Feb 17, 2008

How Web 3.0 and Lifestyle 3.0 Converge at DNA Testing

In parallel with the evolution of “web 1.0”, “web 2.0” and “web 3.0”, Richard Dale formulates the concept of “lifestyle 1.0”, “lifestyle 2.0” and “lifestyle 3.0”. It is so refreshing: a must read!

Here I re-analyze Richard’s concepts from the perspective of self-consciousness. My argument is that the development of the Internet and i-lifestyle is purely driven by human psychology.

  • Life Style 1.0 -- a.k.a. Self awareness: It is an explicit understanding that one exists. Furthermore, it includes the concept that one exists as an individual, separate from other people, with private thoughts. For instance, Joe created a personal webpage in 2001.
  • Life Style 2.0 -- a.k.a. Self disclosure: At this stage, one will both consciously and unconsciously reveal more about oneself to others. For instance, Joe joined the Facebook in 2006 to share his photos from a trip with friends.
  • Life Style 3.0 -- a.k.a. Self perception: At the 3.0 stage, one will develop his attitudes by observing our own behavior/genetic makeup and conclude what attitudes must have caused them. For instance, Joe ordered a Genetics Test in 2007 and put the results into his personal health record (PHR).

As the analysis goes on, we can find that the ultimate drive of web 3.0 is not semantic web, but Genomics Testing!

Feb 13, 2008

Genetic Testing on NBC News: How to Interpret the Results?

Bioinformatics scientists have long been helping biomedical researchers to interpret their genomics data. But who should/will/could help consumers to interpret their results? NBC News aired its investigation yesterday.

Having recognized the same probem since last year, I have been advocating the study of consumer bioinformatics. Bioinformatics has been traditionally defined as the scientific research to use computers to handle and genomics information.

Genomics testing is no longer for research uses only; it has reached millions of consumers with a few mouse clicks away since November 2007. Similarly, bioinformatics is no longer a scientific discipline just for research projects and scientists.

Overtime, we noticed that consumers have shown increasingly interests in bioinformatics. For instance, Hugh Reinhoff has started a wiki of “mydaughtersdna.org” to investigate the interpretation of her daughter’s genome. An active community has been formed around this wiki. Also, amateur scientists start having consumer access to super computing resources previous only available to heavily-funded researchers. Creative computing resources, such as the “Elastic Computing Cloud” by Amazon allows anyone to run parallel MPI-BLAST for less than $1.

We have coined the term “consumer bioinformatics” to emphasize the urgent need for bioinformatics in the consumer domain. Already a challenging problem in the research domain, we believe consumer bioinformatics will further invigorate the development of bioinformatics as a discipline and its applications.

Feb 12, 2008

Retail Genomics and web 2.0: Marketing via YouTube, Facebook and Blogs

In a previous Blog, I discussed the use of YouTube in Consumer Genomics marketing.

Today, I run into a Blog called "The Spittoon", owned by 23andme, for the same purpose.

Similarly, a company called the DNA Diagnostics Center (DDC) is on facebook.

On one side, they are geeky; on the other side, they reaches consumer well using the principle of soft marketing.