predisposed to have the illness, and those predisposed not to have the illness. Those who there's an extreme likelihood of getting it will choose not to have insurance, because they're going to pay out the nose for it anyhow. Those with very little chance of getting the illness, will choose not to have insurance, because they're going to be paying for something their DNA says they won't get.

Either way, the insurance company loses.

Re:Top-secret information? (1)

cbnewman (106449) | about 12 years ago | (#4316838)

This is not intended to be a troll in any way, but here goes anyway.

It could be just as catastrophic to allow individuals to have access to their genetic information but prevent insurance compaines from sharing in that knowledge.

Insurance is all about risk prediction and classification based on likelihood of a given outcome (death, severe illness). Imagine the case where a person discoveres they have a genetic condition (say, Huntington's to temporarily ignore the penetrance issue). She will insure herself out the wazoo, making sure she will have access to academic research centers and expensive drug coverage. Since the insurance company is ignorant of her underlying risk, they will incorrectly classify her with the rest of the population. It won't too many people to do this before they get sick and drain the resources of the group, leading to a global rise in premiums. The underlying problem will still exist as long as people can exploit this disparity in information and the cycle will continue.

The real question is, "How likely is a person to develop a condition based on their genotype? (i.e. What is the penetrance of a given genotype?) How should this information be used when classifying risk for insurance underwriting?"

It's a sticky problem, and one we'll have to confront sooner rather than later...

"MAPS TO CELEBRITIES GENES.....$2.00" (5, Funny)

Thatto (258697) | about 12 years ago | (#4316530)

"Ever wonder which hollywood stars and starlets share common sequences?" Oprah's grandmother's dirty little secret!" "THE RICH AND POWERFUL: Genetically Inclined?"

no thanks


evilhayama (532217) | about 12 years ago | (#4316665)

Closely followed by: Clone your own supermodel! download someone's genetics from a warez site, feed it into your personal cone-o-matic, and bingo: instant teen film.

If I had $621,500... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#4316534)

I'd buy something else... like a dozen dancing monkeys, a really awesome lawnmower, a whole lot of pudding, or maybe my own zombie slave. But, my own personal gene map, come on, that's just silly! Talk about wasting money.

Re:If I had $621,500... (2)

lingqi (577227) | about 12 years ago | (#4316704)

I'd buy something else... like a dozen dancing monkeys, a really awesome lawnmower, a whole lot of pudding, or maybe my own zombie slave.

A Dozen Dancing monkeys? zombie slave? that's rediculous... oh wait [] ...

(for a little off-subject:) my 300th comment! jesus christ i wasted a lot of time on /.

Re:If I had $621,500... (0, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#4316758)

(20:40:30) MovieDudeTX: have u been harassing FoxY ChicK 8403?
(20:40:38) Gordon Shanley: Nope.
(20:40:45) MovieDudeTX: fucking liar
(20:41:01) Gordon Shanley: I'm not harassing.
(20:41:06) Gordon Shanley: Are you named Glenn?
(20:41:17) MovieDudeTX: no im not named Gleen
(20:41:19) MovieDudeTX: *Glenn
(20:41:25) Gordon Shanley: Oh.
(20:41:40) MovieDudeTX: have u been talking to FoxY ChicK 8403?
(20:41:44) Gordon Shanley: Yes.
(20:41:46) Gordon Shanley: How about you?
(20:41:54) MovieDudeTX: yeah
(20:41:59) MovieDudeTX: she said u were bothering here
(20:42:00) MovieDudeTX: *her
(20:42:06) Gordon Shanley: Am I still bothering?
(20:42:21) MovieDudeTX: how did u get her sn
(20:42:27) Gordon Shanley: My subprofile.
(20:42:35) Gordon Shanley: But I took it down since then.
(20:42:37) MovieDudeTX: do u know her?
(20:42:49) Gordon Shanley: I'm not sure.
(20:42:55) Gordon Shanley: Do you?
(20:43:20) MovieDudeTX: yes I do
(20:43:30) Gordon Shanley: How old are you?
(20:43:44) MovieDudeTX: u first
(20:43:58) Gordon Shanley: You can ask Heather how old I am.
(20:44:41) MovieDudeTX: where do u know her from?
(20:44:56) Gordon Shanley: I don't know, she was in my suprofile.
(20:47:35) MovieDudeTX: ive got a copy of the convo u had with her so if i dont confess to bothering her, im
(20:47:44) MovieDudeTX: *if YOU dont confess
(20:48:01) Gordon Shanley: She didn't tell me I was being bothersome. You sound like a control freak.
(20:48:20) MovieDudeTX: you've got one last chance before I report you to AOL
(20:48:48) Gordon Shanley: One last chance for what? I don't understand what you're asking me.
(20:49:26) Gordon Shanley: Why didn't you just say it like that to start with?
(20:49:46) MovieDudeTX: perhaps i didnt make myself clear
(20:49:54) Gordon Shanley: That would be a safe assumption.
(20:50:09) MovieDudeTX: THIS IS YOUR LAST CHANCE
(20:50:34) Gordon Shanley: I'm not even saying something to her anymore. Are you some kind of moron?
(20:50:53) MovieDudeTX: u leaving her alone?
(20:51:33) Gordon Shanley: Yes, of course. I have manners, unlike you.
(20:51:44) MovieDudeTX: allright then im not gonna report you
(20:52:38) Gordon Shanley: But I wonder why she couldn't just ask me to leave her alone. It seems awfully weak for someone else to have to say that.
(20:53:00) MovieDudeTX: maybe u were scaring her? ever think of that
(20:54:01) Gordon Shanley: No. And if I was, she should just ask me to leave her alone, instead of being spineless about it.
(20:54:16) MovieDudeTX: just dont talk to her again
(20:54:31) MovieDudeTX: because if u do and i hear about it, im reporting you to AOL, you got that?
(20:54:35) Gordon Shanley: I won't unless she IMs me first.
(20:54:42) Gordon Shanley: And you're a total control freak, man.
(20:55:03) MovieDudeTX: no im not a total control freak, man.
(20:55:25) Gordon Shanley: Then what are you, just some kind of Texan redneck?
(20:55:41) MovieDudeTX: i dont live in the fucking sticks
(20:55:56) MovieDudeTX: and where r u from
(20:55:59) Gordon Shanley: Yeah, you're not good enough for that.
(20:56:05) Gordon Shanley: I'm from Wichita, Kansas.
(20:56:13) MovieDudeTX: oh a kansas farmboy
(20:56:18) MovieDudeTX: now whos the redneck
(20:56:24) Gordon Shanley: You need food.
(20:56:37) Gordon Shanley: You don't need guns to shoot down traffic lights.
(20:56:58) MovieDudeTX: I happen to live in a very affluent area
(20:57:14) Gordon Shanley: That doesn't mean you're not a total idiot.
(20:57:24) Gordon Shanley: Now here's how I would have approached the situation:
(20:57:33) MovieDudeTX: but at least im not a poor hick like u
(20:57:59) Gordon Shanley: "Hi, my friend FoxYChicK8403 would prefer not to talk to you. Could you please leave her alone? Thanks."
(20:58:16) MovieDudeTX: well that wouldnt have worked with a fucker like u
(20:58:20) Gordon Shanley: See, it works much better that way. You rich boys have no manners.
(20:58:31) MovieDudeTX: Gordon Shanley>!-- (8:58:25 PM)--> : Hi, my friend FoxYChicK8403 would prefer not to talk to you. Could you please leave her alone? Thanks.
(20:58:32) Gordon Shanley: It certainly would have worked.
(20:58:43) Gordon Shanley: Sure.
(20:58:45) Gordon Shanley: See?
(20:59:05) MovieDudeTX: fucking dickhead
(20:59:12) Gordon Shanley: Sounds like an apt description of yourself.
(20:59:27) MovieDudeTX: least im not a kansas redneck
(20:59:36) MovieDudeTX: i live in an affluent suburban area
(21:00:15) Gordon Shanley: Yeah, keep telling yourself that's worth something.
(21:00:29) Gordon Shanley: You're probably the stupidest person I've ever talked to in my whole life. Congratulations.
(21:00:58) Gordon Shanley: And they need servants in affluent areas. Although I'm sure you haven't worked a minute in your life.
(21:02:29) MovieDudeTX logged in.
(21:03:32) Gordon Shanley: Check out my new profile.
(21:04:16) MovieDudeTX: thats it
(21:04:23) MovieDudeTX: ur gonna hear from aol real soon
(21:04:40) Gordon Shanley: You only deserve it. Get a sense of humor.
(21:07:06) MovieDudeTX: u know what?
(21:07:25) MovieDudeTX: meet a friend of mine
(21:07:25) MovieDudeTX: his name is BLOCK
(21:07:32) MovieDudeTX logged out.

Interesting, but.. (1, Interesting)

JJAnon (180699) | about 12 years ago | (#4316536)

Like the article says, there are no real practical uses for this. All that you get out of it is a long sequence of ATGCs which are pretty useless. I say useless because genes only show a predisposition towards certain diseases, but do not guarantee actually GETTING the disease. A complete health checkup would probably accomplish the same, at a drastically lower cost.

Discoveries? (5, Interesting)

Galahad2 (517736) | about 12 years ago | (#4316539)

What happens if this guy finds the cure for cancer in your DNA? Is it your property? Same goes for lesser things, like a really good example of a gene. Is furthering the scientific community not optional?

And the same question goes for if someone gets your DNA from a hair you dropped, and makes some discovery through that. What rights do you have over your own genetic makeup?

Re:Discoveries? (0)

mikey13 (458907) | about 12 years ago | (#4316609)

What happens if someone has inspiration by looking at your face and makes millions of dollars? Is that your money?

Re:Discoveries? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#4316686)

> And the same question goes for if someone gets
> your DNA from a hair you dropped, and makes some
> discovery through that. What rights do you have
> over your own genetic makeup?
And what happens if someone takes a nude picture of your sister without her permission and makes a million from it? Does he own the pictures and the money? What rights does your sister have?

There's nothing new under the sun. You can dress up these "new tech issues" in different ways, but it all boils down the the same thing. The fundamentals of freedom, fairness, decency, and respect don't change.

Re:Discoveries? (1)

efatapo (567889) | about 12 years ago | (#4316725)

Ok, you can't just "find the cure for cancer" in anyones DNA. Just doesn't work like that. One individual DNA might offer a hint of evidence towards something that might lead to a development in the cure, but it's nothing that simple. Trust me, I spend 40 hours a week doing it. I *wish* it were that simple. :) DNA sequencing is cake, radiosensitization, clonogenecity, western blots, immunoprecipitations. Dang, just buy yourself a sequencer if it were that easy... ;)

Absolutely. (2)

neksys (87486) | about 12 years ago | (#4316540)

The neat thing is, the price of this can only come down. I can't see it being cheap enough to be covered by health care (in countries that have such a beast), but imagine being able to plonk down $5000 or so to have your genome mapped - you could then know what to expect not only in your life, but what to expect for your children, especially when both you and your spouse have the same test done. I firmly believe that pre-emptive medical scanning - that is, determining and eliminating the possibility of a given illness before it occurs - will be one of the major scientific breakthroughs of our time.

someone had to say it (2)

Jucius Maximus (229128) | about 12 years ago | (#4316602)

"I firmly believe that pre-emptive medical scanning - that is, determining and eliminating the possibility of a given illness before it occurs - will be one of the major scientific breakthroughs of our time."

Two words:

Holy Gattaca [] !

Re:someone had to say it (1)

ollywompus (599105) | about 12 years ago | (#4316671)

One Word:


brrrrr... makes me cold just thinking about it.

Doesn't that kind of take the fun out of life? (2)

Mustang Matt (133426) | about 12 years ago | (#4316651)

I guess it could be fun to cheat death if you found out about something you had before it affected you.

Re:Absolutely. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#4316717)

Has he actually delivered? Remember, this guy is currently unemployed, his last company fired him and it appears that much of the DNA they did sequence wasn't from the diverse sources they claimed (it was his)- Sounds like he's onto a good racket,- generate copies of the current sequence- change a few bases here and there- whose to know? He fooled all of the people for some of the time- why not try for some of the people for all of the time? He's certainly got the ethics for it.

What... (1)

JumboMessiah (316083) | about 12 years ago | (#4316541)

They're really paying for is the true origin of their penile size. Is it really a product of nature or nurture...

Re:What... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#4316565)

It's both. It starts out at its normal size due to nature, but with nuturing can get much larger.

Pocket change? (1)

bdesham (533897) | about 12 years ago | (#4316542)

If you had the pocket change, would you give this man your business?
Hell, if I just had $621,500 lying around, there isn't much I wouldn't spend it on!

Great! (0)

Sir Bard (605512) | about 12 years ago | (#4316543)

some day people will think back to how great the wealthy people of our time were and wan't to recreate them, I hope they release their map under the GPL

Gattaca (1)

Cef (28324) | about 12 years ago | (#4316552)

Just wait till the price drops and it becomes commonplace. The huge potential for discrimination by employers is frightening.

It's a good thing this is expensive.... (5, Funny)

raehl (609729) | about 12 years ago | (#4316553)

My girlfriend never forgets my mistakes as it is - the last thing I need is her sending in a hair sample and getting a map to all of my flaws in advance.

New Gene Mapping Service Lets Blame Buck be Passed (2, Funny)

raehl (609729) | about 12 years ago | (#4316631)

Many corporate executives who have recently run afoul of the law are taking advantage of a new genome mapping service.

Said former Enron exec Kenneth Lay, "This genome service became available just in time. Now when I meet with federal prosecutors the next time around, I can point right to the DNA sequence on my 12 chromosome and definitively say 'You see that sequence there? That's the one that made me do it.'"

The RIAA is also expected to use the service on a random samping of students from college campuses. "We believe that our study will show that 98% of college campus residents possess a gene which almost guarantees they will download pirated music if stringent Digital Rights Management software is not installed on their computers," said RIAA rep Anna Hacker.

But the service could be a boon to some college students as well - while family clout already goes a long way to getting students with good surnames into school, the service could also be used to show that students can skip the four year process altogether. "I had a rough time last year," said Ralph Perot, grandson of billionaire and former presidential candidate Ross Perot. "With this new service, for a mere couple of hundred thousand dollars, I can show that my genes will inevitably lead me to be at least a millionaire and I should just get my degree now." Some experts caution that such evidence may also be directly tied to the timing of the elder Perot's death and the pricise language of his will.

Sim Human (4, Interesting)

bongholio (609944) | about 12 years ago | (#4316556)

Now we just need Sim Human... Load up your genome, make a few mutations, splice in some celbrity sequences, hit go, see how you woulda turned out.

Expensive fatalism? (1)

Theatetus (521747) | about 12 years ago | (#4316557)

Hmmm... so for a lot of money, I can find out whether or not I'm predisposed to a whole bunch of diseases they haven't figured out how to cure yet....

I think I'll stick with ignorance for a while.

It does make me wonder, though: if I can get my own gene map for the right price, can my insurance company do that too? Shades of Gattica..


Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#4316572)

This is right out of the movie GATTACA. I wonder how long until this is affordable enough to "run" someone elses's DNA. Perhaps this is a good way to pick a spouse.

My first thought: Obligatory Simpsons Reference (2, Funny)

Monkey-Man2000 (603495) | about 12 years ago | (#4316613)

Comic Book Guy:

Inspired by the most logical race in the galaxy, the Vulcans, breeding will be permitted once every seven years. For many of you, this will be much less breeding. For me, much, much more.

But who will own the copyrights???? (1)

infonography (566403) | about 12 years ago | (#4316575)

The only usefulness that they might get out of it is the gene to make millions in the stock market but who would want a fat balding clone who has your bad habits?? I already got my gene codes, I want a upgrade Damnit! Now maybe Britney Spears' That would be worth paying for.

I already know mine (3, Funny)

HashDefine (590370) | about 12 years ago | (#4316581)

My approx 30000 genes (PDF!) [] are divided up thus

1200 genes - beer drinking

1568 - code (as in source code!)

97 - Pizza Eating genes

14 - Project Management

and the rest 27219 are in a gene pool to be used in case more beer background worker genes or background code genes are required.

Gattaca here we come (1)

tk422 (446096) | about 12 years ago | (#4316584)

Wait until you can do this for the girl or guy your interested in...

No thanks (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#4316586)

$621,500 to lie on a hospital bed while some young nurse spends a week extracting enough semen to map my entire DNA. No thanks. Oh wait...!

Rape Should be Legal!!! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#4316595)

...I mean, think about it. Rape is part of the natural order of things.

We all owe our existance to rape commited by our ancestors. The human race simply wouldn't have flourished if we'd waited for language and the concept of "consentual sex" to develop before engaging in sexual activities.

Let's try and be a little more sensitive to the natural inclinations towards fornication and procreation and stop viewing rape as evil. If there is a god, I'm sure he's in favor of rape. It's part of the human design, it's the way we're hardwired.

So bend over, bitch.

Hmm (5, Funny)

zurmikopa (460568) | about 12 years ago | (#4316600)

I plan to release my DNA under the gpl.
Feel free to fix me and release additional copies into the public domain.

But moreover... (2)

The Pi-Guy (529892) | about 12 years ago | (#4316601)

... if I had that kinda "pocket change", with the change from the OTHER pocket, I'd be one of those people who do stupid overclocking experiments with supercoolers every other day just to burn up a processor! =)


eh? (1)

dacarr (562277) | about 12 years ago | (#4316614)

Let me get this straight. We only recently cracked the human genome sequencing - analogous to feeding an executable file through a disassembler program - and now with this information people claim to have full knowledge of the human genome?

Maybe I should go to school where they went, I could reverse-engineer MS Windows and subsequently debug it for US$200B.

This could be valuable research... (2, Flamebait)

the_other_one (178565) | about 12 years ago | (#4316617)

We may soon ve able to weed out those with the CEO gene and protect the economy of the future.

Money is no object (5, Interesting)

tmark (230091) | about 12 years ago | (#4316629)

I just can't believe how amazed people here are that someone would charge $621K or whatever to have their genome mapped. This is something that had not even been done for any human barely 2 years ago, and then only at the HUGE expense to governments all over the world, and now you can get it done for less than a million dollars ? Do these people realize how immense is the enterprise they can buy now, for less than a lot of houses that dot-commers were buying in the Bay area that same 2 years ago ?

And many of these are the same people who probably ooh-and-ahh at anime cels costing tens of thousands of dollars, or who dream of plans spending tens of thousands of dollars wiring their house with the latest optical-this and wireless-that.

People have spent far more money in far sillier ways.

Re:Money is no object (1)

0xdeadbeef (28836) | about 12 years ago | (#4316762)

People have spent far more money in far sillier ways.
*cough* LNUX *cough*

Venter's DNA (5, Funny)

morcheeba (260908) | about 12 years ago | (#4316639)

Craig's company Celera was mapping a suposedly anonymous genome, but then craig admitted it was his dna [] . As a Celera shareholder [] , I wonder if that qualifies as a $600k perk that he got.

This highlights a huge conflict coming (2, Interesting)

MichaelPenne (605299) | about 12 years ago | (#4316641)

in the the 21st century.

We'll experience a revolution in biotechnology and it's ability to give folks longer, healthier lives.

But many or the treatments will be very expensive.

At what point does being denied a cure for a disease due to poverty equal being denied the right to life?

Or do we just accept that the rich will live years, maybe decades, longer than the rest of US?

Re:This highlights a huge conflict coming (1)

ollywompus (599105) | about 12 years ago | (#4316776)

At what point does being denied a cure for a disease due to poverty equal being denied the right to life?

Or do we just accept that the rich will live years, maybe decades, longer than the rest of US?

We already accept that fact, at least in the US where we don't have state healthcare. Example, if you are Bill Gates, and you need a liver transplant costing hundreds of thousands of dollars... or you are me. Who is going to live longer? It is already a reality that those with money get better medical treatment... such is what happens when medicine and capitalism collide.

Stupidity should be as painful as Windows...

Re:This highlights a huge conflict coming (1)

MichaelPenne (605299) | about 12 years ago | (#4316820)

How much longer will the rich have to live before ordinary folks get really p**d off, do you think?

A decade? (you're right, probably already there when accidents are corrected out)

2 decades?


The reason for the price... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#4316672)

Bill Gates won't pay more then 640 K.

It ought to be enough for anybody.

This is the sale price.

good business plan (1)

vladkrupin (44145) | about 12 years ago | (#4316682)

If you had the pocket change, would you give this man your business?"

Of course not! The guy isn't dumb though. If you were willing to pay for your gene map, chances are all your 2000 clones (or however many he created) will be willing, and have the money to do the same!

Why pay for what you already own? (1)

E-Rock-23 (470500) | about 12 years ago | (#4316684)

Whoopie. This is the single worst fad since Pop Music. Why in the hell would you pay for something you already own, and have owned since the day you were concieved? They typical answer for the richie chicken folk would be "Because I can."

So, if I go out and patent my gene sequence, does that mean I can sue my offspring for being a derivitive of me? Is that what these rich fools are after? Sick. Sick, sick, sick. Amazing what having a ton of money will do to your brain.

Meanwhile, us regular folk will continue to make more educated and well thought out decisions (or at least as many as we can without being clouded by one thing or another. After all, we're not perfect...)

I already own this... (4, Insightful)

stuffman64 (208233) | about 12 years ago | (#4316700)

Why would I pay for something I already own?

Sure, it would be nice to know in advance if I am susceptible to getting diabietes like my grandmother, or heart disease like most of my mother's side of the family. However, if I do all I can to be healthy (i.e., not eating junkfood while laying on my couch all day), there is a significantly less chance of my being afflicted by these ailments. Some things could not be prevented, but I already know I have them (depression, bad eyesight).

If people spend their "pocket change" on this, they may be in for a suprise. They may find that they have the genes for an increased risk of myocardial infarctions (heart attack), but because they have neglected thier health, they may find it hard to change thier lifestyle to a more healthy one. Although many health-related problems cannot be avoided (for instance, Huntington's Disease, which usually doesn't show up untill your 30's), many diseases that you may be high-risk for can be prevented with a proper lifestyle.

Just wait 10 years.. (5, Insightful)

lunaman (412514) | about 12 years ago | (#4316721)

...and your employer (or insurance company, bank, credit bureau, department of motor vehicles, Department of Homeland Defense, etc.) will do it for you FOR FREE!

With or without your permission.

Perhaps by then someone will offer a service where you can pay your $600K to PREVENT everyone from getting your gene sequence...

Re:Just wait 10 years.. (1)

halo8 (445515) | about 12 years ago | (#4316743)

DAMMIT!!! I just used up my last mod point


Personal Hygeine Map? (1)

Marijuana al-Shehi (609113) | about 12 years ago | (#4316744)

Oops, misread the headline....

Cheap (1)

hipbase (610975) | about 12 years ago | (#4316756)

I will sell my DNA for 6 bucks

hmm (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#4316783)

if i had the pocket change, would i? .. well .. if
i were the type that could afford to toss away a
half a million+ to find out something that i couldn't
do anything about, sure - given that i'm not that
well off, i'm guessing no ;) .. i am what i am

CowboyNeal should have this done. (0)

TheSpeaker2Machines (608990) | about 12 years ago | (#4316784)

Next Distributed.Net project: Decode CowboyNeals Genes!

How big is my source? (3, Interesting)

geoffeg (15786) | about 12 years ago | (#4316813)

How big would the resulting data be? In the meg's, gig's? Would it compress well?

It would be cool to be able to carry around your own genome on a little CDROM in your wallet or purse.


better things to do with that money? (2)

GoatPigSheep (525460) | about 12 years ago | (#4316816)

Imagine how many starving children could be fed if those millionaires donated the $621,500 to charity instead of getting their genes mapped and finding out what illness might kill them.

Oh well, like it would ever happen.

old question (1)

carpe_noctem (457178) | about 12 years ago | (#4316826)

This kind of reminds me of an old question I used to go around asking people: Would you rather know the date of your death, or the method of your death?
Inevitably, most people would stumble around a bit, and then finally settle on "neither", because nobody wants to live knowing that they'd only have 10 or so years left or this world, nor knowing that each time they stepped on an airplane could be their last. So, with that being said, I think I'll save myself the 600K and enjoy the suspense. ;)
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