more 23andme ideas and nasty thoughts

In his Buzzyeah blog Andrew Meyer describes his 23andme experience from gathering the money to the final results. He finally got the kit sent and the linked blog entry describes and shows his tube filling with Saliva experience. And comes up with a contest. On one hand, I don’t really think that the time you need is worth a competition, on the other hand it might be funny to watch what ideas evolve out of that. Some ideas I instantly had:

  • for those that need a discussion topic: find ten friends, each willing to pay 100$ for the opportunity to spit into the tube (from Buzzyeahs video ten spits should fill the tube sufficently). After a couple of weeks you than can discuss the results and blame each other for bad genes…
  • trying to get rid of your partner, but not sure how to do it (well, you’re way to kind to do it the hard way): Ask her/him to spit into tube until filled (make sure they don’t read this blog) and send it to 23andme. Once results are back, tell her/him, you were honestly thinking about having childs, but her/his genes are simply not good enough. Needs some preparation, e.g. find a good reason to have her/him spit into a tube for at least 3 minutes, examine the results carefully and only present the bad results. Most importantly, make sure you can live with the knowledge destroying someones life in the worst kind of ways. Once all is over, please tell the good results as well.
  • For those that do everything for a good (includes mean) jokes: Test yourself and once results are in, tell your parents what you did and that you did find out of your roots. Shocking news you can deploy now, e.g. your genes are closer to a chimpanzee than to your father. Things like that, you get the idea.

Just as a disclaimer: This is meant to be a joke, it shall make you think. And it is not assured it works. 23andme might not analyse due to inaccuracies, people are not all logical and some parents might tell you thinks you don’t want to hear.

I like thinking about the opportunities anyway. As a health insurance I would try to make people give me these information or even try to get information about them without their knowledge. Does 23andme offer a service that only requires a minimum of organic material of the tested? Could be a huge market. Worth examining once one of these companies is in need of money. Another possibility would be, that at some stage some cracker manages to steal partial information or even the complete database from them. Along with addresses and names (needed for the sending of test kits) it would be easy to blackmail these people they can purchase the deletion of the stolen information, otherwise these data will published or sold somewhere else. I just decided I have to check on the security aspects of these offers, because as we all know, there is no 100% secure solution.

But don’t be scared, they surely know what they are doing (having Google in the background makes a lot possible). And I still believe, right now the biggest effect is the personal. Keep on watching.

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2 Responses

  1. great ideas man. 🙂

  2. 😉 You started it… and I’m sure there will be more. Nice job, Andrew!

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