If you’ve been wondering whether personalised genomics startup 23andMe were for real, the wait is over. Details of their service are now available. Simply pay USD 999, spit in a tube and mail it to them (in the US only so far) and they promise a personal web-based genome browser with information about disease susceptibility, ancestry and (if your relatives join in), genealogy. The technology used is SNP genotyping – basically DNA is amplified from your sample and hybridised to an Illumina array, generating ~ 600 000 data points. All the details are available here.
Some reactions (first 2 articles by people who have trialled the service):
- Welcome to the Age of Genomics at Wired Magazine
- My Genome, Myself: Seeking Clues in DNA – NYT article
- Expect frequent posts from Pimm – Partial immortalization, Scienceroll and Deepak at BBGM on this topic
So there you go – we talk about the hype, the technical difficulties, the ethical/legal issues and then someone just goes and does it. I suspect that increasingly, this is how the future will unfold. Shall we lay bets on the year of the first cloned human?