Genetic Information as Fashionable Fetish

Posted by Jesse Reynolds January 31, 2008
Biopolitical Times
Davos, Switzerland
The blog of T Magazine, the New York Times' publication on "fashion, design, food, and travel," reports that, at the World Economic Forum:
this year's must-have Davos accessory is a personal DNA map, which provides the ultimate knowledge of personal style by determining just what traits you may or may not possess - from cancer to attached earlobes to what? A weakness for cashmere?
Yes, genome scans offered by the well-connected 23andMe are now a fashionable fetish among the world's elite. The blogger concludes:
The thought of what's gone on at Davos - mapping the genome of hundreds of the world's most powerful people all in one week - raises a number of questions: Will connected comparisons reveal a greed gene? Is there a causal link between teaching economics and baldness? Never mind the legal, moral, ethical, risk and privacy implications; mixing science with genomics with social networks will likely provide an information cocktail too potent to ignore.
Update: 23andMe apparently distributed one thousand free kits to the world's elite at the Davos gathering - a wise marketing tool, indeed.