11.18.2007

Would you...?

Pay $999 for a complete record of your DNA that would show, among other things, your genetic ancestry and statistical likelihood of getting certain genetic diseases? Would you pay $50 for this information? Regardless of the price, would you even want it?

According to Googling Google, that option will be available starting tomorrow, from Anne Wojcicki, founder of 23andme and the wife of Google co-founder Sergey Brin.

I won't say it's not tempting, but I don't think I would do it, even if it cost $50 (a not-trivial but affordable sum for me, unlike $999, which is both not-trivial and not affordable). I think it would probably cause more unnecessary worry than potential benefits. If I'm going to die from some dread genetic disease before I accomplish what I want to accomplish in life, I don't think I want to know that ahead of time. People tend to anticipate that things will be worse than they are when they actually experiencing those things. If I make it to the age of 80 or 90 in good health, I might do it then. (Although that might reveal things about my children's genetics that I wouldn't want to know.) That would be, in, oh, 2059-2069, by which point, I imagine this sort of thing would be much cheaper.

1 comment:

David said...

Not only no, but hell no.

I absolutely want no part of something like that - I'll wait for the end of the story to learn how it comes out (I don't read spoilers either).