Personalized Genetics: It has officially begun!

Do you think it’s enough to share some links about personalized genetics with you once a week? Of course, not! The live webcast of 23andMe finished some minutes ago which means I should write some thoughts on this.


I had several questions answered including (their answer):

  • When do you plan to expand your service to Europe? (Later, later…)
  • How effective do you think your risk predictions are? (Just as much as current scientific research can be.)
  • Do you plan to help patients with genetic counseling? (Yes, through online tutorials, but not in person.)
  • Do you think your prediction models are well established? What can you tell your patient about his risk for obesity based only on one or just a few genes? (It seemed they didn’t accpet long questions.)

Check out the questions of Attila CsordƔs at Pimm. Attila had an other post about the subject as well: Genetics brings people together, rather than differentiate.

Steve Murphy, our gene sherpa, has been working really hard in the last few days:

Without further examination, the advice 23 and Me, Navigenics etc. are giving now is just plain useless. That is precisely why deCODE has stated that their test should not be used for medicine. Only healthcare practitioners trained in interpreting your data should be… Too bad there are only 100 geneticists who are trained in adult disease šŸ™ As for the disclaimer not to be used to diagnose or treat…last time I checked, I am ordering the same tests as 23andME to diagnose and treat! Maybe they should add a caveat “But to steal your genome” at the end.

Deepak Singh at BBGM posted some interesting videos, interviews about 23andMe’s privacy issues and many more.

Ricardo Vidal at My Biotech Life talks about the spitting business.

Thomas Goetz published some incredibly intersting material at Wired. The first article contains a timeline of the age of genome. He also had his genome analyzed by 23andMe and Navigenics with these results.

Nicholas Wade also expressed his opinion on the story in New York Times.

I’m thrilled by the power of 23andMe ( 23andMe for geneticists is something like Google for programmers), but I would love to watch some interviews taken with medical professionals of their company. Where are they? From this point of view, Helix Health seems to be a better option, although I think it’s still too early to launch a personalized genetic service. Not just the public, but even the scientific community doesn’t seem to be ready for this. We’ll see what happens…

Stay tuned!