G-Supernova Genomic App Hackathon: Event Report

Genomic enthusiasts unite! 
 Software developers, entrepreneurs, and designers alike joined our two-day Hackathon in San Francisco

This edition of G-Supernova is the first Genome Hackathon officially supported by Illumina, the leader of the DNA sequencing field. G-Supernova winners were awarded with a Whole Genome Sequencing ticket courtesy of Illumina, as well as DNA-personalized products from Helix’s online marketplace. Many thanks to our sponsors Illumina and Helix for their awesome prizes and generous support!

G-Supernova brought together over 30 software developers, entrepreneurs, and designers this weekend at Digital Garage in Downtown San Francisco. That’s a turn-up rate of nearly 50% of our growing Meetup group! Over the two-day hackathon, teams tackle the open-ended question: “What consumer genomic applications do we need but do not realize yet?”

The current price tag on sequencing the whole genome is approximately $1000. Outpacing Moore’s law of price decrease, whole genome sequencing is projected to drop to a mere $100 in a few years’ time. Technological advances will make our genetic information more accessible than ever — but what can we do with this new wealth of insight? How can personalized services based on our genetic information help improve our health, lifestyle, and learning experience?

Developer community for genomic apps

We envision a near future where using genomic information to enrich, design, and optimize our lives is a reality. As genomic information becomes ubiquitous, the demand for genomic applications will grow and diversify. We believe that software developers — not necessarily genomic professionals — will take center stage to dynamically and rapidly develop a diverse range of consumer genomic applications. They will serve a multitude of purposes, such as health, fitness, and nutrition.

The event kicked off with a presentation on the current and potential applications of genomics by Awakens COO, Yuta. After an initial ideation session, teams formed to collaborate on consumer genomic applications for nutrition and health, among others. Teams used our API, Genome Link**, to incorporate genomic information into their genomic apps. After a weekend of hacking, six groups brought their apps to the pitch stage!

- Daily Dose: A caffeine consumption-monitoring mobile app that helps you maintain high productivity throughout the day by optimizing caffeine intake. Based on genetic information on your caffeine sensitivity and caffeine metabolism, and the record of your caffeine intake, the app provides a visualization of your blood caffeine levels. It also recommends when to enjoy your next cup of coffee.

- Yelth: Yelp meets Health in this genetic information-powered restaurant recommendation system. The ability to process, and your tendency to seek out food heavy in carbohydrates, proteins or fats is dictated by your genetics. Based on this insight, Yelth recommends nearby restaurants serving meals that fulfill your unique nutritional requirement.

- XY: This machine learning-based dating app provides match suggestions by learning the interplay between dating preference and genetic composition. The algorithm is trained using preference data provided by the users in a traditional dating app “swipe left/right” style upon signup. Based on this, the app will provide a score for each potential match on prospects for love, just hookup, friend, and nothing.

- Nutrigene: Coffee does not taste equally bitter to everyone. There are a number of genes governing your perception of taste. Besides fulfilling each individual’s genetically-determined nutritional requirements, Nutrigene also satisfies your taste buds by providing an array of ingredients and recipes that will be well-received by your sense of taste.

- LinXY: LinXY strives to optimally match women with their desired sperm donors. Scores for physical, psychological and intellectual traits, based on genetic information, are provided for each candidate, expanding on the superficial criteria used in the current sperm donor selection process. The intended outcome is for women to raise the probability of conceiving a baby with the desired traits.

- Bio Watch: A personal assistant mobile app integrates a wide range of personal genetic information, including taste, nutrition, and fitness, to generate real-time recommendations on how to live your life smartly. Examples include recommendations to go to a certain restaurant for health benefits, or taking a detour to avoid the upcoming windy road to evade motion-sickness.

While all centered around the use of genetic information, the groups branched out to explore wildly different fields of application. This is a just a small window into the potentially infinite ways we could use genomic data to eat, sleep, learn, and interact better.

The apps were judged on innovativeness, functionality, usability, and morals. Congratulations to Team Daily Dose for winning the Hackathon! Amanda from Illumina Accelerator, one of the judges, commends the interactiveness of the app and their adequate use of genomic components. Daily Dose took home a Whole Genome Sequencing ticket (courtesy of Illumina sponsors), vouchers for products on the Helix platform (courtesy of Helix sponsors), and Japanese sake!

Judges awarding Team Daily Dose. 
 Their caffeine-intake recommendation app wins them a Whole Genome Sequencing Ticket, Helix products, and Japanese sake!

Our hackathon wrapped up with a happy hour of genomic enthusiasts enjoying Japanese sake and sushi. Don’t worry if you missed our first Hackathon in San Francisco. We will be hosting more in the upcoming months — join us in our next Hackathons! Comment below to share your ideas or ask questions!

GENOME LINK**

Genome Link, Awakens’ API, enables software developers to incorporate genomic insights into their projects by allowing access to the interpretation of relevant genomic information from Awakens’ annotation database. (Don’t worry — you do not need to know anything about genomics! Let us handle the science.) An example is each user’s tendency for carbohydrate, fat and protein metabolism. You can obtain this information using the OAuth authorization flow. A highly personalized user experience is easily implementable in your app based on the user’s genomic information. Tutorials and code samples are available online, and more comprehensive SDK implementation and documentation will be coming soon!

Genome Link is currently available free of charge for developers interested in creating genomic applications. Contact us for more information.