Genetic testing service 23andMe analyzes your DNA and offers an array of details about each your ancestry and your much less historical relations. 23andMe is second solely to AncestryDNA within the quantity of DNA it has collected. The two companies use comparable DNA assortment kits for about the identical value, however 23andMe offers you way more element about your ancestry, diving into your maternal and paternal strains; it even stories on how a lot Neanderthal DNA you could have in your make-up. Furthermore, it affords a wealth of elective DNA-based well being exams. For its depth of reporting, 23andMe is our Editors’ Choice on this class.
Genetic Health Screening Services
23andMe affords two sorts of kits: Health + Ancestry ($199) and Ancestry ($99). The Health + Ancestry plan contains testing for 5 genetic well being dangers—with extra being added—comparable to Parkinson’s illness, in addition to your service standing for greater than 40 situations, together with cystic fibrosis. The service additionally has a Wellness report that gauges, amongst different issues, your genetic predisposition for being above or beneath common weight. The firm’s Traits report measures your chance of hair loss and whether or not you might be more likely to favor candy or salty meals.

In the autumn 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 situations. The company needed to undergo rigorous regulatory evaluation akin to that required for medical gadgets. Once that was accomplished, 23andMe started to supply licensed service standing stories in 2015 and licensed genetic well being stories in early 2017.
It’s essential to notice that, as 23andMe discloses, having a genetic marker for a illness doesn’t assure that you will get the illness. Furthermore, it could be potential to contract a illness even when the take a look at doesn’t present that you’ve the acknowledged genetic markers. These exams can provide you extra details about potential well being issues, however they do not present a assured imaginative and prescient of the longer term.
Pricing and DNA Collection
To order a package from 23andMe’s web site, you first present your identify after which comply with the corporate’s phrases of service. Standard delivery is included in the price of your package. AncestryDNA contains all delivery prices in its $99 charge, whereas National Geographic’s Genographic Project requires you to buy your individual postage to return your package. 23andMe ships kits to each US state, in addition to greater than 50 nations world wide. You can add a present message if you want.
When you obtain the package, you must activate it utilizing the distinctive barcode, and arrange an account with 23andMe. Next you present your identify, date of delivery, and intercourse. Only your date of delivery and intercourse are in your pattern label, not your identify. After that, you acknowledge that “you may learn information about yourself that you do not anticipate.” Fair warning. Finally, you’ll be able to select whether or not to permit different members to seek out you by identify, and whether or not to indicate your identify to potential matches. I opted in for the sake of this evaluation.

23andMe’s assortment package is nearly similar that of AncestryDNA. You’re requested to not eat, drink, smoke, chew gum, brush your enamel, 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 put up workplace.
DNA Reports and Extra Features
About per week after I shipped out my DNA pattern, I obtained affirmation of its receipt from 23andMe. Less than two weeks after that, I bought phrase that my preliminary outcomes have been prepared, and my full outcomes have been obtainable after one other week. When you log in to see your outcomes, you may also replace your profile with extra details about your background. Results 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. Here you see a graph of your ancestry composition, which in my case is 95.4 p.c British and Irish.
You also can 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 aspect. There’s additionally an inventory of nations of ancestry and an inventory of high surnames amongst your family members. Finally, you may also see how a lot Neanderthal DNA you could have; I’ve 2.6 p.c, in response to 23andMe, which places me within the 29th percentile amongst 23andMe members. My outcomes from National Geographic Genographic Project put me at 1.8 p.c. Of course, this factors out one of many essential points with DNA testing: You must resolve how a lot inventory to place into the corporate’s outcomes. While 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 0.6 p.c Iberian, which made me blissful 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 “split view,” which reveals maternal and paternal contributions to your ancestry, however that is solely obtainable if a mother or father connects with you on 23andMe. Of course, DNA evaluation isn’t 100 p.c correct; you’ll be able to 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 “families of mitochondrial DNA types that all trace back to a single mutation at a specific place and time.” I am a part of the T2 group (T2b particularly), which is what I’ve in frequent with Jesse James. My outcomes from National Geographic go one layer deeper, inserting me within the T2b2 haplogroup.
If you are male, you may also view your paternal line, which is handed via the Y chromosome. As somebody with two X chromosomes, I am unable to entry this information. I must persuade one in every of my three brothers to hitch 23andMe. Those with the X and Y chromosomes can see each maternal and paternal strains, since mitochondrial DNA is handed on to each sexes.
23andMe additionally has a lab part with experimental instruments, comparable to DNA Melody, which creates a melody out of the composition of your DNA. These are attention-grabbing oddities, however in all probability not an enormous gross sales level.
Like AncestryDNA, 23andMe will search for DNA matches amongst its different members, however provided that you decide in. If you select to make use of this characteristic, which 23andMe calls DNA Relatives, you’ll be able to obtain e-mail alerts about potential matches and what their relationship to you could be. You can activate open sharing to make sure particulars—comparable to your full identify—obtainable for different members. If you allow this off, different customers must ship you a share request. You will need to have a show identify, although. Anonymous participation is now not obtainable, although initials are allowed.

Finding Your Relatives Using DNA
As of this writing, I had over 1,000 matches on 23andMe, together with a pair second cousins, and a mixture of third, fourth, fifth, and extra distant cousins. Depending on the privateness settings of your matches, you could possibly see their names, photos, intercourse, delivery nations, household surnames, household areas, and haplogroups. You also can see how a lot they match with you. For instance, a member recognized as my second cousin was marked as “5.13 percent DNA shared across 18 segments.”
If a member’s profile is totally public, you’ll be able to ship a message, or, if their profile is non-public, an introduction. When sending an introduction, you’ll be able to 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 characteristic has the texture of a courting website, however if you happen to’re interested by your background and seeking to construct out your loved ones tree, it may very well be very useful.
23andMe Health Tests
Since I submitted my DNA to 23andMe in 2015, my outcomes have been up to date now and again with new well being stories. At the time my DNA was examined, 23andMe wasn’t searching for service standing, in order that info is not in my stories. I used to be in a position to decide into well being stories, nevertheless, together with Genetic Health Risks and Wellness. Celiac Disease has been added to the Genetic Health Risks part. My report reveals a barely elevated threat of getting the illness, however I have been examined for it prior to now, with unfavorable outcomes. This factors out the significance of checking in together with your physician about any outcomes which may concern you.
Under the Wellness part, apparently my muscle composition is of the kind that’s frequent in elite athletes, however I can guarantee I’m not even a non-elite athlete. 23andMe notes that this genetic variant’s position for non-elite athletes is not utterly understood. The info within the well being stories is actually attention-grabbing, but it surely’s not like a medical take a look at; 23andMe is simply wanting on the chance of your having a well being situation or, or, say, being a deep sleeper.
23andMe sends out emails to members now and again to gather extra information or to share surveys on behalf of analysis companions. I obtained one survey, sponsored by pharmaceutical firm Pfizer, for a examine on the hyperlinks between genetics and continual ache. From 23andMe, I obtained a one-question survey asking if I had ever been identified with pertussis (whooping cough). You also can reply questions out of your profile web page to contribute to analysis.
Even if you happen to decide out of well being testing, you’ll be able to 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. Users also can decide to save lots of their saliva pattern at 23andMe’s labs for future testing. Note, too, that you would be able to request your pattern be destroyed at any time.
Getting Help
For assist alongside the best way, 23andMe has a all through on-line help website with FAQs. When you are signed in and viewing your outcomes, you’ll be able to entry context-aware help, which is sweet. You also can submit a assist ticket if you happen to run into issues. 23andMe now has telephone and e-mail and is on Facebook and Twitter. There’s no stay chat characteristic, although.
Thorough Reports and Abundant Features
23andMe affords a glimpse into your ancestry, together with loads of info that will help you higher perceive your genetic make-up. It will also be a place to begin for genetic testing, although it is a good suggestion to complement these exams with in-person genetic genetic counseling and common physician visits. The web site is simple to make use of, and assist is simple to seek out. I discovered the entire course of a number of enjoyable. If you’d wish to combine your outcomes with a household tree, although, you will must 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 need to think about the National Geographic Genographic Project.
Note that it isn’t simply people who can take a look at their DNA. If you are interested by your pup’s heritage, try our roundup of the very best canine DNA kits, too.

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