23andWe – genomics goes social

23andmeDrawing on his experiences with 23andMe‘s personal genetics service, Kevin Kelly has made a couple of interesting observations. Focusing on what happens when the logic of crowdsourcing is applied to biotechnology, he comments on

how fast and how eager users have been to share their genetic data. We’ve been conditioned by anxious media reports to believe that people want to hoard their very personal genetic profile, in fear of what would happen if governments, corporations, insurance companies and the neighbors were to see it. But in fact like a lot of other things that have made it online, genetic information only increases in value when shared.

Experts thought only a fringe minority would dare share their genes, but swapping genetic info will mostly likely be the norm for a generation that shares everything else. Sharing your genetic info with family members, relatives, and even apparent strangers (who must be related somehow) is exciting, and certainly educational.

[Story via The Quantified Self. Image by CrashIntoTheSun]