23andMe Expands its Data Mining Operations
Personal genetics company 23andMe bought a patient social networking site called CureTogether earlier this week, a move that will expand the Silicon Valley-based company's ability to mine data from its patients for its own research.
CureTogether is an online forum with some 25,000 members who share information about their illness, and personal anecdotes about the effects of treatments and lifestyle choices on their symptoms.
23andMe sells DNA tests directly to consumers who send a spit sample to the company for genomic screening of up to 1 million genetic variants, which are a mix of both recreational (e.g. the genetic basis for tongue rolling) and serious medical traits (e.g. genetic factors associated with Parkinson's Disease) as well as variants that indicate a customer's ancestry.
The amount of the purchase was not reported and is 23andMe's first acquisition, according to the San Francisco Business Times.