Wednesday, 26 March 2008

Genetic social networking?

Social networking online - on websites like Facebook, MySpace, LinkedIn - is wildly popular these days, and there are plenty of specialized social networks too. Today's Technology Review reports that a company called "23 and me" is about to unveil a new social-networking service that allows customers to compare their DNA. To capitalize on the boom in social networking the company is launching a genome-sharing tool that allows people to compare their genome with those of family members, friends, and even strangers who have offered up their DNA data. "It seems like the first natural curiosity people have is, where do I come from? What are my roots? The next natural [question] is, how do I compare to other people?" say the founders of 23andme. They hope that, as with traditional forms of social networking, word of the new tool will ripple through family and friends, bringing in new customers.

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