Monday, March 17, 2008

Personal Genotyping

Check out this blog by Mike Spear as he begins the process of having his genome read. He compares three different company's services in providing data based on his DNA sample. Fascinating and scary -- genome kits in Best Buy! But in addition to the social issues Spear intends to raise (e.g., can insurance companies base your premiums on what your DNA says you may be predisposed to get?), there is the larger issue of allowing our DNA to be read by American service providers, who may (under the Patriot Act) have to open their files to government security agencies. Makes me nervous, and I'm too old to be a revolutionary.


  1. Your worries about Amerikan service providers are likely well-founded viz. Verizon etc. and the wiretap controversy in the states. It doesn't help me to sleep at night knowing that our last census was undertaken by an Amerikan firm, and that these same worries apply.

  2. Mike Spear10:25 a.m.

    Maybe I'm being a naive but to tell the truth I'm not REALLY worried about who is going to get at my data. So far it appears to be pretty secure. (but then appearance and reality can be miles apart).
    Once I start to get the results and see how the data is displayed is when it may be a bit more scarey.
    But then again why the heck would anyone really care about what is in my personal DNA profile to take the time to hack it?
    Thanks for writing about this little project by the way.