Back in 2013, a little-known genetics company in Iceland made international headlines when it developed the Islendiga-App (App of Icelanders”), an app that would alert users if they were related to one another.
The idea was to prevent accidental incest on the tiny Icelandic dating scene.
Just don’t ask Dr. Kári Stefánsson, CEO of deCODE Genetics, about it.
“It’s a little bit of a joke. Nobody uses it, but the international press likes to write about it. That’s all.”
And perhaps that’s fair. Stefánsson says the genetic information deCODE has collected on the people of Iceland has contributed to our understanding of schizophrenia, cancer and autism, just to name a few.
And now the company has turned its attention to COVID-19.
Using its unique repository of information about the genetic makeup of the Icelandic population, deCODE is planning to screen 15,000 asymptomatic people to learn about the virus.