Senior biotech executives are making their genomes public in what could be a "pragmatic" move to help their businesses grow, says Daniel MacArthur on Wired's Genetic Future blog. Public sharing of genomic information is nothing new — Craig Venter and Jim Watson have done it, and so have the first ten members of the Personal Genome Project, as well as the project's other thousand volunteers, and various researchers in the field. But these executives may have other motivations, MacArthur adds. "The future earnings of these companies depend on convincing the medical establishment (and the public) that genome sequencing will provide health benefits that outweigh the potential privacy risks," he says. "Publishing their own genomes — sequenced, of course, using their own company’s technology — provides an opportunity both to tout the benefits of their own products, and to publicly demonstrate that they are not afraid of the possible dangers lurking in their genetic information." It's too soon to say whether this will be a successful business strategy, but it's reassuring to investors to see CEOs so confident in their products, MacArthur adds.
Feb 23, 2011