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In this article, we look at these hugely popular genetic testing kits and find out what you get for the 23andme price tag!
Home genetic testing kits seem to be on everyone’s wish lists this year, with one even showing up on Oprah Winfrey’s list of favorite things.
These affordable kits, like those from 23andme, National Geographic, and ancestry.com, can study your genes using a saliva sample.
Oprah Winfrey recently said, “We all want to be able to picture where we came from, so why not give a friend a genetic test that provides some answers? The good news is you’re probably not related to Attila the Hun. The bad news is that you’re probably not part of George Clooney’s family.
Before we answer whether the 23andme price is worth it, we should point out that there are two different versions of their DNA testing kits.
The first type of genetic testing offered by 23andme tests for your health and ancestry. The cheaper version has the ancestry test. Both versions analyze your DNA by a process called genotyping.
Humans have around 3 billion pairs of DNA in our genome. That’s a whole heap of information to wade through. Using the genotyping technology, 23andme can look for specific parts of your DNA and give unique insights into your past, present, and future.
The health reports give you insights into your physical traits, For example, if you’re likely to have a double-chin or frizzy hair, wellness (such as how well you metabolize alcohol or if you’re cut out to be a marathon runner, and more importantly, your carrier status for specific genetic mutations.
The FDA (U.S. Food and Drug Administration) has given 23andme full permission to supply customers with reports on their genetic risk of certain diseases.
These include Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s. For females, it can detect if they have an increased risk of developing breast cancer. At the time of writing, the health test has over 75 reports, with more being added by the company.
The ancestry reports give customers access to information about their ancestors.
You can find out the geographic regions your genes align with and genetic populations that share common ancestors, and you can even find out about your Neanderthal ancestry.
Customers of 23andme also get the DNA Relatives tool. This allows 23andme users to connect with other users in the database that might be relatives!
The 23andme price depends on which version of the test you are after. The first box relates to the ancestry test, and the second box shows the ancestry + health test.
The 23andme price includes fascinating info about where your ancestors lived over 500 years ago. You can investigate your ancestors’ origins in East Asia, Sub-Saharan Africa, and Europe.
We all have our existing families, but did you know you can share DNA with other 23andme users? (These are your DNA Relatives!) Using this unique (and totally anonymous) report, you can find just how many DNA relatives you have in your country and worldwide. And for those wanting more info, you can opt into the DNA Relatives tool to find, connect, and contact people sharing the same DNA as you on this new social network.
Neanderthals died out some 40,000 years ago, but did you know their DNA lives on in us? Scientists tell us that they bred with humans some 60,000 years ago. The 23andme genetic test kit can tell you how much of your DNA comes from Neanderthals. It can even point to specific Neanderthal DNA associated with height and hair color traits.
Discover the origins of your maternal (your mother’s mother’s mother’s…) and paternal (your father’s father’s father’s…) ancestors and how they moved around the world over the years. The report gives detailed maternal and paternal lineage information by studying your haplogroup.
Each of us carries many genetic variations, from differences in single DNA “letters” to duplications or deletions of whole chromosomes. The carrier status reports tell you about potential issues that could affect the health of your future family. Carrier status testing looks for genetic variations that could cause inherited conditions to be passed to your children.
The genetic health risk reports let you know if you have genetic variants associated with increased risks of developing certain health conditions. Having a particular variant does not necessarily mean you will develop the condition because other factors such as lifestyle, environment, and family history are also very important. For many of these conditions, prevention and treatment options may be available.
After receiving your detailed health reports, you should learn more about your results by meeting with a genetic counselor or healthcare professional specializing in genetic conditions. You can click this link to the National Society of Genetic Counselors to search for a genetic counselor.
We should note that learning that you are at risk of developing a disease could be difficult to hear, so you should consider this before jumping into the testing procedure.
Each package is a home-based saliva collection kit that you send to the 23andme DNA lab. The process couldn’t be any easier!
Full instructions are given, but you only need to spit in the tube provided!
Then register your saliva tube with the bar code and send it to the 23andme lab using the pre-paid package.
It takes 6-8 weeks for the lab to analyze your results.
When the reports are ready, 23andme will send you an email. Then log in to your online account to discover what your DNA says about you.
Anne has had a simple mission for more than ten years – To give people direct access to their medical data.
Until now, we have been able to keep track of our finances, travel arrangements, and shopping online, but not our health data.
Arguably, this is the most crucial information we can possess. For example, don’t you want to know whether you and your offspring are at risk of cancer or whether you are a carrier of sickle cell anemia?
In 2006, Anne Wojcicki left her career in the biotech industry to start 23andme. Her goal was to help people have access to their health data by simply sending a sample of their saliva to a laboratory.
Anne Wojcicki was always impressed by the eagerness of individuals to learn about their health and take action. They just needed the opportunity and time to learn and absorb. Since her earliest days, she wanted to pioneer a path where people could get their genetic information directly without going through a physician or genetic counselor for access or interpretation.
Fast forward to 2018, and 23andme is ranked 7th on CNBC’s 2018 Disruptor list! This is partly due to the groundbreaking service of telling users their risks of contracting cancer, Celiac disease, Parkinson’s disease, and Alzheimer’s disease. Prospective parents can also find out if they are unwittingly carriers of cystic fibrosis, sickle cell anemia, hearing loss, and other abnormalities.
23andme says that more than 5 million people have used its products. Wojcicki hopes her company’s success encourages other health companies to pursue the direct-to-consumer model.
Wojcicki said 23andme’s investors wholly support a focus on the consumer to find the right way to help fix the broken healthcare experience. The 23andme testing service was founded to help patients personally manage and control their health.
In our opinion, the home DNA testing kit is one of the greatest innovations of our century. It is worth the 23andMe price tag for such detailed information.
To be able to find out information about your ancestors and your family’s origins is incredibly interesting. And to be able to get in touch with members of your DNA family is very cool, too.
On a serious note, we believe this kind of genetic health test should be available for everyone on our planet. Don’t we deserve to know if we are susceptible to a particular disease and, more importantly, if this condition could be passed on to our kids?
Whether you want these fascinating and potentially life-saving insights is a matter of personal choice, but before you decide, look at some of these engaging videos from 23andme’s happy customers.
If you liked this article, you might also want to learn about the many health benefits of getting a weekly massage.