The Apple company is to launch a new program. Users of the Apple gadgets will have the possibility to test their DNA. The United States researchers contribute to the program.
The iPhones are based on ResearchKit, a software platform Apple introduced in March that helps hospitals or scientists run medical studies on iPhones by collecting owners' data from the devices' sensors or through surveys.
The first five ResearchKit apps, including one called mPower that tracks symptoms of Parkinson's disease, quickly recruited thousands of participants in a few days, demonstrating the reach of Apple's platform.
"Apple launched ResearchKit and got a fantastic response. The obvious next thing is to collect DNA," says Gholson Lyon, a geneticist at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory.
Universities, large technology companies like Google, direct-to-consumer labs, and the US government are to stockpile DNA samples as further genetic information database.