One of the magical things about the Internet, and software in general, is that when you have a huge platform that is home to a large load of data, you can do cool things by opening it up a little bit. Genetic discovery company 23andMe has decided to open up an API to let developers build cool things on top of your genetic information.
It’s not as creepy as it sounds, because your data won’t be personally identifiable to developers, and you’ll be able to learn more things about yourself after more brains start building things.
Here’s what 23andMe co-founder Anne Wojcicki had to say about the announcement:
Opening our API offers an immense opportunity for customers to do more with their DNA. While 23andMe has created a number of groundbreaking and innovative tools for our customers to explore their DNA, the API will open the door to the possibility of new web-based interactive tools to be developed by external groups.
Starting today, developers can get themselves familiar with the 23andMe API and start creating; just visit this site for details.
Building things on top of a massive social network like Facebook is an exciting proposition, but something like this is just mind-bending. I wouldn’t have thought that this type of thing could happen if you asked me 10 years ago, and it’s pretty exciting to see it happen now.
What will developers build on top of our genetic data? We’ll have to wait and see, but if you’re working on something, drop me a line at firstname.lastname@example.org so that I can take a look.
[Photo credit: Flickr]
A startup founded by Anne Wojcicki, the wife of Google co-founder Sergey Brin, 23andMe has plans to make the human genome searchable. Brin, along with Google, gave 23andMe $3.9 million as part of a series A in May of 2007. The company was named after the number of chromosome pairs in humans. They aim to help people understand what their genes mean by indexing them and highlighting significant findings. 23andMe allows its clients/users to study their ancestry, genealogy, and inherited...
Anne brings to 23andMe a 10-year background in healthcare investing, focused primarily on biotechnology companies. Anne left the investing world with the hope that she could have a positive impact on research and medicine through 23andMe. From her vantage point, Anne saw a need for creating a way to generate more information - especially more personalized information - so that commercial and academic researchers could better understand and develop new drugs and diagnostics. By encouraging individuals to access and...