23 and Me–and You

by Joanna Smith on Jun 11, 2010

In today’s newspaper was an item about “spit parties” where participants gather together to give saliva samples that can undergo genetic analysis.  There is a company in California that does this kind of testing–the company name is “23 and me”–and it’s moniker is “genetics just got personal”.  The company name, according to their web site, ” refers to the 23 pairs of chromosomes that make up each individual’s genome.  23andMe connects individuals to their unique, paired set of 23 chromosomes”.

What is particularly interesting is that  people are curious, and are willing to sped upwards of $399 to find out this information.

This is the world of new medicine: the information can be out there, for a price,and people are curious and would like the information.  So, if you were to appear at your doctor’s office with a genotype of your DNA, he or she might ask:  what can I do with this?  How will it currently help me keep you in good health? And that is the dilemma of healthcare today:  we can access very sophisticated information, but knowing how to apply it and where to go with it remain a challenge.

It’s one of the reasons healthcare advocates are so critical today:  helping the consumer know what to do with the information they acquire!