science
23andMe CEO Compares DNA Tests to at-Home Pregnancy Tests, but It’s Not That Simple

In a provocative opinion published Monday in STAT, 23andMe CEO Anne Wojcicki argues that home DNA test customers don’t need experts to help them interpret genetic health risk reports. Wojcicki compares her company’s health reports, which tell people whether they are at risk of developing certain diseases, to at-home pregnancy tests. Read More >>

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Another Reminder That Consumer DNA Tests Are Not 100 Per Cent Accurate

Not long ago, decrypting DNA was an expensive undertaking that could run into hundreds of thousands of pounds. Now, for £149 you can spit into a test tube and find out about your ancestry, your risk of developing Alzheimer’s, and even how likely you are to smell asparagus in your wee. Read More >>

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23andMe Data Reveals Genes Linked to Hyperemesis Gravidarum, Severe Morning Sickness

Pregnancy is hard on the body. But for women with two specific genes, it may be especially difficult. Read More >>

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23andMe’s Ancestry DNA Test Just Got a Lot More Precise

If you’ve ever taken an ancestry DNA test, you probably already know that the results aren’t exactly precise. Sometimes you wind up with completely different results than you expected. And different brands of DNA tests can beget entirely different results. Read More >>

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How DNA Testing Botched My Family’s Heritage, And Probably Yours, Too

My grandfather was caramel-skinned with black eyes and thick, dark hair, and until he discovered that he was adopted, he had no reason to suspect that he was not the son of two poor Mexicans as he’d always been told. When he found his adoption papers, according to family lore, he pestered the nuns at the Dallas, Texas orphanage where he had lived as an infant for the name of his birth mother. Name in hand, at 10 years old, he hopped a bus to Pennsylvania, met his birth mother, and found out that he was actually Syrian. Read More >>

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The US Just Greenlit the First Consumer DNA Tests for Disease Risk

At times, DNA testing can feel more like horoscopes than science. In many cases, we just don’t know enough about a gene to say what it means for our health. For this reason, the US Food and Drug Administration has sought to protect consumers by preventing DNA testing companies from telling them whether or not they’re are at risk for a certain disease. Until now. Read More >>

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Bob Ross Processed by a Neural Network Is the Most Soothing Way to Melt Your Brain

By now we’ve seen everything from Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas to Donald Trump to popular memes processed by neural networks like Google’s Deep Dream. They’re like bizarre drug trips, but without the drugs. But it was only recently that someone was curious enough to see what a neural network would make of the human equivalent of Ambien: painter Bob Ross. Read More >>

science
The Next Pseudoscience Health Craze Is All About Genetics

Recently, Vitaliy Husar received results from a DNA screening that changed his life. It wasn’t a gene that suggested a high likelihood of cancer or a shocking revelation about his family tree. It was his diet. It was all wrong. Read More >>

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Asking Men When Their Voice Broke Helped Find Genes For Start of Puberty  

Puberty has a clear physiological signpost in girls: sooner or later, they have their first period. That’s been a critical part of identifying genes that influence when puberty starts in girls, but it wasn’t clear whether those genes also affected boys the same way. Read More >>

medicine
23AndMe is Going to Mine its DNA Data to Invent New Drugs

DNA testing startup 23andMe has been doing brisk business collecting genetic samples from over 800,000 customers. But the company this week announced a new plan that'll launch it into the big pharma world: 23andMe is going to invent its own pharmaceutical drugs using the data it collects from customer DNA. Read More >>

health
Of Course 23andMe’s Business Plan Has Been to Sell Your Data All Along

Human genome-hawking company 23andMe has announced what reportedly is only the first of ten deals with big biotech companies: US-based health firm Genentech will pay up to $60 million for access to 23andMe's data to study Parkinson's. Read More >>

health
Banned Google-Backed DIY DNA Tests Launch in the UK

The Google-backed DNA sequencing test that's been available in the US for years – and banned there more than a year ago for not backing up its marketing claims with actual evidence for the US Food and Drugs Administration – is now usable over here. Read More >>

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“Build-a-Baby” DNA Database Patent Sounds Worryingly Like Gattaca

Do you remember Gattaca, the 1997 dystopian sci-fi film in which Ethan Hawke endures a lifetime of prejudice because his parents chose not to supercharge his genes at birth? It's an unsettling vision of an intolerant future, and one that could become a reality if 23andMe's "Build-a-Baby" DNA database patent ever becomes an actual thing. Read More >>

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It Now Only Costs £60 To Know Everything About Your DNA

Mapping out your genome is the 21st Century equivalent of staring deep inside your soul; it's tempting to look, but terrifying what you might find. The DNA divers at 23andMe are hoping that slashing the price of their home-testing service—from $300 (£186) down to $100 (£62)—will be enough to tilt the scales towards discovery. Are they right? Read More >>