23andMe

By Roma Qazi
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Have you ever wondered whether you might have some African American or European DNA in you? Ever been curious to learn about distant relatives around the globe you never knew existed? Or perhaps, thought about who you owe your big blue eyes and sharp features to?

23andMe DNA Test will answer all those questions for you and enlighten you on several other fronts as well.

What is 23andMe DNA Test?

23andMe DNA Test is a tool which is used to carry out a genetic scan of an individual’s saliva sample. The sample is analyzed in a Clinical Laboratory Improvement Amendments (CLIA)-certified laboratory, and your DNA information and results are then shared with you.

23andMe, a name derived from the 23 pairs of chromosomes in a human cell, was termed Invention of the Year by Time magazine in 2008. Let’s take a look at how it works.

How it Works?

You start out by placing an order for the 23andMe DNA Test Kit online. Once you receive your kit, you need to create an account on the 23andMe website and register yourself by linking the bar code number on your kit to your account and entering your particulars. You then need to place your saliva sample in the kit tube, secure the tube in the biohazard bag, seal it and mail to the specified address. You will receive an email both when your sample has been received, and when the results are available, on your account in about 5 weeks.

What Your Results Reveal

With 23andMe, you get a very interesting and detailed analysis of your DNA

You get a percentage breakdown of what populations your DNA comes from. You could be 45% Asian, 40% African and 15% Latino! Some may be surprised to find that their ancestry can be traced back to a completely different population.

You get to learn about other individuals registered on 23andMe who share your DNA. These may turn out to be close family or distant relatives.

You get to learn about other individuals registered on 23andMe who share your DNA. These may turn out to be close family or distant relatives.

23andMe can tell you what percentage Neanderthal DNA you contain.

You get to learn about your paternal and maternal lineages.

With 23andMe, individuals get a chance to explore their roots. This may especially be useful for those who have been adopted and know nothing about their ancestors. You also have the option of joining 23andMe’s research initiative which allows them to use your and other users’ genetics to contribute towards findings in disease prevention, treatment and drug therapies.

23andMe Success Stories

Success Story #1

” 23andMe opened up even “more doors to my ancestral story. It is the music I’ve been longing to hear.” – DeSean Stokes

After the passing of his grandmother, Stokes could not help but replay the stories in his mind that his grandmother had shared with him about their family. By looking at old photos and noticing different shades of colour in his family, he was left wondering about the past. Stokes longed to know more. This is where 23andMe helped him. He learned that his ancestry was not only from West Africa, but also from Europe as well as roots in Jamaican, Native American and Ashkenazi Jewish ancestry. Stokes was got a chance to connect with newly discovered relatives – all thanks to 23andMe.

Success Story #2

” I will forever be indebted to 23andMe, for the rest of my life.” – Greta

Stacy knew she had a sister, but did not know how to find her since she had no idea where she was born or what year she was born. Greta, Stacy’s sister, had been searching too. Stacy’s cousin Laura, who had been looking for her birth father, came across 23andMe. Laura found a first-cousin match, Greta. This is how Stacy and Greta reunited. They have both spent time since then discovering the many similarities between them.

Success Story #3

“I have six grandchildren from ages 21 to 30. This is something I can do for them.” – Thelma

Thelma’s husband Jim has Parkinson’s disease. She learned about 23andMe through a support group and soon realized the importance of participating in 23andMe’s research revolution to help contribute towards the study of Parkinson’s disease. She got Jim to sign up and send in his saliva sample right away. Thelma wants to help her own grandchildren and future generations to help fight Parkinson’s in any way possible and feels she has played her part in doing so.

Verdict

The Good

– You get to learn a great deal about your ancestors which previously had not been possible.

– People may get a chance to reunite with lost family members.

– It is quite affordable; costs $99.

23andMe’s research initiative can go a long way once they are able collect large enough a number of data samples. Such research can potentially lead to genetic causes of diseases, and contribute towards preventing them. 23andMe is currently partnering with Genentech on Parkinson’s and Pfizer on inflammatory bowel disease (IBD).

The Not-So-Good

23andMe provides genetic testing services for informational purposes. This does not guarantee that the results will help you find relatives.

– One must be cautious in sharing his or her genetic information as there is always a danger in how such information can be used.

– Results sometimes can be misinterpreted by an individual.

There is no denying that 23andMe can let you get your hands on a sea of useful genetic information and is great value for money. 23andMe may only be scratching the surface when it comes to discovering the usefulness of genetics, but is a tool that we feel is definitely here to stay.

23andMe is a privately-held personal genomics and biotechnology company based in California, USA. It provides DNA analysis services and tools.

Note: All the information in this article has been extracted from www.23andme.com in June 2015.

 

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About Roma Qazi

With a background in Computer Science from IBA, and work experience at The Resource Group as Product Coordinator, Roma has widened her scope of achievements by reviewing everything from make-up to restaurants to smart-phone apps! Having written freelance through college, she now writes for FUCHSIA as it gives her the flexibility to voice her opinion on topics of interest to her. She is currently focusing on how to be a good parent, and has serious plans to pursue further studies. Her motto in life is inspired by Ian Maclaren’s quote, “Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle."