Personal Genomes

Visualizing Your DNA Genotype Profile in a Blanket


I have encountered a rather ingenious idea in Ben Landau’s blog. You may have read that Mike Cariaso, founder of SNPedia, created a visualization graph with the genotype of my family where my family member genotypes were compared against each other. Visualization patterns were created that compared each chromosome against every other. To show how this actually looks, I have taken from Mike’s tool an image that shows the comparison of 23andMe genotypes from my mom and dad (x and y axis respectively), each pixel being a SNP and different colors representing match (light blue), half match (dark blue) and conflict (red).

Chromosome 1. Comparison of Corpas mum and dad 23andMe genotypes using SNPedia's visualization tool.

It seems that Ben has taken this idea further and designed a blanket that incorporates chromosomal patterns for a complete 23andMe genotype. I quote here the description for this blanket from the Ben’s blog:

First Gift is a precious blanket which compares the digital DNA data of a child with their parents. If the child’s genes are edited, these changes will mask the parent’s DNA with synthesized DNA. The blanket itself represents a sacred and fragile heirloom, where tampering with it could potentially lead to frayed edges and uncertain outcomes. This first genetic gift will be with the child for life, and will also be inherited by future generations.

Although technically speaking this visualization shows comparisons between any two individuals, and not between the two parents and child as it is mentioned in the blog, I am still amazed at the craftiness and ingenuity of this idea. And since it uses data from the Corpas family dataset, I hereby report it in Manuel Corpas’ Blog. Here is another unpredicted and surprising effect from publishing our family genomes on the Internet.

To finish this blog entry, I borrow from Ben a complete profile view of my sister’s genotype patterned in his ‘First Gift’ blanket. According to him, the weaving of the blanket was done at the Tilburg Textile Museum in Amsterdam.

Blanket showing genotype pattern comparisons in my sister's 23andMe genotype. Each shape in theory corresponds to a chromosome comparison, although I still need to understand which chromosome represents each of the 25 shapes above (Humans have 22 autosomes + 1 sexual pair + mitochondrial).

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