DNA related tools, once expensive and restricted to research and crime labs, are rapidly becoming affordable. Like GPS – once a high-tech wonder now turned into a everyday gadget – simple DNA sequencing may soon be available to almost everyone.

Undoubtedly DNA related applications will transform society as we know it: Synthetic pets, Amateur food testing, Faked DNA evidence, Genetic mapping, Genetic social networks, DNA as information storage, HumanDNA trees, Hyper Fruit... the applications are mind bubbling and seemingly infinite.

Designer Niko Vegt, master student at the Next Nature theme, has been working on an imaginary map of the DNA world.  Unlike a regular map, which represents a physical territory, the DNA World map represents a conceptual territory of DNA related applications and developments. Its main continents are Science, Medical, Heath, Personal, Social, Justice and Environment – all surrounded by an ocean of Ethics.


Browse a demo version of the map and let us know what you think.


An archipel of DNA related art in the ocean of Ethics.


Scientific and Environmental developments featuring Agricultural genetic modification, protein engineering and cloning.


Personal genomics includes applications like a celebrity DNA, genetic counseling and a personal genomics card.


The Medical continent featuring disease prediction, home diagnostics and embryo selection.

Related: Poetry of Genetics, Crash course on synthetic genomics, How biotech will drive our evolution, Human genetic DNA sequencing soon child play?,

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  • This map is out of date. A poor bloke forgot that this world relates to the application and use of DNA, and for some reason the word "religion" appears on the map. A correction is due.

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  • I’ll get this excellent for me .many thanks!…

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  • Your stage is valuable for me. Thanks!…

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  • I like how Niko has decided to try and map out where all the directions of the Genome Empire has evolved over time and included links to each capital 'DNA' city. But what if you could go one step further to create more provocation or at least address the implications of DNA/genetic developments and create a political map that describes what political, social and cultural implications and frictions each development/proposal/product/service/project has caused on society; policies that have changed, newspaper headlines it has provoked, debates it has started and laws that have begun. Nice one!

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  • I really like this idea and it koud be a nice feature in the forthcoming Next Nature book also. I would like to see a more elaborate relation between the visual metaphor of the geographical map and the mental map of DNA world. Where are the dark forests and unknown (unmapped!) territory of DNA? What are the mountains we have to climb to come to terms with our moral dilemmas? In what oceans might the debate around DNA drown? What are other nodes on the map? Will there be visual material also, and how will this be represented in a way that fits within this concept? Lots of work to do... exciting!

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  • Also check: http://www.belevingswereld.nl (thanks @Dorinde, I was looking for it but couldn't remember the name).

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  • That's indeed the next step in the development of the DNA world map. Enabling people to participate in expanding and improving this world.

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  • I think it is a very attractive tool for mapping and exploring any subject. Think of all the worlds that could be mapped; The mind, the internet, food, religion, social networks... Have you given thought to adding tags or posting link-suggestions Niko?

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