Tagged With 23 and me

Scientists have long been interested in understanding the underpinnings of empathy. Being able to share the feelings of another person plays a critical role in our inner lives, how we behave towards others, and the way human societies function as a whole. Harnessing the power of empathy, some suggest, could go a long way toward solving problems such as racism and sexism, and help us better understand non-neurotypical people. At the same time, another corner of the research world worries that constant immersion in technology is making it harder for today's kids to empathise.

In October 2017, Vadim Pushkarev, a Moscow-based lawyer, uploaded his genetic code to a new service called Zenome that promised him more than just information about his ancestry. This company was offering cryptocurrency.

Embedded in our genetic code is all kinds of sensitive data that could be compromising in the wrong hands. Without genetic privacy protections, the information stored in our genes might be used to discriminate against us or send us targeted ads. For these reasons, some have said we should skip out on consumer DNA tests if we value our privacy. Last week, after the FDA gave DNA testing company 23andMe the greenlight to offer consumers disease risk assessments, there was a new wave of warnings.