A Canadian non-profit organization has launched a gene gift application on the Facebook.
The genes can help your friends grow taller or turning them into instant redheads, users are told by Genome Alberta.
The launch is the organization's way of marking the 55th anniversary of the day scientists James Watson and Francis Crick identified the double helix as the structure for the human genetic blueprint.
Already twelve genes are available through the new genomics application on the social networking site, from blue eyes to stubbornness to making one's face flush after drinking alcohol.
Each gene comes with an icon, a brief description and its function.
Genome Alberta hopes the Facebook campaign will help spread the word about advances in genetics, the study of individual genes and genomics, the study of a collection of genes.
"It is enables us to predict certain diseases, find better ways to treat [them]. Enhance crops," said Mike Spear, director of corporate communications for the Calgary-based group. "We do work in the energy field for bio-fuels."
Genome Alberta spent about $15,000 to create the application and hopes it will attract as many as 30,000 people.
"If I want to really target things at a cost that I can afford for our non-profit organization, this is the way to do it," said Spear.
David Cree, an online marketing consultant, says networking sites can be a good fit with non-profit groups.
"You can raise awareness really, really effectively and have a really viral campaign because people want to spread the word on that kind of stuff," he remarked.