These are the stocks posting the largest moves before the bell.Market Insiderread more
Jerome Powell will "underwhelm everyone and not overwhelm anyone," one economist saysMarket Insiderread more
Corporate executives and money managers have grown increasingly pessimistic about the economy as growth around the world slows.Trader Talk with Bob Pisaniread more
Facebook unveils the Portal TV, a streaming device that comes with a camera and microphones for making video calls via television.Technologyread more
U.S. homebuilding surged to more than a 12-year high in August as both single- and multi-family housing construction increased.Economyread more
Credit card start-up Petal just completed a new financing round.Financeread more
Four Wall Street firms downgraded FedEx after the company's poor earnings report.Marketsread more
U.S. stock futures point to a modestly lower Wednesday morning open on Wall Street ahead of what the markets in the afternoon expect to be the Fed's second interest rate cut...Marketsread more
Mortgage applications to purchase a home increased 6% for the week and were a strong 15% higher annually.Real Estateread more
The House subcommittee that oversees consumer product investigations launched its a probe of Juul in June, holding two days of hearings in July. In a letter to Juul sent...Health and Scienceread more
FedEx says trade around the world is starting to feel the squeeze of increased tariffs.Marketsread more
It's now cheaper than ever to map the human genome. But most healthy people don't seem to care all that much about their DNA.
A startup called Helix is trying to change that. The company launches this month with more than a dozen genetic tests in categories ranging from health to entertainment.
Bay Area-based Helix is a spinout of , a biotech company that develops DNA sequencing machines. Helix's mission is to make genomics relevant to millions more people than have used services like 23andMe, or have taken genetic tests for medical reasons.
It is hoping to reach that broader audience by partnering with a variety of brands that use genetic data in their marketing campaigns.
Examples of apps on Helix's e-commerce store include EverlyWell's "Breast Milk DHA+", which offers new moms the opportunity to find out about the DHA in their breast milk, and Dot One's "personalized scarf," which puts the pattern of a user's genetic code into a scarf. The company also offers health applications, like an inherited diabetes and cholesterol test, and its other categories are fitness, entertainment, nutrition, and ancestry.
The goal for Helix is to reach a new user-base who might not be aware of genetics or are fearful of the consequences of sharing their sensitive health data with companies (there are some gaps in the laws that protect people from discrimination based on their genetics). To convince these people, Thurston said, "utility must surpass fear." In other words, these tests need to be useful or entertaining enough to convince users to give Helix a shot.
Helix is positioning itself as an "app store," because takes on the task of sequencing a users' DNA in its San Diego lab then curates the apps that can take advantage of that information. Helix provides exome sequencing, which is more extensive than "genotyping" services offered by 23andMe, Ancestry.com and the like.
Once users get sequenced by sending in a spit sample, Helix holds on to their DNA data in case users opt-in to additional tests.
Helix charges a one-time fee of $80 to sequence DNA. Each app charges an additional sum, which varies depending on the test.
In the future, the company will share the full DNA data with the user for an undisclosed amount. Helix CEO Robin Thurston said that feature will be available by the end of the year.
Thurston, who previously worked on wearable technology at , said the most popular category thus far is nutrition. That's somewhat unexpected, he said, as most genetics applications on the market are either oriented towards health and ancestry.
Thurston expects to bring on some larger, household names brands in the coming year. He thinks Helix is well-situated to appeal to marketing departments, in light of the the trend towards "personalization."
"Companies want to personalize their products more," he explained. "And there's no better way to personalize the product than to bring in a data-set like DNA."