23andMe Genetic Testing Map Your Ancestry & Find Health Time Bombs

[17/12/12] 

Co-founded by Anne Wojcicki, wife of Google founder Sergey Brin, 23andMe is a self-DNA test which outlines your ancestry and highlights the diseases you’re most susceptible to. It’s not for everyone. Some people don’t want to know if they’re more at risk of bowel cancer, while others point to the incomplete picture the test provides. It’s thought, for instance, that genes only dictate 20-30% of the outcome of your health, with lifestyle and environmental factors determining the rest. Still it might help you to cut out the deep fried camembert.

Priced at US$99, the kit is delivered to your home where you register as a user, hack up a bit of your ‘100% Original’ spittle and send it off to their processing lab. Results are available in 2-3 weeks and that’s where the fun begins, in theory. You can, for instance, see where your ancestors came from, how many genes you share with your dad, discover distant relatives or find out if you’re allergic to something obscure like Bengal Tiger baby droppings - all on a very aesthetically pleasing platform.

It’s essentially a tool for the curious but beyond the niceties above, there’s a serious purpose - finding out the diseases you’re most genetically prone to. Considering how much we know about other aspects of our lives, it can be quite shocking how ignorant we are about our own bodies. Word of warning, however, they don’t ship to HK so give them a mate’s address and get your pal to forward the kit to you (we’ve done it). China, it seems, doesn’t want the rest of the world to know they’re developing a human super race.

Looking after number 1.


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