Do you really want to know how you might die?

Get your genes looked at, and peer without blinking into the abyss, or live without that knowledge and have your doctor guess when something goes wrong.

Sergey BrinSergey Brin's wife Anne runs 23andme, which offers genetic tests and analysis the determine your pre-disposition to known disease.

When he was tested recently, he found he was likely to contract Parkinson's, a terrible disease my friend Martin Bayne has been suffering from since 1995.

This was no surprise to Google co-founder Brin. As he explained on his personal blog his mom has Parkinson's.

Many of us have stories like this to tell. I know where my son's ADHD and my own tendency toward heart disease come from. You probably know close relatives who have suffered from something and seen yourself getting it someday as well.

But, as I wrote last year about Huntington's Disease, do you really want to know?

In Brin's case this will motivate him toward supporting Parkinson's research. On the other hand Arlo Guthrie has been a big supporter of Huntington's, since it took his father Woody, but did not want to know if he was susceptible. (He wasn't.)

The point of 23andme is to turn this into a mass market. The folks at Emory University here in Atlanta call it predictive health.

Knowing your genetic mysteries, translating that to the dance of proteins, then acting to protect yourself and determine the course of treatment, is at the heart of today's medical research.

So we all face Sergey's choice. Get your genes looked at, and peer without blinking into the abyss, or live without that knowledge and have your doctor guess when something goes wrong.

Do you really want to know?

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