Old 23andMe logo via CrunchBase
The latest issue of TIME Magazine lists the top 50 inventions of 2008, and the invention of the year is the Retail DNA Test.Â The article is mostly about the product currently offered by 23andMe.Â From the article:
“We are at the beginning of a personal-genomics revolution that will transform not only how we take care of ourselves but also what we mean by personal information. In the past, only Ã©lite researchers had access to their genetic fingerprints, but now personal genotyping is available to anyone who orders the service online and mails in a spit sample. Not everything about how this information will be used is clear yet â€” 23andMe has stirred up debate about issues ranging from how meaningful the results are to how to prevent genetic discrimination â€” but the curtain has been pulled back, and it can never be closed again. And so for pioneering retail genomics, 23andMe’s DNA-testing service is Time’s 2008 Invention of the Year.”
As the past year has shown, many people are opposed to this type of product for various reason, including that the test doesn’t involve genetic counseling, it isn’t ordered or interpreted by your personal doctor, and issues of genetic discrimination.Â However, the article doesn’t shy away from these issues and provides a brief but interesting look into both sides.
This award highlights the fact that we are in the midst of a vast genetic revolution.Â We are the first generation to be able to peer into the DNA inherited from thousands of previous generations.Â Yes, the road will undoubtedly be bumpy, but I’m looking forward to the ride.Â And so, I give my congratulations to 23andMe for this honor.