Not my highlights, sadly – I would have loved to attend the Consumer Genetics Show but was curiously unable to get anyone to pay for my plane tickets…
Fortunately for me, others have done a sterling job of covering day one of the meeting. The freshest coverage by far is coming in 140-character bursts from Dan Vorhaus and Emily Singer, who are both live-tweeting the conference with gusto (for Twitter afficianados, commentary on the meeting is being aggregated with the hash-tag #CGS). Emily Singer also has an overview piece in MIT Technology Review with the promise of more to come.
Meanwhile Steve Murphy, who isn’t at the conference, has taken strong exception to deCODE Chief Scientific Officer Jeff Gulcher’s discussion of the utility of genetic data for reclassifying women into risk categories for heart disease.
I also wanted to point to an earlier article from Emily Singer reviewing the state of consumer genomics as a lead-in to the meeting. I particularly liked the final paragraph:
Most direct-to-consumer genetic-testing companies have declined to
release sales figures, so despite the public attention, it’s unclear
whether their business models are succeeding. But most people seemed
unconcerned. “If you look at the first commercial transactions on the
Internet, few of the early companies necessarily survived intact, but
the ideas they invented became the industry,” says James Heywood,
cofounder of PatientsLikeMe, a company based in Cambridge, MA, that
collects, shares, and analyzes data on patients with different
diseases. “It’s like going back to the invention of the computer: was
it the computer that was important, or was it the applications that
were invented to use on it? Who knows what application will effectively
build this new market?”