Consumer DNA screening is here; what happens next?

Paul Raven @ 21-07-2009

digital rendering of DNAI’ve recommended Jan Chipchase’s Future Perfect blog before as a great source for near-future speculation with a street-level twist, and it looks like it’s time I did so again. Chipchase has just purchased one of the $99 DNA testing kits from 23andme, inspiring the following thoughts:

With an increasing number of medical and judicial proceedings pulling on DNA data and a continious trickle of whose-the-father paternity testing DNA is slowly but surely moving mainstream. Who’ll be the first to take individual’s DNA data and mash it up with dating profiles? Nature versus nurture? Bring on the hucksters.

The rise in adoption/use of DNA is particularly interesting because it affects people, families deeply and retrospectively. Your dad for the last 40 years? He’s not, y’know. (For source stats head over to Measuring paternal discrepancy and its public health consequences by Mark A Bellis et al. – they cite ~0.8% to 30% paternal discrepancy, median 3.7%)

Roll forward 20 years when you can obtain a DNA test for the cost of a packet of gum – hell, it might even come in the form of a stick of ‘DNA Brand’ gum where the consumer is encouraged to spit out and stick after use.

Can you think of any Gibsonian street uses for ubiquitous affordable DNA testing? [image by ynse]

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4 Responses to “Consumer DNA screening is here; what happens next?”

  1. Greg says:

    I have a (bad) feeling it will very soon become a part of the employment process, along with background checks and drug screening.

  2. Evil Rocks says:

    1: shotgun sequencing of every passenger on public transportation, kept in a government database and used to extend the liberal government’s tentacle further into every aspect of your life. Of course, the leftists will say “One must strike bargains with these devils,” and somehow justify the incursion by telling us about all the wonderful things that universal sequencing will bring to our lives.

    The stupid and brainwashed will go along with it, and the bureaucratic regime will expand its grip over citizens lives by another increment.

  3. OldMiser says:

    The first link in this post (the one for Jan Chipchase’s overall blog)goes to a login page for Movable Type. I suggest using http://www.janchipchase.com/ instead.

  4. Paul Raven says:

    Well spotted, Miser; stupid Movable Type! I’ve never forgiven it for eating five years of Futurismic’s archives…