Richard Powers, one of my favorite novelists, just got his entire genome sequenced and wrote about the results for GQ:
I come from a long line of folks, on my mother’s side, with congenital difficulty making choices. My father’s family, on the other hand, are born snap deciders. This time the paternal genes won out, and half an hour after reading the invitation, I was on board.
So I went shopping. A day online gave me my first taste of the bewildering range of consumer genetic products. There was Family Tree DNA, specializing in tracing genetic genealogies. There was DNA Direct, whose Web site asked, “Do you have a chronic, undiagnosed condition? It could be genetic.” For $260, I could get tested for cystic fibrosis; for $370, I could learn whether I’m at elevated risk of developing type 2 diabetes. Then there was Iceland-based deCODEme (“This is myCODE”), which could calculate my risks for twenty-five genetic maladies in one $985 package.
But why stop with just a few disease tests? As I always say, in for a few plot complications, in for the whole story.
Read the whole thing. And then read the Gold Bug Variations.