Apple May Help Scientists Study DNA

AppleApple may be planning on helping scientist study customers DNA. A MITT Technology Report review outlined plans for the company to conduct two studies, one with Mount Sinai Hospital in New York and another with the University of California (San Francisco) that would permit collaborators to test and/or collect DNA using a phone app.

Some findings could be available to consumers directly on their phone, but most would be maintained by scientists in a computing cloud, according to sources. In the future, consumers may be able to share genes like they share their location.

In March, Apple announced ResearchKit, it uses a protected portal to collect information from people using an iPhone. Patients can choose to take part in certain clinical surveys and studies. The information can then be used by researchers in the medical field who would be able analyze and evaluate it, in hopes of improving the health of patients and their care.

With the possibility of Apple helping scientists to research and study DNA, studies will be able to focus on how genetics effect certain conditions. The UCSF study will examine factors that contribute to premature births by combining genetic tests of pregnant woman with other medical information that is collected through their iPhones. A kit would have to be returned to a secure lab that contains a spit test for patients to participate.

Apple’s plan to help scientists study customers DNA has not yet been confirmed by the company. The company has not commented on the report.

By Jessica Hamel

Mashable

WSJ

Photo by Yanki01-Creativecommons Flickr License

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