23andMe is a new biotechnology company funded inter alia via Esther Dyson, which aims to give everyone a chance to read their own DNA. The company won’t uncover the whole of your DNA sequence – that’s a bit £1 million complex – but they’ll scan 23 ‘paired volumes’, which apparently is enough to reveal facts about your ancestry, inherited traits and stuff. Eventually the founders hope that the service will let us take advantage of ‘personalized medicine’ which is tailored to our biological makeup, rather than accepting the generic blunt instruments we do today. ‘Targeting the right drug to the right person at the correct dose’. Indeed!
Even though your body contains trillions of copies of your genome, you’ve likely never read any of it. Our goal is to connect you to the 23 paired volumes of your own genetic blueprint (plus your mitochondrial DNA), bringing you personal insight into ancestry, genealogy, and inherited traits. By connecting you to others, we can also help put your genome into the larger context of human commonality and diversity. Toward this goal, we are building on recent advances in DNA analysis technologies to enable broad, secure, and private access to trustworthy and accurate individual genetic information.