Stephen Friend wants your genes — no, really. Today at TED2014 he announced the Resilience Project, a new crowdsourced effort to understand the quirks and patterns of human genetic code that control — and could help treat — genetic diseases.
Thirty years ago, the open-science advocate was working as a pediatric oncologist at the Children’s Hospital in Philadelphia when a man brought in his child for an appointment. “They both had their right eye missing, from a rare form of inherited eye tumor — retinoblastoma — and the father knew he had passed that on to the son,” Friend says. The sense of sadness and hopelessness that he saw in the father, that came with such a diagnosis unsettled and upset Friend, who says, “That moment changed my life.”