Saturday, March 13, 2010

Genetic Profiles: A New Dating Paradigm

Nature published an article on the expansion of genetic profiling and mapping of the entire gene for each and every person.

The article states:

The family-based approach has also provided researchers with another way to estimate the rate at which parents pass mutations to their offspring. Galas and his colleagues estimate that each offspring will have 70 new mutations, less than half the number obtained with previous approaches. "It is really important to know this number because it represents the source of all genetic variation we have, for good or bad, for health or disease," says Joseph Nadeau, a human geneticist at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, Ohio.

Although whole-genome sequencing might be highly accurate and getting cheaper, it isn't yet within practical reach. Lupski and colleagues, for instance, estimate that their study cost around US$50,000. Less complete forms of sequencing can provide similar information about the genetic underpinnings of diseases such as Miller syndrome and primary ciliary dyskinesia.

Thus one may wonder as the costs decrease and having the capability to have one's genome as part of a self contained ID, such as a Government Health Care Card and Passport, one could consider a new iPhone App where two people could compare genomes and see if they have a compatibility for a future family or if they should just "date" and walk away.

In fact one could consider say a Facebook app performing matching functions to "optimize" such pairings! What next?