Google Wife Still Determined to Get Your DNA

cityfile · 03/31/09 10:18AM

Remember last year's Fashion Week party for Anne Wojcicki (Mrs. Sergey Brin) and Linda Avey's gene-testing site, where the likes of Ivanka Trump touted their newly-discovered genetic blessedness while other attendees spit into test tubes to enjoy the scientific equivalent of a palm reading? While spending money to find out that your shortness is hereditary, or that you'll go bald at 35 then succumb to heart disease at 50, isn't likely to be high on people's priority list during a recession, the company, which is backed by Wendi Deng and Harvey Weinstein, is still going. It is, however, employing some ingenious/desperate new marketing tactics.

Lazy Michael J. Fox discovered disease too late

Owen Thomas · 12/05/08 03:20PM

If only Michael J. Fox, the actor and professional Parkinson's disease victim, had been an Internet genius like Google cofounder Sergey Brin, think of the good he might have done.

23andMe geneticists want to knock off Fashion Week cheekbones

Jackson West · 09/12/08 05:00AM

Google-backed startup 23andMe is working on fixing the Bay Area beauty gap by convincing the pretty people at New York's Fashion Week to submit genetic samples for the new, low cost of $399. As non-California residents, Manhattanites represent a genetic talent pool untouched by regulatory agencies in the startup's home state. 23andMe cofounders Anne Wojcicki and Linda Avey, pictured here, see fashionistas as runway dilettantes, and therefore brick-dumb.But by figuring out the single-nucleotide polymorphisms which lead to chiseled features and a high-powered metabolism, Wojcicki might figure out how to make sure her next child with Google cofounder Sergey Brin is healthy, smart and ravishingly beautiful according to media norms. My suggestion? New York's models should be making 23andMe pay them for saliva samples. It's not like Wojcicki, whose startup is already backed by her husband's employer, can't dial for more dollars from Google's new venture investment arm whenever she feels like it.

Genetic testing reveals Michael Arrington's chintzy nature

Owen Thomas · 01/30/08 05:00PM

23andMe, the genetics startup cofounded by Anne Wojcicki and Linda Avey, has outed TechCrunch editor Michael Arrington as a cheapskate. When Arrington discovered that 23andMe was handing out its $999 testing "Spit Kits" for free at the World Economic Forum in Davos, he hit up Wojcicki and Avey for a refund on the kit he'd already bought. They refused. Arrington nevertheless wrangled a free kit from the pair, which he's now giving away to TechCrunch readers.