Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Extreme social networking

No longer will you have to rely on Shirley McLaine to find out that you have an Egyptian princess or a Russian nobleman in your past. You can find out for sure and maybe they’ll come pay you a visit. 6 degrees of separation? No longer is it just a party game ending in Kevin Bacon, it’s going to be on the web, searchable, representing the web of humanity via the latest web 2.0 technology. You’ll have cousins showing up by RSS in your genome/blog reader.

The process begins, disgustingly enough, with spit. You purchase a $999 “spit kit” and you supply the requisite DNA. The company, 23andMe, tests your saliva and posts the results on their site, where you can use “…our interactive tools to shed new light on your distant ancestors, your close family and most of all, yourself.

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