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Living DataMaking Sense of Health Bio-Sensing$
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Maggie Mort, Celia Roberts, and Adrian Mackenzie

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9781447348665

Published to Policy Press Scholarship Online: January 2020

DOI: 10.1332/policypress/9781447348665.001.0001

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Platform Biosensing and Post-Genomic Relatedness

Platform Biosensing and Post-Genomic Relatedness

(p.93) 3 Platform Biosensing and Post-Genomic Relatedness
Living Data

Celia Roberts

Adrian Mackenzie

Maggie Mort

Theresa Atkinson

Mette Kragh-Furbo

Joann Wilkinson

Policy Press

How does direct-to-consumer genetic testing alter our perceptions of health, reproduction, families and futurity? DNA genotyping is a form of biosensing concerned with genetic risks, susceptibilities and relatedness. This chapter argues that genotyping services such as 23andMe prompt us to take seriously the platform realities of biosensing. DNA genotyping platforms attempt to aggregate data on an unprecedented scale, to anchor the significance of DNA variations for health and kinship, and to connect DNA variations to health practices and health futures. The biosensors commonly used in DNA genotyping are microarrays. Their architecture and the scale of data they produce are prototypes of scientific big data. The internet platforms and products associated with direct-to-consumer DNA genotyping embody a personalizing approach to health and medicine, even though the connections between underpinning scientific findings concerning genomic variation and clinical interventions or treatments are mostly tenuous. At the same time, because the significance of the million or so variations reported in a typical DNA genotype is mostly undefined, the data has led to many attempts to create new connections, to experiment with novel collective forms of analysis and treatment, and to build new relations between biology, medicine and everyday life.

Keywords:   DNA, Genome, Susceptibilities, Relatedness, Biosensing, Genetic tests

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