Google Your Genes

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cdnsciguy's picture
Google Your Genes

I was reading an article which stated that Craig Venter is working with Google. The plan is to have every gene on the planet in the Google database - thus one day you will be able to 'Goolge' your own genes. Just wondering if anyone has any thoughts on this. This seems very ambitious. As I understand it, Venter is sailing around the world collecting all kinds of samples as we speak. Nice work if you can get it!

Fraser Moss
Fraser Moss's picture
I found the follwoing

I found the follwoing articles about this
Google your genes

By Maura Welch | November 28, 2005

B2 Day Blog

Google is teaming up with Craig Venter (of human genome mapping fame) to use Googles vast computing power to help unlock biologys mysteries, and maybe one day to help you search through your genes. That from the new book The Google Story. Says Venter: Working with Google, we are trying to generate a gene catalog to characterize all the genes on the planet and understand their evolutionary development. Yikes. Somewhere a marketer is dreaming of an ad buy with genetic targeting . . . an actuary is working out a gene-insurance rate mash-up.


I think as long as the sources of the genetic material remain anonymous and secure it could have great potential for evolutionary genetics research and treatment of genetic diseases......but perhaps the project should be tagged with a large "proceed with caution" label until strategies to prevent abuse of the information that will be generated have been developed too.

YAY 300th post!!

cdnsciguy's picture
The second link is very

The second link is very interesting. I find it curious that Venter's group would deny it and Google wouldn't return any calls. Yet, Mr. Vise (a Pulizter prize winner) did his homework and said that both parties agreed to the term 'Google Your Genes' and confirmed there was such a project.

Scientists of the world - What do you all think of this??

nin1318's picture
i'm sure the denial is just

i'm sure the denial is just then trying to run some interference to maybe keep peo[ple from digging too deeply into this right now...

it's very interesting...although as someone said before, it seems to be essential that anonynmity is maintained. there is already discussion of the not-so-distant future when insurance companies require genetic screening to decide on coverage and premiums.

acgt's picture
This could be such a powerful

This could be such a powerful tool that could potentially move science forward at an exponental rate! There are a few factors to consider, including security and validitity. You can hardly trust sources off the internet anymore due to hackers and people making presenting unqualified information on to unsuspecting internet users. How will Google maintain the integrity of this Genetics-based site? I think it could be tremendous if scientists around the world contributed and collaborated to link genetic disorders to the associated genes. We could learn so much about homozygous recessive disorders and their expression through generations.

I found this quote in the book," Geneticists have wanted to do this for generations." Over time, Venter said, Google will build up a genetic database, analyze it, and find meaningful correlations for individuals and populations."

I'm curious HOW they plan to analyze this constantly growing database, and WHO will be linking the correlations to the genes and their associated traits?

crozUT's picture
Coming from a person who

Coming from a person who spends hours a day on a computer reading about genes, it sounds great. But, I do wonder how Google will maintain the integrity of the search results. I think some standards should be placed. I don't know how I feel about turning Google into the next Wikipedia for genetic research.

Good Luck to Google!