Genomes Unzipped – the naked sequence

By Razib Khan | October 11, 2010 1:20 am

Looks like Dr. Daniel MacArthur & company went and did it, go get their genotypes, or browse them online. This should be interesting. Since Dr. MacArthur’s wife has agreed to be a participant in some ways Tobias MacArthur is also part of the project by implication. To some extent the same is true of the current or future children of all the participants. And you can work your way up and across the family trees as well. I’m 99.9% sure that this won’t really matter. I believe that by the time Tobias MacArthur is self-aware people won’t be so paranoid about genetic privacy. On the other hand I too have a raw 23andMe data file, and I haven’t posted it online, and I won’t just quite yet. This is a case where I’ll let others get on the elevator first to test it out.


Comments (5)

  1. Sandgroper

    Call me weird, but as I was reading the reports for Dan and his wife, I felt guilty that I was prying into someone’s personal stuff – definite ethical qualms.

    Well, I guess I was.

  2. Thanks man.

    We spent quite a bit of time discussing the ethical issues associated with releasing data of both my wife and I, but in the end made the same call you suggest: we just don’t think genetic information will be viewed in the same way in a decade’s time, and thus the limited information that can be inferred probabilistically about Toby from our genomes probably won’t matter a great deal. This doesn’t stop us worrying about doomsday scenarios, but we’re hoping at the very least he’ll understand how and why we made the decision!

  3. Glenn Allen Nolen

    I applaud the decision. Though, you are not the first people to put medical information online. I’m certain you will not be the last to do so, either.

    Genn Allen Nolen

  4. pconroy


    To get your feet wet, as it were, you – and other 23AndMe, DeCodeMe or Family Finder customers – might consider sharing your DNA with 2 wonderful “Open Source” projects:

    1. Leon Kull’s HIR Search Tool – I’m “Paul Conroy”, and my parents are “Michael Conroy” and “Margaret Conroy”

    2. David Weselkowski’s Eurogenes 500,000 SNP BGA Project – I’m IE2 and my father is IE6 and mother is IE7

    I hope more people join these!


Discover's Newsletter

Sign up to get the latest science news delivered weekly right to your inbox!

Gene Expression

This blog is about evolution, genetics, genomics and their interstices. Please beware that comments are aggressively moderated. Uncivil or churlish comments will likely get you banned immediately, so make any contribution count!

About Razib Khan

I have degrees in biology and biochemistry, a passion for genetics, history, and philosophy, and shrimp is my favorite food. In relation to nationality I'm a American Northwesterner, in politics I'm a reactionary, and as for religion I have none (I'm an atheist). If you want to know more, see the links at


See More


RSS Razib’s Pinboard

Edifying books

Collapse bottom bar