Friday, 21 September 2012

Release of 23andMe Personal Genome API

Wow! 23andme has released their API, and I think it's a great move for the company looking at how Apple's app store and Google Play have taken off to make their devices more appealing to the public by giving the public a chance to write apps rather than hire a juggernaut of software developers working to produce what they think would be popular. 

They have taken roughly Apple's model by asking to review applications first but the API is free (for now). Not sure if 3rd party developers can earn from this model or if 23andme will co-earn. 
Also, if the T&C would allow one to create a mega genetic survey by simply asking for anonymous contributions of phenotype and genotype (essentially copying data from 23andme's client base)
Imagine a 23andme 'volunteer' track alongside 1000 genomes track on UCSC browser

If you're interested in creating a great genome app, visit Developers who'd like to use the API must first apply for authorization from 23andMe, describing the proposed application and the information it will request from end users. While 23andMe will not endorse or promote specific applications, 23andMe will individually evaluate applications on a case-by-case basis. 23andMe customers can decide for themselves whether to grant access to an app that uses the API. View the current API terms here.

The Personal Genome API is a work in progress and is available for free during this early access period. The scope and terms of the API will evolve as we gather feedback and learn from developers, users and others.

We are excited to welcome third-party developers as our partners in building new features for personal genomes. There is no app too small — so if you'd like to create some "genetic code", we invite you to apply!

Read more in our press release, or get started at

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Datanami, Woe be me