Friday, June 25, 2010

I earned a badge

This morning, when I logged into my 23andme account, I found out that I had earned myself a Research Pioneer Badge for my contribution “to the first 23andWe research discoveries” published yesterday in PLoS Genetics, and derived from the DNA testing of thousands of people from the public at large. Namely, from the company’s clients who, like me, consented to the use for research purposes of their personal genetic data and of their answers to one or more surveys.

This is the first time, says an editorial in that same publication, that a human genome-wide association study, or GWAS, is performed based on information gathered through the Internet and stemming from such a population. The study shows, according to its authors, that this approach is not only reliable, but that it also allows the discovery of novel genetic associations.

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