“Apple is collaborating with U.S. researchers to launch apps that would offer some iPhone owners the chance to get their DNA tested, many of them for the first time, according to people familiar with the plans,” Antonio Regalado reports for MIT Technology Review.
“‘Apple launched ResearchKit and got a fantastic response. The obvious next thing is to collect DNA,’ says Gholson Lyon, a geneticist at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory, who isn’t involved with the studies,” Regalado reports. “Nudging iPhone owners to submit DNA samples to researchers would thrust Apple’s devices into the center of a widening battle for genetic information. Universities, large technology companies like Google, direct-to-consumer labs, and even the U.S. government are all trying to amass mega-databases of gene information to uncover clues about the causes of disease.”
“Apple isn’t going to directly collect or test DNA itself. That will be done by academic partners. The data would be maintained by scientists in a computing cloud, but certain findings could appear directly on consumers’ iPhones as well. Eventually, it’s even possible consumers might swipe to share “my genes” as easily as they do their location.,” Regalado reports. “One of these people said the DNA-app studies could still be cancelled, but another said Apple wants the apps ready for the company’s worldwide developers’ conference, to be held in June in San Francisco.”
Much more in the full article here.
MacDailyNews Take: The vast net that Apple can cast can hopefully really make a difference in medical research. Talk about putting a ding in the universe!
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