Miinome, Minneapolis-based startup, envisions a marketplace in which companies could advertise to people based upon their DNA sequences. The pitch, as MIT's Technology Review puts it, could be: "Do you carry the genetic variants associated with lactose intolerance? Here, Lactaid has a coupon for you."
Founders Paul Saarinen and Scott Fahrenkrug discussed this DNA-based marketing at South by Southwest last year. "The marketplace is getting close to making this a reality,” Fahrenkrug said at the time, according to Social Media Today. "You’re leaving DNA everywhere, since you shed one million cells every day."
They are, Tech Review says, envisioning this company as an opt-in service.
However, interpreting DNA sequences remains a challenge — going from a certain sequence to a propensity for buying garden gnomes (or enjoying spicy food, as Tech Review says) isn't quite within range yet.
But James Ostheimer, another Miinome cofounder, says it's coming. He envisions people linking up their genetic information to their Twitter or Facebook accounts, which could then be mined to find such associations.
"Scientifically, that sounds like a stretch. But commercially it might not be," Tech Review adds.