Right out of "Gattaca"
December 30, 2008 Leave a comment
An interesting story bloomed out of the premise that through health evaluation via gene sequencing, only the best of the best (seeking perfection, assessed at the genetic level) would be selected for tasks vital to the species.
If your genes were less than perfect, you were placed in some other, presumably crappy position.. Blogger, Pragmatic Evangelist, perhaps? 😛
It seems these scenarios are nearer than we might think.
Navigenics is a well-funded genetic evaluation company (around $25MM raised to date, plus a significant customer acquired in the past few months).
Navigenics’ business is to sell gene tests directly to the public. For about US$2,500 you can be screened for your risk of developing, and potentially succumbing to more than 20 life-threatening and degenerative diseases.
The scientific-medical community, health departments, federal regulatory and consumer protection groups are objecting to this sort of testing .. and so should you: The company has plans to create a massive commercial database of genetic and lifestyle information so employers can look significantly more closely at you.
This is old news, by the way (back in October 2008):
- Sandy Szwarc posts "We predict you will be very, very diseased" on the Junkfood Science blog.
- BusinessWeek comments in "Reading the Entire Genetic Code".
Stay close to this. It affects us all.