My name is Kyle and I am the creator of Genetic Genie. I live in the United States. I have a chronic illness (ME/CFS), and this illness has drove me to develop Genetic Genie.
When I first launched Genetic Genie, I had no goals in terms of what it would achieve. The website was originally created for the community and hosted on a server without a domain name in around 2012. At this point in time, I was not tracking usage, so I really had no clue how many people were utilizing the nameless web service I created.
So I shut the service down (not kidding). I soon got emails and messages from people asking me why I took down the service. I simply told them that I wasn’t in a position to afford the hosting costs for a website that I thought (almost) nobody was using. It was suggested by this person that I put a donate button to support the service.
So I did. And little did I know, I had much more users than expected. I installed Google Analytics (the standard for tracking visitors) and named the site Genetic Genie. The website was getting thousands of page requests a month, growing to hundreds of thousands in the months and years later. Over 100,000 unique people on 23andMe used the service through their now defunct API. And hundreds of hundreds of thousands of others uploaded their raw data.
I was surprised by both the volume and generosity of the community. But because of my illness, further development was difficult. So a lot of my energy went into making sure the service stayed up and working 24x7x365. I built next iterations of the service, but without completion. It wasn’t only hard energy-wise, the focus it took for complex tasks was hard on my brain and nervous system.
Fast-forward some years [sigh], and I find some treatments that really started help my brain, nervous system, and immune system. So I dove back in and spent a year creating and refining GenVue Discovery, a service I put my heart and soul into for researching and discovering genetic variants that can cause disease. I wanted to build the tool that could pull the needle out of a haystack when it came to genetic variants. I wanted it to have a powerful but unique and friendly user interface. I wanted it to work with both consumer genotyping data and professional Whole Genome Sequencing data without taking any longer than a couple minutes to process the file. I wanted to create something that anyone curious person can start using without inputting any more information than selecting their file and clicking a single button — Upload. And the mission was a success. While I am always critical of my own work, the tool came out as envisioned.
So in late 2019, I pushed out what I considered a major update. I redesigned Genetic Genie and launched GenVue. I made everything on Genetic Genie compatible with Whole Genome Sequencing files. And processing these giant files only takes a few seconds just like with consumer genomic data.
Throughout the past year or so, I have realized that the genome and especially bioinformatics is my passion. I am planning on releasing some really cool and re-invented science-based genomic panels. And I have plans to do even cooler things with GenVue as it branches out into a very unique product of its own.
As of writing this, the only GenVue product I have released is GenVue Discovery. But GenVue Explore, GenVue Research, GenVue Create, and GenVue Cohort are planned to name a few (names subject to change). Soon you’ll be able to search a genome for anything as quick as a Google search, compare a genome to research papers with genetic variants, or study a family or cohort of people in a singular interface.
My wife gets a lot of credit for helping with GenVue Discovery. She helped filter through a lot of the data on the backend and iron out bugs. And the online community has provided a lot of valuable feedback as well.
But all of this is thousands of hours of work. These are complex and ambitious projects. And they are hard to do alone. There are very technical things I have to do, such as move all the services to a framework that’s more suitable for what I am doing. And Android and iOS apps will be developed as well. So if you are reading this and think you have the skills to be a partner in development or if you just have general input, don’t hesitate to contact me via the Feedback form.
And if you like what I am doing, your donations are greatly appreciated!