Thursday, February 14, 2008

Happy Valentine's Day

I hope you remembered. I almost forgot, until 9 pm last night. Did you ever have the experience of fishing around the Hallmark aisle, hoping to get a card that is still "just right". Instead what you invariably end up with is a less than perfect card. My wife will never let me forget the year I gave her a card addressed to "My Dearest Friend" Not quite what I was shooting for but hey, it works.

This reminds me of what this crazy company offering "Free Genetic Testing" If you want to jump in and look for the scraps, then this is what you will get. A company which is going to sell your demographics and advertising, in exchange they will give you "Free Genetic Testing"

I really wonder, do they think that little of the complexity of genetic testing? You get what you pay for, as evidenced by Knome's 350k Genome scan. But what got me was their description of "free and equal access"

The sad fact is few people have $1,000 to spare for the luxury of having their DNA tested, not to mention the cost of testing an entire family," said Founder and CEO Thomas Banks. "Our mission is simple, we intend to make genetic testing available to everyone, not simply for people with an extra thousand dollars burning a hole in their pockets."

Instead they will sell your demographics, likely sell you genomic data, and probably try to send credit card apps to your pet dog. even better, if you are in need of cash they will give it to you for being healthy.....I smell the ol' college blood bank scam. But hey, isn't "Free Testing" worth it? OMG, I am always baffled by the lengths people will go to. The term FREE is always going to generate FREE PR.

One of my favorite readers said:

"They are fishing for traffic, upon which they pray they will generate the revenues required to support a free genetics testing program. The model they're using is not unique, or otherwise ingenious. Magazines have been using the "publisher's" model for years, where ad revenues (not subscriptions) bring home the bacon. Ask Conde Nast.

But, somehow I don't think that the science of genetic testing will support the publishers model. I think The Sherpa should add Geneview to his hit list of genetic start ups heading straight for a court of law."

But what gets me the most about this service is their celebrity endorsement. I can't think of a better celeb to instill a sense of education and health. Bo Duke! OMG, Clearly they thought he was the smarter Duke! They're wrong. Daisy is the smartest relative of this bunch.
The Gene Sherpa Says:
Rule number 5. You get what you pay for when it comes to genetic testing. If something offers you free testing, chances are you will pay for it. One way or another, they will make their buck or two off the genoHYPE revolution. Don't get tested by some "Good 'Ol Boys" Please, please, please focus on directed testing with family history verification. If you want a genome scan, then get a genome scan. But don't leave the interpretation up to a printed report, never sell your genes for "Free Testing" and Always buy the Valentine's day card at least 24 hours in advance.


Anonymous said...

Quote: "My wife will never let me forget the year I gave her a card addressed to "My Dearest Friend" Not quite what I was shooting for but hey, it works."

You should have paid as clost attention to the wording of the card as you would a genetic test result.

Priority #1: your will need to make up for this mistake as it could creat stress in the marriage.

Priority #2: posting this type of information on a public blog. Make up with your wife and keep personal information private.

Steve Murphy MD said...

The "clost" is a cute joke right?
Yes, Now my readers know I am married.

Misha said...

Sorry, I thought you said "Go Duke!"