The Mainstreamification of DNA

Los Angeles: home DNA testing kits

$99 buys you, and a whole bunch of other inquisitive people better awareness of their genes with this DNA testing kit from the 23andme. Send a tube of saliva to a testing lab and check out your profile online. With an increasing number of medical and judicial proceedings pulling on DNA data and a continious trickle of whose-the-father paternity testing DNA is slowly but surely moving mainstream. Who’ll be the first to take individual’s DNA data and mash it up with dating profiles? Nature versus nurture? Bring on the hucksters.

The rise in adoption/use of DNA is particularly interesting because it affects people, families deeply and retrospectively. Your dad for the last 40 years? He’s not y’know. (For source stats head over to Measuring paternal discrepancy and its public health consequences by Mark A Bellis et al. – they cite ~0.8% to 30% paternal discrepancy, median 3.7%)

Roll forward 20 years when you can obtain a DNA test for the cost of a packet of gum – hell, it might even come in the form of a stick of “DNA Brand’ gum where the consumer is encouraged to spit out and stick after use.

It might even change our perception of lickable surfaces.