One of the most exciting aspects of 23andMe is that we're enabling you to watch a revolution unfold live during your lifetime, and I think that the decoding of the genome, in my opinion, is the most fascinating discovery of our lifetime, and you get to be part of it.
Nobody can quantify for you what's the impact of eating fiber every day, for instance. We can say we think it's good. But some people might say 'Oh, it reduces your risk of colon cancer by 20%, some people might say it reduces your risk by 25%.'
I think that the idea of people wanting to steal your genome remains a little bit in the world of science fiction. It's a new technology, and it's new science that people are becoming familiar with. It's critical for us to do everything we can to enable the privacy level that people want.
Traditionally, when you talk to people who have Parkinson's or Alzheimer's, they'll talk about how they're in five or six studies, and they've been sequenced by each study. That's just fat in the system. Just have a single data set that then you can share. You can make the entire system more efficient.
One of the big drivers for me is that health care is a very elitist system. As much as we try to make it free and democratic for all, the reality is that it's expensive and not all therapies are accessible to all people. So I have been very focused on making sure that we democratize genetic information so it's available to everyone.
It's one of the things I want people to understand about science... You don't have to be the best person in the world at it. But you can be good, and there are so many different opportunities in science.
I tried to minimize exposure to technology before two. After that, I've taught the kids to use devices in moderation. It's important for them to learn how to control their behaviour themselves. Simply restricting access makes them want it more.
My sister learned she was a carrier for a recessive disease, Bloom syndrome, late in one of her pregnancies. I remember the panicked call and the weeks of worry as she and her husband awaited his test results; if he was also a carrier, this meant their daughter had a one in four chance of being born with the disorder.
I hope that Los Altos is one of the first cities to have self-driving cars, and if that's true, well, awesome, because there's a lot of parking lots that we could get rid of and use for parks. That would be amazing!
It's interesting: I think, genetically, there are people who need different things, like exercise. I need the exercise, others not so much, and I think more and more, we'll start to understand why people's bodies function in certain ways.
I think we're just scratching the surface. One of the most exciting aspects of 23andMe is that we're enabling you to watch a revolution unfold live during your lifetime, and I think that the decoding of the genome, in my opinion, is the most fascinating discovery of our lifetime, and you get to be part of it.
People are used to dealing with risk. You are told if you smoke, you are at higher risk of lung cancer. And I think people are able to also understand, when they are told they are a carrier for a genetic disease, that is not a risk to them personally but something that they could pass on to children.
If you don't read it, you don't know. I mean, that's why I have a PR team. They read it and tell me if there's something, and that keeps you focused. I know my family and me well enough; why do I need to read about myself? I'm not going to change, I'm very stubborn in this way. I am what I am.