After psychological tests from a hundred years ago, health check ups formalized in the middle of last century, skills appraisals set up in 1986 used as a career management tools, and the 2003 agreement for the DIF, now comes genetic testing has been established in the U.S.
By going on the company web-site of 23 and me, for 299E you can analyze your genes by spitting into a tube and sending it to California. This company was created by two women who had worked in the Health Business: Linda Avery and Anne Wojcicki (who just happens to be the wife of Sergey Brin, cofounder of Google).
You will then be provided information about the ethnicity of your ancestors and where they came from, creating a complete family tree. This information can give a meaning to your life and explain your tastes, talents and behavior that will add on to any psychological testing and skill appraisals you’ve done.
You can also learn about your genetic risk for certain diseases and find out the appropriate medicine to prevent or fight these diseases that add to your regular health check up.
Lastly if you would like to go further into the genome adventure, you can connect to DIY Genomics, created by Melanie Swan a couple of months ago, to compare your DNA sequencing with other members of the community.
You can also share with the social network the results of your origins, to find distant cousins. You can discuss with people who have similar gene sequences about the risks of diseases and how to treat or prevent them, and also compare lifestyles to find out their impact on your health.
You will appear on the Internet by your genetic code, an IT code like any other. The 3 billion pairs which make up the human genome only take up 3 gigabytes, which is still less than a film downloaded off the internet. The site, according to the founder Melanie Swan, will be like a Facebook of genomes. She is preparing, with 80 volunteers recruited on the Internet, the launch of a research project about genetic mutations. These mutations, when combined, increase the risk of cardio-vascular disease (because they speed up the aging of cells), and are probably also the cause of Alzheimer’s disease.
It is much more than a social network, a place for exchange and sharing. The site supplies a mass of information about the genome and provides the opportunity for each and every one of its members to share and search. Its a new concept, that of the citizen researcher. Each member of the social network can become a researcher and become a part of the medical and academic world.
This is a good example of organizational learning where the constructed and shared knowledge becomes operational for the good of its own future.