I stumbled upon an ad for this the other day and with the tagline “discover the hidden secrets in your genes” it wasn’t hard to be intrigued.
It’s just about as ‘cool’ as it sounds. Basically, the guys at coolgenes are a bunch of geneticists who like to think that you don’t only need to take health tests when you’re sick and that not all tests that read “positive” are bad news. They want you to explore some of the more awesome aspects of your genome – including how well your genetics matches your potential date. And they want to make these tests affordable.
There are three different services they offer: Personalised Medicine, HIV Resistance and Perfect Match.
For Personalised Medicine, they test you for key genetic factors that affect your personal responsiveness to medical drugs – something proven in thousands of studies. You can check out their website for the current list of drugs they can provide recommendations on.
For the HIV Resistance, it’s about testing for a genetic mutation that was recently discovered, which provides some resistance to the more common type of HIV. They seem to have had a little bit of PR trouble with this one recently, so it’s important to note that even if you are tested for this resistance gene, it’s still important to use protection, because other types of HIVs and STDs are still dangerous.
For Perfect Match, they’re uniting online dating and science. Basically there’s a lot of research indicating that there are genetic reasons for love-at-first-sight – and that genetics can have a significant effect on your relationship. So they’re trying to team up with dating websites (not sure which ones) to “add this extra dimension to your dating experience”. No longer will you only have to decide if you want that guy’s eye-colour on your babies – you can also determine if his genetic resistances are up to scratch for your future offspring!
It’s a pretty cool concept and would actually make for a quirky present – “Happy Birthday, now here’s a list of genetically compatible mates for you.” I think I’d like it.