Continuing with his recent favorite theme of sending people your body fluids in the mail, Attila Csordás at Partial Immortalization has a very thorough treatment of Silicon Valley “personal genomics” startup 23andMe.
Attila’s treatment is as detailed as any in the popular press, bringing to bear his own scholarly/scientific viewpoint and approaching the issues from multiple perspectives (including that of hobbits). If you haven’t been following the big launch of a company that’s sure to drive discussion on the personal impact of the genomics revolution (at least, among those with $1000 to spend on a profile), rush on over and check it out.
Oh — almost forgot — the aging connection: While the company is initially devoted to assessment of disease risk based on known associations, they’re also going to attempt to use a novel application of social networking to bring private citizens into studies that will seek to define heretofore unknown genetic risk factors for other conditions. With clever study design (and possibly simply with shrewd data-mining techniques), one can imagine any number of ways for longevity researchers to capitalize on the sudden influx of people willing to volunteer their genetic information for analysis and follow-up.