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There are a number of companies (23andMe, deCODEme, Navigenics) that offer a service of scanning your genome, using microarray technology, for numerous (500,000 – 1,000,000) single nucleotide polymorphims (SNPs). SNPs, (snips), are one (not the only) source of variation in our genomes that make us all unique individuals, and offers us some hints of diseases we might be prone to, but broader philosophical questions about why and how we are all different – including our core personality (though the research has not reached this level yet).
What do you think – should individuals have the right to the information of their genome without going through a doctor? Does the average citizen need ‘counseling’ regarding their genome or should they be able to freely explore their genome? Should this be a right?
Here is a good video introduction to the technology (from the founders of 23andMe) and this new field of personal health, which is the wave of the future (link via PIMM).