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Mon, Oct 19
Crowdsourcing our genomes
In 2010, I posted a vial of my finest spit to the genetic-testing company 23andme. In return, I got to see what my genes reveal about my ancestry, how they affect my risk of diseases or my responses to medical drugs, and even what they say about the texture of my earwax. (It’s dry.) 23andme now has around a million users, as do other similar companies like Ancestry.com.
But these communities are largely separated from one another, a situation that frustrated Yaniv Erlich from the New York Genome Center. “Tens of millions of people will soon have access to their genomes,” he says. “Are we just going to let these data sit in silos, or can we partner with these large communities to enable some really large science? That’s why we developed DNA.LAND.”