Calling all enthusiasts: Misha Angrist talks personal genomes

Misha Angrist takes stock of a number of issues related to personal genomics in an article published today. Do people want access to their genomic data? Should people have access? What should they expect to discover from a genome sequence? What has been his experience thus far?

Misha also draws attention to one under appreciated aspect of obtaining a personal DNA sequence: there’s more to genomics than personalized medicine. Genomics might also be interesting and worthwhile even without obvious direct benefits.

“If you’re interested in medicine, you should talk to your doctor,” [George Church] says. “But if you’re interested in seeing a revolution close up and participating in research, then you should [be free to] mess around.”

Sober-faced enthusiasts may be the bootstraps necessary for the field of personal genomics to achieve lift-off. According to Misha:

“This is where we are in the era of personal genomics: some modest amusement, a few interesting tidbits, a bit of useful information, but mostly the promise of much better things to come. The more people are allowed–encouraged, even–to experiment, the sooner that promise can be realized.”

If amateur enthusiasts can make contributions to nuclear fusion (see video), why not personal genomics?

Read the article.

Misha Angrist. Personal Genomics: Access Denied? Even if we can’t interpret the data, consumers have a right to their genomes. MIT Tech Review. September/October 2008

See, Misha’s blog GenomeBoy.com

See, PGP-10 profiles

Esther Dyson on the Digital Health Revolution

Scribe Media’s Peter Cervieri interviews Esther Dyson, board member of 23andMe and one of the PGP-10.

Esther Dyson Video Scribe Media

In the interview, Esther gives her views on the history of commerce on the internet, problems with health care as we know it in the U.S., and the future of genetics.