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The Future of Genetics

From DNA-sequencing for everyone to crowdsourced science

The costs for creating genetical information are falling rapidly. Sequencing complete genomes dropped from billions of dollars to less than 10.000 USD in less than 10 years and companies like 23andMe or deCODEme are already selling genetical testing to customers for less than 100 USD. Genome sequencing gets used in clinical settings to find out about rare diseases. In the long run, we will get to a point where each of us will have his or her genome at hand. How can each of us benefit from those tests right now? What consequences for science and privacy will the advent of cheap genetical information have?

This kind of genetic data can (and probably will) be used by a variety of agencies. Government and law enforcement agencies will want store this information on every citizen. Insurance companies and various employers will want use this data to help decide whether to keep insured customers or employees. And even advertisers may be keen to use the information for targeting. How far have ambitions already gone? And on the positive side: How can we use this cheap new data – maybe together with the quantified self-movement – to make it more open and useable for citizen scientists outside of academia? The talk will address those questions and give some current examples.