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02
oct
2019
Nicolas DIACONO
Technological Trends Senior Analyst
2 minutes
In France, Friday, September 13, 2019 marked a turning point in relation to DNA. Indeed, at the National Assembly, there was a heated debate on recreational DNA tests (carried out without medical or judicial reasons) following amendment 1542 proposed by MP Bruno Fuchs.

The Minister of Health, Agnes Buzyn, has made her position against this type of DNA testing and the amendment was subsequently withdrawn. However, this will not prevent hundreds of thousands of French people from carrying out DNA tests in the United States, Great Britain or even Switzerland.

Test his DNA for anything and everything?

Worldwide, DNA testing is increasing with a global market estimated at 24 billion dollars by 2024 (source MarketWatch). In September 2018, Spotify partnered with Ancestry.com, a startup that allows you to find your origins, especially thanks to DNA tests, to create unique music playlists for its listeners based on the origin of their DNA.

A company like Orig3n (based in Boston and discovered by the Echangeur at the SXSW show) has developed a wide range of genetic tests to find out the nature of its muscle fibres, the quality of its skin, or whether skiing is a sport adapted to its genes…


GenoPalate and OME Health, on the other hand, collect valuable information from our DNA through saliva samples and analysis of physiological components, such as a person’s ability to absorb certain vitamins or the rate at which they can metabolize nutrients.

With the holding of this data, these companies combine informations with nutritional analyses performed on a wide range of foods. They are thus able to offer a personalized diet.

The GAFAs are also on this playground, whether it is Google with 23&Me on the medical level or Amazon with its Cloud computing offer dedicated to genomics or with its acquisition of the startup Grail (competitor of 23&Me).

Towards a DNAization of our lives.... Or a marketing influenced by DNA ?

The multitude of DNA tests, whether to diagnose a genetic predisposition to a disease or to know which sport to practice, will significantly influence the lifestyles of people who have undergone these tests. Even diets can change: for example, because of its DNA, it may be advisable to eat more oilseeds for dermatological reasons. 

It may sound crazy, but according to some experts such as Amy Webb, a quantitative futurist and author of “The big nine”, Amazon and Walmart are working on projects related to agricultural seeds genetically optimized for urban and vertical farms. These farms are intended to be able to meet the planet’s food demand when humanity reaches well over 10 billion inhabitants.

Amazon could then control the chain of influence of genomics on consumption. This influence could range from the sale of recreational DNA tests to the creation of tomorrow’s genetically modified food, as well as the curing of pathologies through gene therapy… What if Amazon’s future success was not simply its mastery of data around DNA?

Are we going to move towards DNA marketing to regulate and optimize the lives of consumers?  Will DNA become the key to identity or the universal password for everyone and replace current biometrics?

Nicolas DIACONO
Technological Trends Senior Analyst
As an expert in emerging technologies, Nicolas travels to innovation shows around the world to spot and analyse the new trends.
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