Jan 10

deCODE Genetics Sells Your Genome Map to You


Offering their own take on professionally snapped nudie pics, deCODE genetics is offering a map of your genome for about a thousand dollars. I’d say it’s a deal but it’s not. Considering that they may use it — with your permission, of course — for research, it seems that they should be paying you.

Why is the customer expected to be charitable and the company is expected to make money? How about they offer this service for free, only with the agreement that it’ll be used for research? That would make more sense than selling me something then asking for it back whenever they need to use it. What? Are we friends?

At least they’re not stealing it. The police stole my genetic fingerprints. But that’s another story and it’s very complicated. Perhaps I’ll tell you about it one day.

I have other reservations.

I’m not even sure that the copyright issues have been resolved. If they map my genome, do they own it? Or do they have to alter it? Since genetics is a quantum affair, could they make the argument that, by observing it, they have altered it? And, if they own it, what does that mean? Do I get to keep my soul? Fat lot of fucking good that piece of crap would do me. I’d much rather have my genes. Actually, thinking about my family, I’d rather not.

Perhaps I’m a primitive, afraid that a photograph steals my soul. But intellectual property law is some crazy voodoo. To even attempt to understand it one must think of what’s logical and decent and then forget all about it. Money rules that roost.

Even if they do get ownership, I should get paid for selling it. I should not be paying to sell it. But I wouldn’t even count on that. It makes too much sense.

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