On November 19, 2007, I wrote an article — 23andMe and the Ticking Timebomb Within — wondering about the new DNA testing service started by Sergey Brin’s wife. On September 18, 2008, Sergey Brin started a new blog revealing his 23andMe genetic profile suggested a predestiny for Parkinson’s disease.
Here is what I argued in my article:
Should this sort of human genome project ever be a privatized
for-profit venture — Anne Wojcicki,
wife of Google co-founder Sergey Brin heads up the effort and Google
invested in the company — or should our DNA and genetic secrets be
released free-of-charge into a world database for disinterested
inspection by anyone and everyone without having to first pay a fee for
a look-see into the demise of our private tomorrows?
I now wonder if Sergey’s want to see 23andMe live was so he could have his own private, and then public, reckoning with his predisposition for Parkinson’s?
Do we always spend our money in altruistic ways?
Or do we sometimes invest in other people’s public dreams so that we may whittle away our own, lurking, private, demons?