September 19, 2008

Google co-founder Sergey Brin blogs on Google-owned Blogger in the Minima template.

It's a new blog, called Too, and he's using the black version of the Minima template, which I use in white. (I use black Minima on my extremely minimal Me Blog.) Brin has made it super-basic with no side bar.

He's only got 3 posts. One to introduce the blog, a second to drive traffic to charities, and a third, longer post about his discovery that he has a genetic predisposition to Parkinson's Disease. This post also serves to publicize his wife's business, 23andMe, which does DNA testing. There is some reflection on the use of knowing that you are more likely than the average person to get a particular disease:
I know early in my life something I am substantially predisposed to. I now have the opportunity to adjust my life to reduce those odds (e.g. there is evidence that exercise may be protective against Parkinson's). I also have the opportunity to perform and support research into this disease long before it may affect me.
(Brin has $15.9 billion.)
And, regardless of my own health it can help my family members as well as others.

I feel fortunate to be in this position. Until the fountain of youth is discovered, all of us will have some conditions in our old age only we don't know what they will be. I have a better guess than almost anyone else for what ills may be mine -- and I have decades to prepare for it.
I don't know if Brin means to keep blogging here or if the blog was created simply to make the announcement about his genetic condition. I found the blog via the NYT, which said that Brin made the announcement through the blog.

Would you get genetic testing to find out about your predisposition to a diseases that you could do nothing about?

ADDED: Brin isn't a very clear thinker. This statement is obviously false:
Until the fountain of youth is discovered, all of us will have some conditions in our old age only we don't know what they will be.
Not everyone lives to old age. Moreover, some people remain healthy into old age and then die suddenly of a heart attack, stroke, or ax murder. He has fallen far short of making the argument that we should all want the product his wife's business sells.

17 comments:

Pogo said...

I know already that I am going to die. I prefer to be surprised.

Whether by violence or progressive decline, I hope more that I was useful to the world, and leave things a little better for my having been here.

Like so many before me I will be soon forgotten, and whether I extended my life a day or a week or a year will not matter as much as what I did with the time alotted.

Ann Althouse said...

I hope blogging is useful!

Bissage said...

I need no genetic testing to tell me I will die of a stroke or a heart attack if I’m lucky enough to live that long.

But I live to cheat fate.

That’s why it is my deepest belief that the liver is evil and must be punished.

John Lynch said...

His logic has another shortcoming. Those of us that live to old age do not know what ills will befall us. He doesn't either. He has a prediction for one. The ills are like a series of coin tosses. Whatever chance we have of getting one ill, does not affect the chances we have of getting other ills as well. Each ill carries with it its own chance of afflicting us; whether or not we are previously afflicted by something else.

Cheery thought for the day.

Stinger Assassin said...

Sign up for the Personal Genome Project at Harvard.

100,000 people are going to have their genomes sequences analyzed. You will get access to your genome. Everyone will be able to access all genomes in order to speed research.

One goal is to be able to offer individual analysis at a cost of $1,000 per person.

"A genetic predisposition for colon cancer, for instance, might be found to lead to disease only in connection with a diet high in barbecued foods, or a certain form of heart disease might be associated with a particular gene and exposure to a particular virus. Genomic discovery won't be a research problem anymore. It'll be a search function. (This helps explain why Google, among others, has donated to the project)."

What would be the process a doctor would go through?

"By reprogramming the skin cells using synthetically engineered adenoviruses, [the doctor would] transform the skin cells into many sorts of tissue — lungs, liver, heart. These tissues could be used as a diagnostic baseline to detect predisposition for various diseases. What's more, the reprogrammed cells could be used to treat disease, replacing damaged or failing tissue. It's an intriguing hint of how [this] work with synthetic biology complements genomic sequencing."

ricpic said...

"...the liver is evil and must be punished."

I'll drink to that!

goesh said...

- the ol' temple of clay does crumble and we all get pestered with blight - Pogo's take seems the most optimal, not to fret for years and years and delay the grim reaper by a pittance of preventative time, all the while in a state of infirmity, tottering and molding and sneering at death's inevitable visitation as if some great victory has been attained...

ricpic said...

The time allotted
Is not a lot
To make this plot
A garden spot.

So here do the deeds
That fit earth's needs
By weeding weeds
And planting seeds.

William said...

I have read that there's some evidence that cigarette smoking is a prophylactic for Parkinson's. Does the risk of lung cancer and other diseases outweigh the risk of Parkinson's disease? It seems to me that he is substituting one type of uncertainty for another....That's the big selling point of religion. Faith offers certainty; science offers probablilities. And those people who totally put their faith in science are as foolish as snake handlers.

ricpic said...

The time allotted
Is not a lot
To make this plot
A garden spot.

So do the needed
And meet earth's need --
Weed out the weed
And plant the seed.

Tanya said...

Eh, he just turned 35. He's in a funk.

Chris Wren said...

Brin's a computer geek who struck gold. Period. That doesn't necessarily translate into Deep Incisive Thinker.

Trumpit said...

"I know already that I am going to die. I prefer to be surprised."

Well, I'll be pleasantly surprised to read that obit, too.
Face it, you made the world way worse for wear. Why are you here (on planet Earth)? Cruelty is my specialty; you have no exclusive copyright.

The voters in California were "tricked" into supporting a ballot proposition to state government fund (that's your money, folks) embryonic stem cell research. Billions of taxpayer dollars to support a new bureaucracy is enought to me abort my embryo prematurely at the prospect; maybe, that's what they're counting on.

Why, I ask, are the rich not paying for this, Sergey? Why are you sticking it to the poor when you can do much (billions) more? I think we'd all be better off eating the rich, like you, Sergey. A meal is a meal. And I'm getting hungry just thinking about it.

Pogo said...

Trumpit, I've had wedgies more interesting than you, and I don't mean the shoes.

blake said...

Well, if I had $15B, I could try to do something about them.

Actually, there are so many assumptions about mortality and fate here, that it's hard to even scratch the su--

Say, is there a hidden theme to today's posts?

Freeman Hunt said...

How many people are going to have genetic predispositions for things they'll never actually get?

adelen said...
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