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Tue, Mar 31
A new Facebook app wants to test your DNA
A medical research study launched Tuesday aims to screen the genes of at least 20,000 people. Part of a surging tide of genetic research, this project would be unremarkable if not for the place it’s recruiting and communicating with volunteers: Facebook.
The scientists behind the project, Genes for Good, hope that Facebook users will send a tube of their spit to a laboratory at the University of Michigan and use a free Facebook app to fill out periodic surveys about their health, habits, and moods.
The scientists will screen the volunteers’ DNA to try to discover new links between certain genetic variants, health, and disease. To rigorously establish these links, the researchers will need to enlist tens of thousands of volunteers from a wide variety of backgrounds.