Thursday, May 13, 2010

DNA of Divorce

There is often a convergence of discoveries that change the world. For thousands of years man wanted to fly and yet in the space of a few years, a few people built planes that flew. The same thing is true with the atomic bomb, the telegraph, the telephone, and many other inventions and discoveries. There usually is some underlying discovery which is the catalyst or there is a synergy when someone puts together to independent ideas. This is the concept of multiple discovery which states that most scientific discoveries and inventions are made independently and more or less simultaneously by multiple scientists and inventors. See also article in May 13, 2010 New Yorker entitled In the Air Who Says Big Ideas are Rare? by Malcolm Gladwell at
I thought about this when I read the article in the May 11, 2010 New York Times by Tara Parker-Pope entitled "The Science of a Happy Marriage" and watched on NBC Night News and read in the paper about obtaining your own personal genetic history. NBC indicated that Walgreens was planning to sell the Pathway Genomic home test kit under the brand Insight. (Walgreens put a hold on the next day until they could get clearance from the FDA). According to Pam Stephan, "The Pathway Genomics Insight kit, marketed to "Discover Your DNA." is simple to use - just swab the inside of your cheek, slip the sample in a vial, and mail it away. Pathway Genomics will check your genetic risk for more than 26 diseases and conditions, and send you a report online." Tar Parker-Pope says that "recent studies have raised questions about whether genetic factors may influence commitment and marital stability. See full article at
If you combine these two ideas, something startling happens. With a swab of a Q-tip, you soon will be able to determine if a potential spouse has the genetic factor which will influence marital stability. Do people want to know if they are at risk to get a disease? Will they want to know the risk of marital stability? Is this our Brave New World? Only time will tell.
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