You may remember The Human Genome Project, the landmark effort to sequence the DNA of our species, that was complete in 2003. Companies are now arising to capitalize on this project. 23andme is offering genotyping for a mere $999.000. The company scans your DNA for several hundred thousand of the telltale variations that make you different from the next human.
Since we live according to what our own specific genetic risks predispose us toward, I figure the more knowledge you have the better. Bottom line, this ain’t a bad investment, folks.
You can know about your very specific lineage. You can know, for example, that you are from Northern Europe, not Spain. You can know you have a proclivity towards, say, Colon cancer or breast cancer. Isn’t it nice to finally know where you are from and how you are going to die?
Once you get your kit in a fancy lime box for a mere $999.00, you will spend about 10 minutes filling a 2.5-milliter vial with your own spit. If you are willing to share this experience with us, you could film yourself frothing into the vial and put it on Utube. But I digress. Anyway, when you’re done drooling, ah, spitting –whatever — into the vial, you wrap it up, call FedEx, and two to four weeks later you get an email inviting you to log in and review your results.
The company simply takes a sample of your DNA, scans it, and tells you about your genetic future, as well as your ancestral past. You can learn about your personalized risk for a particular condition, calculated according to whether your genotype contains markers that research has associated with specific risks.
You can then spend the rest of your life with this wonderful knowledge. Your friends will love your dinner conversation. "Well, it’s sure nice of you folks to have me for dinner tonight. I hope this isn’t our last time together, given that I’m sure I’ll be contracting colon cancer sometime in the near future." Oh my, you will indeed be the life of the party.
You’ve got several weeks until Christmas to get on the 23andme website and get your Christmas shopping done. Order today and if you pay for a rush shipment, there’s an outside chance you might even get your results back before Christmas.
Geesh, now if we only can figure out what to do with all those smokers who know smoking will kill them but do it anyway. Well, don’t worry. We’ll address behavioral change after the holidays, unless you get hit by a car crossing the street and killed before then.