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Biomedicine in museums

The recent history of personal genome services — next week is deCoDEme's and 23andMe's 1st year birthdays

By November 6, 2008No Comments

It’s only one year ago that the first commercial personal genome services became available to ordinary customers, thus initiating what might become a new major postgenomic health industry. deCODEme was launched on 16 November, 2007, and 23andMe three days later.

As Attila Csordás points out, the media (and blog) coverage of 23andMe has been far more intense than that of deCODEme. Why? The products are basically similar, so it has probably more to do with their public image. For example, deCODEme has a mainstram commercial-looking website, while 23andMe looks like something that came out of a children’s toy store. It may also have something to do with different personal ‘likability’ factors of the front figures of the two companies (Anne Wojcicki and Kari Stefansson, respectively). And one shouldn’t dismiss the Google-association factor. To add insult to injury, Time Magazíne announced 23andMe’s retail DNA test as “best invention of the year” in 2008.

Thomas Söderqvist

Author Thomas Söderqvist

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