Some people might find getting a report of their genetic information, including risks for certain diseases and carrier statuses, an unusual xmas gift. However, two years ago, that’s what my brother and sister-in-law got me, knowing how intrigued I am by unlocking our genetic code.
There are several companies online now offering this service if you spit into a tube and mail it in, and 23andMe is one of the best known. Until recently, the basic kit cost $299 which was just above what most people found to be too costly for the sake of curiosity. But I just got an email saying they have set a goal to get 1,000,000 people’s DNA in their database, and that meant a major price reduction, to $99.
While you probably already have a really good idea about some of your health traits, such as eye color and hair curl, are you intrigued by lesser-known details such as wet or dry earwax? Does cilantro taste like soap to you? Or are you interested (as I am) in nutrigenomics and wonder about your MTHFR status, or whether or not you’re prone to hematomacrosis?
The best thing is you can download your raw data and then view it through other programs online – my recent find is Promethease, which interprets your genetic code for free or a low cost ($2) which is then stored on your computer. As updates in research are found, you can re-run your data to learn the latest. It’s fascinating stuff, if you are curious to know what your genetic code has to say about you.