I have written a lot about the Mountain View based personal genome start-up company 23andMe (February 14th, April 9th, June 19th, July 31st, and September 13th, to name a few). As a matter of fact, if you google â€œ23andMeâ€, The Genetic Genealogist is the second result.
Today, announced by an article in the New York Times (â€œMy Genome, Myself: Seeking Clues in DNAâ€) and Wired (â€œ23andMe Will Decode Your DNA for $1000. Welcome to the Age of Genomicsâ€), 23andMe has officially launched.
If you visit 23andMe, youâ€™ll notice that the site has been completely revamped, and they are now accepting orders for their Personal Genome Service, for $999.
So what does 23andMe offer? According to the companyâ€™s Genotyping Section:
â€œIn all, 23andMe looks at more than 500,000 SNPs scattered across the 23 pairs of chromosomes that constitute the human genetic sequence. We also look at a few thousand places on the mitochondrial DNA, an odd loop of genetic material outside the nucleus that is involved in producing energy for the cell.â€
23andMe is using the Illumina HumanHap 55+ BeadChip (more information from Illumina), which
â€œanalyzes more than 600,000 SNPs that cover the entire genome. Although this is still only a fraction of the 10 million SNPs that are estimated to be in the human genome, these 600,000 are specially selected because they provide a lot of information about other nearby SNPs. This maximizes the information we can get from every SNP we analyze, while keeping the cost lowâ€¦.In addition, we have hand-picked more than 30,000 additional SNPs of particular interest from the scientific literature and added them to the chip.â€
Once a customerâ€™s DNA is analyzed, the information is loaded into the secure database where it can be accessed and viewed by the customer. In the … Click to read more!