A Woman's Perspective On The Times We Live In


November 10, 2014

Google, The Cloud, and Your DNA Code

     That's right, for anyone who still thinks that Google is just a web search engine that lets you find other sites on the web based on keyword searches, now comes its latest product ... Google Genomics. According to an article on MIT Technology Review, and Google's own description, this new technology lets them move DNA data into Google's server farms and do experiments there using the same database technology that indexes the Web and tracks billions of Internet users.
     You see, Science and Medicine are converging with Technology, as decoding DNA becomes an explosive new frontier ... and business.  In fact, the article stated that "The National Cancer Institute said last month that it would pay $19 million to move copies of the 2.6 petabyte Cancer Genome Atlas into the Cloud. Copies of the data, from several thousand cancer patients, will reside both at Google Genomics and in Amazon’s data centers."  Apparently, there is a need for “cancer genome clouds” where scientists can share information and quickly run virtual experiments as easily as a Web search.
     Sure, they want you to think this is all for the good of mankind; to eradicate cancer and improve and prolong this experience called "life".  They would have you believe that if you were to get any form of cancer in the future, doctors will be able to compare your unique genome (the complete set of genes or genetic material present in a cell or organism; in this case the cancer cell), against a database of 50 million other genomes.  The proposed outcome would be a drug that would work best on your particular type of cancer.  Sounds like a miracle of modern medicine, right?  And just think how beneficial and valuable that cloud full of genetic information is going to be... especially if your goal is to extend man's lifespan; perhaps, even eternally.
     In that vein, Google is going to try to convince you that there is no connection between the Google Genomics enterprise and another of their abstract companies, called Calico, which is designed to investigate how to do just that ... extend human lifespans.  Oh, and don't forget that Google has hired Ray Kurzweil, transhumanist extraordinaire, as their Director of Engineering.  Think all this is a coincidence?
    You just have to follow the bread crumbs; or, in this case, the genomes, to consider where all this is headed.  After all, in a December 2013 CNN article, Kurzweil projected that "By the early 2020s, we will have the means to program our biology away from disease and aging ... We now have the information code of the genome and are making exponential gains in modeling and simulating the information processes they give rise to."
     He went on to explain that new forms of gene therapy would soon allow the human race to reprogram its biology and modify diseases and the ravages of aging.  But he also hinted at the future existence of Google Genomics and other Google genetic database systems, such as BigQuery, when he said, "Health and medicine is now an information technology and is therefore subject to what I call the 'law of accelerating returns,' which is a doubling of capability (for the same cost) about each year that applies to any information technology."
     In other words, once human DNA was decoded (the genome code), technology began working to develop a platform that would accelerate the gathering of raw data of millions of DNA codes, and a method of storing them (in the Cloud), so that scientists could have a virtual unlimited number of specimens with which to experiment.  Which would be all fine and dandy if, Somalee Datta, a physicist from Stanford University (who manages their largest computer cluster of genetic data) didn't state, "“Sometimes they (scientists) want to do crazy things, and you need scale to do that.  [Google] can handle the scale genetics can bring, so it’s the right technology for a new problem.”  My first question would be, "What kind of crazy things, are they wanting to do?"   And let's not forget that it's Big Business!
     So, I cannot help but be skeptical anytime capital gain is attached to "innovative" (or crazy?) health technologies; especially when the combination of such involves experimentation with DNA code.  And if the ultimate goal of these enterprises is to create eternal life without God in the picture, then their emergence is ominous and alarming.  We need to be very vigilant on where this is all headed.  It doesn't take much imagination to see that the advancement of technology could quickly become the enemy of man's soul.

Psalm 139:13-14   "For You formed my inward parts; You knitted me together in my mother's womb. I praise You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are Your works; my soul knows it very well."
   

2 comments:

  1. I have it firsthand that the military is taking dna samples of every soldier, cataloging the dna and then destroying the samples. For what purpose, I don't know!

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  2. Actually, come to think of it, if someone tells you about it, then it's secondhand, not firsthand. It was a source I trust but I guess it was secondhand.

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