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back to article Yahoo! To! Sell! Home! Gene! Test! Kit! In! Japan!

Yahoo! Japan will soon sell genetic testing kits, so its users can figure out if they have a disposition to disease. The Japan Times reports officials at Yahoo! Japan, which was formed as a joint venture between SouthBank and Yahoo! USA, promises the company “... will play only a marketing role and will not handle any data from …

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Fuck. That. Shit.

And people worry that Google knows too much about it's users. What happens when yahoo! (inevitably) goes under and the creditors swoop in to sell everything they can get their hands on to the highest bidder? (I realise Yahoo! claims it's just a middle-man selling the kits on behalf of another company - but I can't see a struggling search company simply doing this out of the goodness of their hearts without getting a peek at the data themselves.)

I don't trust companies' "altruistic" claims very much when they're doing well, I trust them even less when they're desparate and trying to stay afloat.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Fuck. That. Shit.

> but I can't see a struggling search company

Yahoo! Japan isn't Yahoo! as you know it from the US or Europe.. it is a franchaise owned by Softbank (One of the big 3 mobile operators in Japan).

>I don't trust companies' "altruistic" claims very much when they're doing well,

Well.. I don't care if this is altruistic or not.. Japan's national health insurance will only pay for certain things. While they would pay the £10K for an operation my son needed they will not pay for any genetic screening etc to work out the origin of the problem or if there will be any on going concerns. If the Yahoo! Japan kits are cheaper than the hospitals basic testing we might just have a go to see if they pick up anything interesting.

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"a disposition to disease"

??? Which disease? Or is it just *any* disease?

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Re: "a disposition to disease"

"??? Which disease? Or is it just *any* disease?"

Well, specific diseases, of course.

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Anonymous Coward

Didn't Brin's wife...

Didn't Brin's wife get into some hot water with the FTC or FDA or some government agency, either federal or state, for running a business involving home-and-self-administered genetic screening? I don't recall the particulars nor the outcome.

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Black Helicopters

But Google already does know about your DNA (well, according to one conspiracy theory anyway...)

Sergey Brin's wife Anne Wojcicki runs the DNA testing company 23andMe, which does exactly the same thing...

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Gattaca

Gattaca isn't really SF any more is it? Interesting times...

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Send the sample to lab...

...and wait 60 days? Not exactly DIY, as I understand the acronym.

Yes, yes, I realize I can not expect DNA analyzer for home use any time soon, but I just expected something a little more groundbreaking.

And as for my genetic info including predisposition to diseases being on "personalised URL", well.... I will pass on this one, thank you.

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Anonymous Coward

And will the Japanese make up some new superstitions?

And will the Japanese make up some new superstitions around meaningless genetic variation, as they have around blood types?

(For those that don't know: for some reason the Japanese have decided that the types of sugar molecules on your red blood cell directly correlates to personality types. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blood_types_in_Japanese_culture)

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Anonymous Coward

It's Japan

Who knows what weirdness they'll come up with next week?

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Anonymous Coward

This! Yahoo! exclamation! mark! thing!

is! a! bit! tired! Much! like! the! rimjobs! joke! in! every! BlackBerry! headline!

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Re: This! Yahoo! exclamation! mark! thing!

Just Shatnerize the post in your mind.

It! Makes! It! Somewhat! Moreberable!

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Anonymous Coward

Re: This! Yahoo! exclamation! mark! thing!

I'm! not! a! Trekkie!, I! don't! actually! know! what! his! voice! sounds! like!

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Y29800 or about AU$370

an interesting sign of the times

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Insurance concerns

I'm not sure the danger of insurance companies being able to buy your DNA profile is relevant.

When you sign up for health insurance (or any type of insurance for that matter), you're asked to provide any information that might have a bearing on the risk. If you fall ill, and it becomes apparent that you knew about a risk but didn't tell your insurer - surely that's going to put your claim under some jeopardy?

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Re: Insurance concerns

Many (most?) health and life insurance companies already ask you've ever been screened for an STD, and bump up the premiums even if the test result was negative - presumably on the grounds that if your life style was such that you needed these tests then you are more likely to become infected at some time in the future.

The same "logic" could be applied to genetic testing for a wide variety of other conditions.

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