Screenshots of the DIYgenomics iPhone app
You may already know 23andMe, the company that trades your spit (and a few Benjamins) for copious amounts of your raw genetic information. But what can you actually do with this data?
Citizen scientist Raymond McCauley did quite a lot, after learning about his genetic predispositions (such as a 30% lifetime risk of age-related macular degeneration). He had a variant of MTHFR (…er… Samuel Jackson’s favorite gene?), responsible for processing vitamin B-9. Wanting a practical answer to the question of what vitamins really work for him (and which might help support vision health), he and a small group at DIYgenomics got together at BioCurious the first biotech hackerspace in the San Francisco Bay Area. They started a “crowd-sourced clinical trial” to measure the effects of different brands and formulations of vitamins.
Check out the full article in this recent issue of Nature Medicine.
More: See all of our Citizen Science coverage on MAKE