Apple working on ResearchKit-based DNA testing, sources claim

Posted:
in iPhone edited May 2015
Apple is collaborating with researchers on new ResearchKit-based iPhone apps that will allow people to undergo DNA testing, in some cases for the first time, for scientific analysis and research, according to a Tuesday report.




In two initial studies, participants will be asked to submit DNA samples to the academic organizations in charge of the research, sources told the MIT Technology Review. That data will then be maintained in a cloud database by scientists, but some findings might be displayed on participants' iPhones. One of the sources claimed that Apple is eventually hoping to let people share DNA data with other parties, including organizers of separate research efforts.

Apple reportedly wants the apps finished in time for its Worldwide Developers Conference, which starts on June 8, but another source indicated that the app-based DNA studies could be canceled at any time.

One of the studies is under the aegis of the University of California San Francisco and examines the causes of premature birth by evaluating genetic factors against others recorded on iPhones owned by pregnant women. The other study is being helmed by New York's Mount Sinai Hospital. Apple and an institutional review board will reportedly decide whether or not to grant approval.

People joining one of the projects are expected to send a DNA sample, such as saliva, to an Apple-authorized lab. The first labs are said to be ones run by Mount Sinai and UCSF. Instead of sequencing entire genomes, the labs will concentrate on disease-connected genes, which should keep the cost of each test to a few hundred dollars or less.

First announced in March, the ResearchKit platform has enjoyed early success, picking up tens of thousands of recruits for iPhone-based studies. Last month Apple made developer tools publicly available, which should encourage adoption beyond Apple's initial partners.

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 11
    mac_128mac_128 Posts: 3,448member

    Cool.

  • Reply 2 of 11
    hentaiboyhentaiboy Posts: 973member
    Quote:

    Apple is eventually hoping to let people share DNA data with other parties...

     Erm no thanks

  • Reply 3 of 11
    9secondko9secondko Posts: 929member
    Yay!

    Now I can find out who my father is...
  • Reply 4 of 11
    gnnonignnoni Posts: 24member



    Only if your father uses iOS.

  • Reply 5 of 11
    macky the mackymacky the macky Posts: 4,775member
    9secondko wrote: »
    Yay!

    Now I can find out who my father is...

    HINT: He used to tend your family's pool...
  • Reply 6 of 11
    HINT: He used to tend your family's pool...

    I overheard two genetics researchers talking recently regarding the ethics of general DNA testing. The results so far, they agreed, was that 10% of those whose DNA was sampled were not related to their fathers, to the participants' surprise.

    DNA testing just for fun can result in quite unexpected consequences and ramifications for all involved.
  • Reply 7 of 11
    desmin1desmin1 Posts: 4member
    Recently I read an article that Facebook was participating in something similar. Another article said the government was watching very closely. I prefer to error on the side of caution and keep my DNA private. However, It won't be long before its mandatory or we won't be able to purchase anything. 666 sound familiar?
  • Reply 8 of 11
    rob53rob53 Posts: 2,046member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by desmin1 View Post



    Recently I read an article that Facebook was participating in something similar. Another article said the government was watching very closely. I prefer to error on the side of caution and keep my DNA private. However, It won't be long before its mandatory or we won't be able to purchase anything. 666 sound familiar?

    Not just Facebook. Ancestry.com (and others) already have a DNA component to their databases. They say it makes it easier to locate relatives but we all know what happens when certain groups collect this type of information, it ends up in the hands of government officials who end up using it to locate people of interest to them, regardless of how it's obtained. Maybe I've watched too many movies but DNA seems to be the one thing about a person that is unique (except for identical twins), making it very easy to convict someone of anything based on a drop of blood or other DNA-retrievable bodily fluid. Planting DNA evidence is very easy and a lock in court. I'd rather certain things about me be kept private and I'm a law abiding citizen.

  • Reply 9 of 11
    miss prissmiss priss Posts: 19member
    I can't wait for the GATTACA app so I can find my perfect mate
  • Reply 10 of 11
    SpamSandwichSpamSandwich Posts: 31,183member
    "No, sir... Do not spit on your iPhone to participate in the study."
  • Reply 11 of 11
    dougddougd Posts: 255member
    Fock that
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