MindBullets 20 Years

The true cost of your DNA

Shouldn't you be rewarded if you are the product?

A bit more than a decade ago, it would have cost you US$ 10,000 to have your entire genome sequenced; four years ago, about $100. But now, you can take the highest bidder, and get paid for your genomic data.

Of course, the first complete sequence of a human genome was an enormous undertaking, as there was no reference data, and the project cost an estimated US$ 2.7 billion, but Moore’s Law soon came into effect, and prices plummeted as the tech became mainstream and automated.

Soon it was the services around your DNA data, that were the interesting thing, like interpretation and diagnostics. Consumer DNA company ’23andMe’ famously offered a $199 package that included testing and basic analysis of risk profiles, or genotype as they called it. Later a premium product was launched, but scientists warned against treating the data as gospel. Predictive genotyping is tricky.

The breakthrough came with using artificial intelligence, deep reinforced learning, to make accurate predictive diagnostics from whole genome data. But deep learning requires lots and lots of data, to refine and improve the neural network’s performance.

So now genotyping companies are vying for your data; they’ll pay for it, or give you free analysis packages, if you’ll submit your samples for testing. Provided you waive all rights to the raw DNA data; which includes duplication and cloning.

The true cost of your DNA? In the right hands, it’s priceless!

Warning: Hazardous thinking at work

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