Crazy Genetic Marketing Ideas

Crazy Genetic Marketing Ideas

by Dr. Hsien-Hsien Lei
Posted December 14, 2007 in DNA Fun, DNA Products, DNA Testing

Less than three weeks until the start of 2008 and everyone’s making their final marketing push. Genetic services companies are not exempt.

Boston-based dating service, ScientificMatch.com , uses a “patent-pending technology” that analyzes DNA having to do with the immune system to find a match who:

  • Smells good to you (but probably not to me)
  • Has complementary genetic material to yours so you can produce healthier children (unless you feed them McDonald’s every day and smoke around them)
  • Is so good in bed that you’ll wonder if a good sex life is in your DNA

eye dna molecule

Not to be topped by DNA-induced, euphoric love, the much maligned Genebase DNA Ancestry Project claims that Rudolph the Red Nose Reindeer has joined their online networking community where you can email, post photos and messages, and join his network. You can even send an electronic postcard that shows that human HVR-1 mtDNA is 65% similar to Reindeer mtDNA. I guess Genebase thinks going goofy will somehow boost their credibility.

deCODE Genetics thought stirring the pot would keep the spotlight on them too. This past week, they put out the word that Dr. James Watson has 16 times the number of African-origin gene than the average white European (see this post for background about Dr. James Watson’s comments about race and intelligence). John Hawks said it best :

I mean, what is the purpose really of spreading a news story that Watson may be 1/16 African, without adding the context of how common this degree of genetic mixture has been in American history in particular, and between populations generally? Why would a geneticist working with humans not realize the ethical problem?

Personally, I’m pretty worn out after the excitement of the past few weeks and months. Great advances have been made in the field of personal genomics but we’re still taking things step-by-step. What may seem to have happened overnight is actually the culmination of years of hard work. And as 2007 draws to a close, we have more years of hard work ahead of us.

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(7 comments)


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7 Comments

Comment by Sara Subscribed to comments via email

Guess I prefer the old fashioned way! ;)

You never know, Sara. Sometimes it’s good to try different techniques. ;)

 
 
Comment by David Bradley

Do they mention that ScientificMatch might help couples avoid catching the same cold virus at the same time, might it also ensure better compatibility in fertility. Or could it have the opposite effect?

d

David, I have no idea but based on what I’ve read, the whole idea of ScientificMatch is based on scanty scientific evidence.

 
 
Comment by David Bradley

I guessed it might be. Same genre as those pheromone sprays.

d

 
Comment by online doctor

More research on the topic must be conducted because the evidence is wanting.

 

[...] 14, 2009 in DNA Testing Matchmaking services are adding DNA testing to their list of offers. The DNA test analyzes HLA genes of the immune system that influence a person’s body odor. The theory is that [...]

 

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