People have started to rely more and more on dating apps these days. Apps like Bumble and Hinge have become a major rife and allows people to find their match depending on the appearance, hobbies, professions, and more. Based on the popularity of these dating apps, a Harvard geneticist has an idea about creating an app that matches users based on the genetic diseases they carry and the likelihood of not passing such diseases to their kids.
In an interview with CBS’s “60 Minutes”, George Church, a popular American geneticist, molecular engineer, and chemist, told CBS correspondent, Scott Pelley, “you wouldn’t find out who you’re not compatible with. You’ll just find out who you are compatible with”. On being asked if this app could eliminate all the diseases in case everyone has their genome sequenced and correct matches are made, Church replied by saying, “Right. It’s 7,000 diseases. It’s about 5% of the population. It’s about a trillion dollars a year, worldwide”. In a nutshell, the app would match up people based on the tendency of their genes and would further help get rid of hereditary related diseases.
Although the idea might sound innovative, it has raised concerns among some. Adjunct ethics professor and science journalist, Elizabeth Yuko, told the Daily Beast, that the whole idea around the dating app “sounds like eugenics”. Yuko compared the app with the Nazi goal of creating a ‘master race’. She said, ”I thought we realized after World War II that we weren’t going to be doing that.”
Church hasn’t revealed many details about the app yet. We’re not aware of the app’s name or how far along it has been under development and the features that it would entail. It’s not clear yet as to whether the app is simply a concept or if Church really intends to launch it.