Harvard Geneticist Suggests DNA Dating Can Tackle Hereditary Disease

Harvard biologist George Church made headlines this week by claiming he has a DNA dating service in the pipeline which could help to tackle hereditary diseases. 

Speaking to 60 Minutes, the professor interviewed on a range of topics, from how pig organ transplants could benefit humans to the current state of anti-aging research.

He said of his dating product: “You wouldn’t find out who you’re not compatible with. You’ll just find out who you are compatible with.”

Gizmodo, covering the news, called the idea “an app only a eugenicist could love”. This was echoed by coverage in The Daily Beast, where expert commentator Elizabeth Yuko said “I thought we realized after World War II that we weren’t going to be doing that.” 

Both websites criticised Church for his links to Jeffery Epstein, who funded his work from 2005 to 2007.

60 Minutes took a different angle, however, calling the scientist a “role model for the next generation”. The publication highlighted the fact he has co-founded over 30 businesses.

DNA-based dating apps were recently presented with a major obstacle in the form of new Apple regulations on biological data. 

Pheramor, a leader in the space, has closed down in the wake of the changes. Around 90% of the platform’s business came through iOS. 

Founder Brittany Baretto is now looking to launch her own VC fund to help female, minority and LGBTQ innovators.

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