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myDNAchoice – Are Your Surfing Habits the Result of Your Genome?

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VortexDNA today announced the launch of myDNAchoice, a website and Firefox extension aimed at mapping the DNA of “human intention” to help users map their interactions with the internet. Nick Gerritsen, a director of VortexDNA, believes that “this includes better search results, meeting people like you, letting people find you on your favourite sites, and much more–without ever compromising your privacy.”

Although it is a bit confusing, myDNAchoice is a browser tool to help users organize the web based on their interactions with the internet, both previous (reflected in the short survey taken at installation) and future (new surveys taken through time). This browser tool, the company asserts, may result in as much as a 14% increase in search relevancy as compared to Google Search.A user begins by installing the mywebDNA Firefox extension in Firefox:

The genome, “coded as a seven digit number it reveals the true determinants of our lives – the beliefs, with the same helix/vortex structure as our physical DNA, that are the building blocks from which we create order and meaning.”

The user then maps their “intention genome” through a short survey. This “web genome” becomes part of the Web Genome Project. The website states:

“We can work together collaboratively to map the characteristics of the genome of human intention, including mapping the Web to make it more relevant to everyone. Unlike the Human Genome Project, the Web Genome Project is a mass collaboration across the Web by ordinary people who have chosen to make a difference in their lives and get a better Web experience.”

Once installed, the Firefox plug-in circles the two Google search results that are the most relevant to your personal “web genome.” The user has the option of completing more surveys over time, thus refining the results and relevancy.

So what would collaboration in this project give to the user? According to the press release:

“In an independently verified test with Google Search results, the technology was able to demonstrate a 14% improvement in relevance between links with low relevant and links with high relevant based upon a user’s DNA.”

There is a short video about the company, available through YouTube:

What about privacy? The company assures users that the user’s privacy is guaranteed, since the results are based on a seven digit number, not search history.

The link between web-browsing habits and DNA or even epigenetics is probably tenuous at best, suggesting that the use of the term “DNA” is more of a marketing tool and not any actual correlation. This browser tool does NOT reveal any information about your DNA, your ancestry, or your propensity for disease! There would only be a correlation, perhaps, if a person’s browsing habits are the result of their genome, and this is currently unknown. This type of analysis won’t be available for a few years (until cheap genome sequencing becomes available to researchers),

If anyone has tried myDNAchoice, or is planning to try it, please leave a comment below. VortexDNA was previously covered by Eye on DNA.

Blaine Bettinger

Intellectual property attorney, genealogist, and author of The Genetic Genealogist since 2007