DNA testing service 23andme offers insight into your health as well as the opportunity to connect with DNA matches both close and distant to help you discover more about your heritage.
Discover 90+ personalised reports that will inform you of your ancestry, health, wellness and more with 23andMe. Ethnicity information is also provided including your maternal and paternal (if male) haplogroup. Their Ancestry + Health test gives you information about your health traits in two categories; wellness and physical traits. They also offer you a look at your Genetic Health Risk reports which tell you if you carry genetic markers associated with a number of illnesses such as Celiac disease and Parkinson’s disease. There is even a report showing how many Neanderthal traits you carry in comparison to your DNA matches as well as with everyone else in the 23andme database.
|150+ ancestry regions||Does not allow upload of a family tree file|
|Browse your DNA data for specific genes & SNP's||A more health focussed customer base is less useful for genealogical purposes|
|Provides autosomal data and maternal and paternal haplogroup information|
|Great value for money with their Ancestry + Health test kit|
23andMe is reinventing the way we look at our ancestry – through science. There are two different types of kits to choose from, both of which have access to 150+ ancestry regions to give you a detailed report. With this service, there is no membership fee or monthly subscription. It’s not a shock to find that the Ancestry + Health Test provides the more thorough results (more features) as it looks into our health, however, if you are just interested in your ancestry and heritage, then the Ancestry Test is the right choice for you.
|Ancestry Test||£79 + £9.99 postage or £19.99 express ($99)|
|Ancestry + Health Test||£149 + £9.99 postage or £19.99 express ($199)|
The test procedure is very straightforward and after registering on the site, you must agree to their terms and conditions.
Once your results are in, you will find several categories to choose from to view aspects of your results. The top of your list shows your Ancestry reports. A result of this report includes both men and women learning more about their haplogroups. There is also a link to the 23andMe discussion boards where they can discuss their results with other users.
The next few sections you’ll find on your dashboard relates to health data. The wellness section covers a small range of genetic traits and what makes you unique, from food preferences to physical appearance.
Your genetic health risks report looks at a large number of genetic variants you may carry that may predispose you to some diseases. They are careful to point out that while you may carry some of these genetic variants it does not mean you will get those diseases and also that just because you do not carry a certain genetic variant it does not mean you won’t get that disease either.
Another great aspect of 23andMe as a genealogist is their DNA relatives section. This provides you a list of DNA relatives sorted from the closest related to more distant in descending order. While you cannot upload a family tree, you can reconstruct your tree on their website as well as add ancestral surnames and locations. 23andMe also gives segment data so you can copy this information into DNA Painter program which helps you figure out how you likely relate to your matches, even if they haven’t posted family tree information or surnames to go on.
23andMe employ software, hardware and physical security measures to protect the computers where your data is stored. They also use robust authentication methods to access their systems as well as storing personal information and genetic data in separate and concrete computing environments.
It is worth pointing out that when you sign up for 23andMe, you have a choice whether to opt in or opt out of genetic research by third parties. For those that opt-in to their research, you are giving them permission to sell your genetic data to medical researchers and pharmaceutical companies. Should you choose to not consent to the research, it will not impact your 23andMe experience.
23andMe has a wide range of educational material on their website and we commend how they offer ample peer-reviewed research links on various topics. To help you get started, there are a few different videos on the site, and should you have any questions or queries, there is a thorough FAQ link at the bottom of each webpage. 23andMe recommends you contact them with any questions either through their online request form or through their social media accounts i.e. Facebook, Twitter, Google Plus, and YouTube. 23andMe is located at:
899 West Evelyn Avenue, Mountain View, CA 94041
23andMe is unique in that it was the first DNA testing provider to offer autosomal DNA for ancestry back in 2007. After a shake-up of how they deliver their testing services in 2015, they began to offer the two different types of tests they have today. You can choose their Ancestry only test which connects you with your list DNA relatives and provides access to a number of comparison tools.