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September 30, 2014

23andme – Real Gattaca Future of Medicine

Gattaca is a 1997 futuristic sci-fi thriller staring Ethan Hawke and Uma Thurman. The film presents a biopunk sci-fi vision of a future society driven by eugenics where potential children are conceived through genetic manipulation to ensure they possess the best hereditary traits of their parents. The movie focuses on Ethan Hawke overcoming genetic discrimination from the genetically modified “perfect combination of guanine, adenine, thymine, and cytosine” humans around him. DNA is everything in this world, from dating to job roles.

The movie is based on the premise of in “the not-too-distant future”, but flash into reality of 2014 and some could say we are already here. We have innovative companies like 23andme.com analyzing our DNA and guiding answers of the raw truth of health and ancestry information. Well, the healthcare information came to a stall in December 2013. 23andme.com was stopped by the Food and Drug Administration for giving too much information between providing scientific information and being a medical test.  In the meantime customers will still get ancestry data, be able to download their own raw data, and 23andMe will continue to use the data it collects for its own research. Regulatory review is in progress to define what direction the future will take on direct to consumer DNA results.

There is one loophole during the ongoing regulatory review which could take years, on ebay you can purchase 23andme DNA kits ordered prior to November 2013 that will grant you access to your DNA healthcare information. Most US consumers are waiting on the US government for decisions…