Over Thanksgiving I overheard some parents talking about their children and dating. Apparently some young adults are now using 23andMe to determine compatibility before a date becomes a serious relationship. The parents mentioned an attempt to sneak some hair and getting it tested, to make sure the date was sane.
Nothing really surprises me anymore.
Parents tracking emails, texts, and GPS was odd 10 years ago. Now it’s routine.
Next up, gene testing the date. Maybe next we’ll integrate 23andMe with Tinder. A whole new kind of “helicopter” parent.
I had to break the news that a lock of hair wouldn’t do the job. Instead, the parents really need to steal a piece of poop. Sequencing the poop will reveal more about mental health than some 23andMe test, because neurological conditions and mental health are likely more closely linked to diet and our microbiome.
Of course, this is new research but it is promising.
In 2005, Drs. Barry Marshall and Robin Warren won the Nobel Prize for their 1982 discovery that H. Pylori causes stomach ulcers. By 1995, the year I had an ulcer in graduate school, the standard of care was changed from little more than a bland diet to actual antibiotics.
I am happy for their discovery.
The presence of bacteria in the stomach was first observed in 1875. There were episodic discoveries in intervening years, but none really succeed in culturing the bacteria.
Until Marshall and Warren came along.
In addition to curing ulcers, they also discovered that bacterium could survive and thrive in stomach acid, which had long been assumed impossible in such an unforgiving environment. This too opened up new lines of thinking on the relationship between our biome and our health.
Many things seem impossible, until in a moment they are not. And that is the surprise of venture capital. The wonder that comes from something new, something revolutionary.
But, really, it is what we do every day.