By Stephen J. Dubner
Anne Wojcicki, a biotech analyst and biologist, is co-founder of the “personal genetics” company 23andMe — which, for a fee, will take a bit of your spit and map out your DNA to learn genealogical details as well as your risk factors for certain diseases. Clients can also join the company’s gene-themed social networks and share their genetic info with others. Sort of like Facebook for your innards.
Wired’s Adam Rogers wonders whether services like 23andMe could lead to “genetic hypochondria,” leaked genetic information, or a spike in preventive measures that some may consider extreme.
Wojcicki’s husband is a moderately well-known tech guy who, thanks to his wife’s work, learned that he has a genetic mutation that makes him more likely to get Parkinson’s disease.
Before starting 23andMe, Wojcicki spent 10 years in healthcare investing with a focus on biotech companies.
She has agreed to take your questions, so fire away in the comments section below. (I wonder what she thinks of a fat tax — that’s a tax on fat food, people, not fat people.) As with all Q&A’s, we will post the answers here shortly.
Addendum: Wojcicki answers your questions here.