Genetic testing service 23andMe analyzes your DNA and supplies an array of details about each your ancestry and your much less historic relations. 23andMe has collected DNA from greater than 1 million individuals—a formidable milestone, although its closest competitor, AncestryDNA, has sampled 5 instances as many individuals. The 2 companies use comparable DNA assortment kits for about the identical value, however 23andMe offers you rather more element about your ancestry, diving into your maternal and paternal traces; it even studies on how a lot Neanderthal DNA you might have in your make-up. Moreover, it presents a wealth of non-compulsory DNA-based well being assessments. For its depth of reporting, 23andMe is our Editors’ Alternative on this class.
Genetic Well being Screening Providers
23andMe presents two varieties of kits: Well being + Ancestry ($199) and Ancestry ($99). The Well being + Ancestry plan contains testing for genetic well being dangers, corresponding to Parkinson’s illness, in addition to your service standing for greater than 40 circumstances, together with cystic fibrosis. The service additionally has a Wellness report that gauges, amongst different issues, your genetic predisposition for being above or under common weight. The corporate’s Traits report measures your chance of hair loss and whether or not you’re prone to choose candy or salty meals.
Within the fall of 2013, the FDA positioned a ban on 23andMe’s well being testing companies, which, on the time, scanned your DNA for markers of greater than 200 well being circumstances. The company considers the sort of genetic testing to be medical testing, and requires that it’s overseen by a medical skilled. Beginning in late 2015, nonetheless, 23andMe began working with the FDA to roll out compliant well being assessments.
It is essential to notice that, as 23andMe discloses, having a genetic marker for a illness doesn’t assure that you’re going to get the illness. Moreover, it might be doable to contract a illness even when the take a look at doesn’t present that you’ve the acknowledged genetic markers. These assessments may give you extra details about doable well being considerations, however they do not present a assured imaginative and prescient of the long run.
Pricing and DNA Assortment
To order a equipment from 23andMe’s web site, you first present your title after which conform to the corporate’s phrases of service. Along with the price of the equipment, you additionally need to pay a transport charge of $9.95 in your first equipment and $5 for every extra equipment (this covers transport each methods). AncestryDNA contains all transport prices in its $99 charge, whereas Nationwide Geographic’s Genographic Venture requires you to buy your individual postage to return your equipment. 23andMe ships kits to each US state, in addition to greater than 50 international locations world wide. You may add a present message if you want.
Whenever you obtain the equipment, you need to activate it utilizing the distinctive barcode, and arrange an account with 23andMe. Subsequent you present your title, date of beginning, and intercourse. Solely your date of beginning and intercourse are in your pattern label, not your title. After that, you acknowledge that “you could study details about your self that you don’t anticipate.” Truthful warning. Lastly, you may select whether or not to permit different members to seek out you by title, and whether or not to indicate your title to potential matches. I opted in for the sake of this evaluation.
23andMe’s assortment equipment is nearly an identical that of AncestryDNA. You are requested to not eat, drink, smoke, chew gum, brush your tooth, or use mouthwash for no less than 30 minutes earlier than offering your pattern. HomeDNA imposes no such restrictions. As with AncestryDNA, 23andMe requires you to spit right into a tube till your pattern reaches the fill line after which shut the lid, which releases stabilization liquid into the pattern so it will not degrade en path to the lab. After that, you merely pop the tube into the included plastic bag, place it within the offered pay as you go return envelope, and drop it off on the publish workplace.
DNA Reviews and Further Options
A couple of week after I shipped out my DNA pattern, I obtained affirmation of its receipt from 23andMe. Lower than two weeks after that, I received phrase that my preliminary outcomes have been prepared, and my full outcomes have been obtainable after one other week. Whenever you log in to see your outcomes, you too can replace your profile with extra details about your background. Outcomes are available a couple of classes: Ancestry Composition, Maternal Line, Paternal Line, and Neanderthal Ancestry. An Ancestry Overview web page offers you the massive image. Right here you see a graph of your ancestry composition, which in my case is 95.four p.c British and Irish.
You may as well see your prolonged DNA household (extra on this later) and well-known family members—apparently Jesse James is a distant relative on my mom’s facet. There’s additionally a listing of nations of ancestry and a listing of high surnames amongst your family members. Lastly, you too can see how a lot Neanderthal DNA you might have; I’ve 2.6 p.c, in response to 23andMe, which places me within the 29th percentile amongst 23andMe members. My outcomes from Nationwide Geographic Genographic Venture put me at 1.eight p.c. In fact, this factors out one of many important points with DNA testing: It’s a must to resolve how a lot inventory to place into the corporate’s outcomes. Whereas a variation in Neanderthal ancestry is not an enormous deal, a variation in Parkinson’s markers can be.
On the composition web page, you see actual percentages of your make-up with an interactive map. Mine wasn’t very thrilling, aside from the zero.6 p.c Iberian, which made me completely happy since I occur to like Spain and Portugal. You additionally view your make-up by chromosome on a color-coded bar chart. There’s additionally a “break up view,” which reveals maternal and paternal contributions to your ancestry, however that is solely obtainable if a mum or dad connects with you on 23andMe. In fact, DNA evaluation is just not 100 p.c correct; you may view your outcomes via three totally different lenses: speculative, customary, or conservative.
The maternal line part reveals which haplogroup you belong to, based mostly in your mitochondrial (maternal) DNA. Maternal haplogroups, as outlined by 23andMe are “households of mitochondrial DNA sorts that each one hint again to a single mutation at a particular place and time.” I am a part of the T2 group (T2b particularly), which is what I’ve in widespread with Jesse James. My outcomes from Nationwide Geographic go one layer deeper, putting me within the T2b2 haplogroup.
In the event you’re male, you too can view your paternal line, which is handed via the Y chromosome. As somebody with two X chromosomes, I can not entry this knowledge. I must persuade considered one of my three brothers to affix 23andMe. These with the X and Y chromosomes can see each maternal and paternal traces, since mitochondrial DNA is handed on to each sexes.
23andMe additionally has a lab part with experimental instruments, corresponding to DNA Melody, which creates a melody out of the composition of your DNA. These are fascinating oddities, however most likely not an enormous gross sales level.
Like AncestryDNA, 23andMe will search for DNA matches amongst its different members, however provided that you decide in. In the event you select to make use of this function, which 23andMe calls DNA Relations, you may obtain electronic mail alerts about doable matches and what their relationship to you could be. You may activate open sharing to make sure particulars—corresponding to your full title—obtainable for different members. In the event you depart this off, different customers must ship you a share request. You should have a show title, although. Nameless participation is not obtainable, although initials are allowed.
As of this writing, I had over 900 matches on 23andMe, together with one second cousin, and a mixture of third, fourth, fifth, and extra distant cousins. Relying on the privateness settings of your matches, you could possibly see their names, footage, intercourse, beginning international locations, household surnames, household places, and haplogroups. You may as well see how a lot they match with you. For instance, a member recognized as my second cousin was marked as “three.41% DNA shared throughout 15 segments.”
If a member’s profile is totally public, you may ship a message, or, if their profile is personal, an introduction. When sending an introduction, you may select whether or not the recipient can see your profile and edit the canned message that goes together with the request. As with AncestryDNA, this function has the texture of a relationship web site, however in the event you’re interested in your background and trying to construct out your loved ones tree, it might be very useful.
23andMe sends out emails to members sometimes to gather extra knowledge or to share surveys on behalf of analysis companions. I obtained one survey, sponsored by pharmaceutical firm Pfizer, for a research on the hyperlinks between genetics and power ache. From 23andMe, I obtained a one-question survey asking if I had ever been identified with pertussis (whooping cough). You may as well reply questions out of your profile web page to contribute to analysis.
Even in the event you choose out of well being testing, you may nonetheless fill out 23andMe’s well being questionnaires to assist the corporate analysis the hyperlinks between illness and genetics, although you do not have to take action. Customers also can choose to save lots of their saliva pattern at 23andMe’s labs for future testing.
For assist alongside the best way, 23andMe has a all through on-line assist web site with FAQs. Whenever you’re signed in and viewing your outcomes, you may entry context-aware assist, which is sweet. You may as well submit a assist ticket in the event you run into issues. There isn’t a telephone, electronic mail or chat assist, although 23andMe is on Fb and Twitter.
Thorough Reviews and Plentiful Options
23andMe presents a glimpse into your ancestry, together with loads of data that can assist you higher perceive your genetic make-up. It can be a place to begin for genetic testing, although it is a good suggestion to complement these assessments with in-person genetic counseling. The web site is simple to make use of, and assist is simple to seek out. I discovered the entire course of lots of enjoyable. If you would like to combine your outcomes with a household tree, although, you will need to look to AncestryDNA, which hyperlinks to the Ancestry genealogical service, or export your DNA report and use one other family tree service. For a tighter focus in your ancestral DNA, you must contemplate the Nationwide Geographic Genographic Venture.