This just in: the first Personal Genome Service.
No longer will you have to rely on Shirley McLaine to find out that you have an Egyptian princess or a Russian nobleman in your past. You can find out for sure and maybe they’ll come pay you a visit. 6 degrees of separation? No longer is it just a party game ending in Kevin Bacon, it’s going to be on the web, searchable, representing the web of humanity via the latest web 2.0 technology. You’ll have cousins showing up by RSS in your genome/blog reader.
The process begins, disgustingly enough, with spit. You purchase a $999 “spit kit” and you supply the requisite DNA. The company, 23andMe, tests your saliva and posts the results on their site, where you can use “…our interactive tools to shed new light on your distant ancestors, your close family and most of all, yourself.
OK – I’m on Twitter (smartinez), Classroom 2.0, Facebook, and Linked In. Probably a bunch more I’m forgetting right now. Apparently I’m a 2.0 kinda gal and I’m liking all the connections. But these pale in comparison to the possibilities of being connected by luck of the gene. As they say, you can choose your friends, but you can’t choose your family. Seems like a link too far, but maybe that’s just old geezer talk. Still, I’m not springing for the thousand dollars yet…
Welcome to the Brave New World! (and Happy Thanksgiving!)
Photo from Guy Kawasaki’s blog post about the “spit party” held by the company for friends and family.