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The Latest 23andMe Update

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Here are few of the latest sources of information or discussion about 23andMe:

Mark Fletcher at Wingedpig.com writes about some “23andMe Updates.” Fletcher notes that Andrew Scheidecker has written a program that will extract and download your own raw SNP data from 23andMe (http://www.scheidecker.net/personal-genome-explorer/). Scheidecker writes that the program doesn’t violate 23andMe’s terms of service, but I recommend confirming that for yourself before you use this program. Fletcher also links to Kevin Kelly at the Quantified Self, who writes “23andMe, Alzheimer’s disease, and ApoE.” Kelly notes (as has Fletcher) that the rs1702 and rs4420638 SNPs tested by 23andMe are resulting in “no call” for many individuals. These two SNPs are believed to be associated with Alzheimer’s disease.

HT & the Sheriff has decided to order a test at “Me, Me, Me (and 23).” Stay tuned for the results.

Jay Cross at Internet Time Blog writes “The Jay DNA” and ” The Jay DNA 2.0.” Cross recently ordered a 23andMe test and discusses his reactions to his results. He concludes: “Do I recommend 23andMe? Not yet. Wait a while.”

Jennifer Lahl at the Human Future writes “The Human Genome is Out of the Bottle” in which she creates a great list of questions that “we must ask ourselves.” Unfortunately, Lahl does not give any substantive analysis and merely cites the recent NEJM article (which, as you’ll recall, was not about genetic genealogy).

Canada’s Globeandmail.com presents “Goodbye Facebook, hello cheek swabs.” The article discusses the creation of social networks based on genetic relationships and mentions companies like 23andMe, GeneTree.com, and Canada’s DNA Ancestry Project (which was the subject of great controversy recently). This type of networking is new but is being pursued by many companies, including dna.ancestry.com, which compares your DNA tests results to their database to find and display your closest connections. I’m not crazy about this article, as it is a little weak on the science side.

As always, these links do not constitute a “promotion” of 23andMe, as one reader previously suggested. This post is merely a compilation of sites that contain information about 23andMe’s products and services to allow readers to do their own research and come to their own conclusions.

Blaine Bettinger

Intellectual property attorney, genealogist, and author of The Genetic Genealogist since 2007