Toys, chocolate, flowers, and…DNA tests?
Yes, DNA tests have become surprisingly popular holiday gifts. The way someone would gift you a subscription to a magazine or newspaper, now you can gift someone a chance to find out about their ancestry and health.
If you happened to be on the receiving end of a 23andMe or Ancestry gift, don’t be in a rush to mail back your spit.
There are a few things you need to know first.
Getting a doctor-ordered DNA test is very different from … Read the rest >>
It’s so easy and convenient. You order online, spit in a tube, and send it back for testing.
In a few weeks, you receive your DNA results detailing how your ancestry breaks down or if you’d taken a health test, what diseases you are at risk of.
Even as consumer genealogy DNA tests have gotten popular, not many customers are considering the risk to their privacy when they take a DNA test.
Since the rise of consumer genetic testing, people getting DNA tests do it for two reasons.
One, tracing their ancestry and discovering unknown family members. Two, finding out if they are at risk of any genetic diseases.
Many people also do it for both reasons.
But the utility of DNA tests has gone beyond ancestry and health testing. Startups and companies have now introduced new forms of testing that they promise will helps us discover even more about ourselves.
One new area of testing that has gotten popular is DNA fitness testing.
The premise is simple: take a … Read the rest >>
As costs have come down, and it feels like every friend and family member has taken a DNA test, more people are sending in their spit to learn more about their ancestry, health, or both.
But these services are not growing alone. Following closely behind are follow-on DNA services like Promethease and GEDmatch that mine additional information from customers’ raw DNA data.
Three DNA testing companies -23andMe, Ancestry, and Helix- have come together to form the Coalition for Genetic Data Protection (CGDP). The alliance’s purpose is to set best practices regarding the handling of DNA information ostensibly.
It’s also meant to coordinate lobbying efforts in Washington at a time when Congress’ scrutiny of the industry is intensifying. The coalition is run by Mehlman Castagnetti Rosen & Thomas, a prominent Washington DC lobbying firm.
Its objective is to guide lawmakers in Washington on privacy regulations meant for an industry that’s currently enjoying substantial growth.
DNA testing companies … Read the rest >>
The booming DTC (direct to consumer) genetic testing industry is causing divided opinions.
On the one hand, some users have happily connected with long lost or unknown relatives after sending their DNA samples.
On the other, more donor-conceived people are using ancestry sites to figure out who their biological parents are. Some have been amazed to learn they have dozens of half-siblings.
Donors who submitted their sperm decades ago under the promise of anonymity are also having to contend with unintended exposure. What does this mean for them, their progeny, sperm banks, DNA testing companies, and other interested parties?
DNA testing company 23andMe is looking to entrench itself in the healthcare industry further. Having already amassed and a huge database of DNA profiles, it is eager to gather more health data from its millions of users.
The company is expected to collect a user’s medical history, prescription information, and lab results.
You’ll have the chance to submit these details after receiving your DNA results. Initially starting as a beta program, the service will gradually roll out to all of its clients.
Having sold nearly 10 million at-home DNA testing kits, 23andMe hopes to become a more inclusive health tech … Read the rest >>
The tax agency’s decision was first made in May 2019. It allows the purchase of 23andMe kits using pretax dollars held in Flexible Savings Accounts (FSA) and Health Savings Accounts (HSA).
It’s a significant boost to a company that is already reaping the benefits of having a first-mover advantage. DNA testing kits are riding a vast popularity wave, mostly because of the ancestry services they offer.
Other than ancestry results, 23andMe’s Health + Ancestry Service option offers additional health reports based on your DNA profile. These tell you whether you carry any variant of a genetic condition that might be … Read the rest >>
The American Society for Reproductive Medicine recommends that a sperm donor father no more than 25 births per a population of 800,000.
But since those are just recommendations, there have been several cases of over-enthusiastic donors.
The most recent one to hit the headlines is that of Bachelorette contestant, Matteo, who claims to have fathered 114 children through frequent sperm donations.
He’s just 25.
Although sperm banks have been around for decades, they’ve recently witnessed a rise in popularity due to changing socio-cultural norms.
In the past, their services were mainly utilized by married, childless … Read the rest >>
By uploading the latest tranche of historical records to Irish genealogy ie, the Irish government reaffirmed its commitment to the digitization of historical records.
The Irish Times reports that the new records cover births from 1864 to 1918, marriages (1864-1943), and deaths (1878-1968).
These files, which are free to access, present a welcome development to people keen on researching their Irish roots.
Other than births, marriages and deaths, the site also contains other files such as church records. It’s an important resource for both hobbyists and academics looking for historical information.