Thursday, February 21, 2013

23andMe (1)

Signed up on the site, paid my money ... and I'm now awaiting my 'spit kit'.

The Google-associated company 23andMe will then genotype thousands of my genes against their database and will get back to me with a comprehensive health and ancestry report.

Hundreds of diseases are linked with particular alleles (gene variants) on the human genome. Some gene variants make you far more, or less likely to succumb to heart disease, dementia or various forms of cancer. I await my results with interest.

My sudden interest was catalysed by reading Matt Ridley's 1999 book "Genome". The book is dated in a fast-moving field as well as fossilising slightly-obsolete 'nature vs. nurture' confusions while exhibiting the then-current state of political-correctness.

Still, Ridley is mostly right, always entertaining and quite educational. Quite a page-turner in fact.