science
Oops, a DNA Testing Company Accidentally Sent Strangers’ Spit to Five Customers

DNA tests can be easily fooled and different tests may draw wildly different conclusions about the supposed heritage of participants. One thing the current rash of these startups have in common, however, is how their saliva testing kits are not supposed to come with spit already included. Read More >>

science
Another DNA Testing Company Reportedly Gets Fooled by Dog DNA

Consumer DNA testing is going to the dogs. A Canadian testing company has been accused of sending back supposedly human ancestry results on a faux sample that actually came from a chihuahua named Snoopy, CBC News reported Wednesday. Remarkably, it’s the second company reported to have been fooled by doggy DNA in recent months, but the full story behind the sting is even weirder. Read More >>

dna testing
23AndMe Accuses Ancestry.Com of Patent Infringement and False Advertising

DNA testing site 23andMe is suing its biggest rival, Ancestry.com. In the suit, filed earlier this month in a California federal district court, 23andme accuses Ancestry.com of patent infringement and false advertising. Interestingly, 23andme is also pushing back against Ancestry.com’s trademark of the word “Ancestry.” It argues the term is too generic to qualify for trademark protection. Read More >>

science
I Tried a DNA-Optimised Skin-Care Routine – and I Was Allergic to It

The pitch was a skin-care routine designed especially for me, genetically optimised to give me the skin I was “born to have.” The reality was decidedly more itchy, flaky, and red. Read More >>

dna testing
I DNA Tested My Cat and She Was Not Happy About It

I was crawling around on the floor, chasing my cat, Avalanche, as she artfully wriggled away from me over and over again to gnaw at the piece of tape I had stuck to her grey and white fur. Avalanche had unwittingly become a victim of journalistic inquiry: I wanted to explore the latest fad in consumer DNA testing, genetic analysis for pets. But rather than somehow coax my cat to spit in a tube, Basepaws required that I stick a piece of tape to Avalanche’s body, then “gently” pull it off. Except it turns out that there is no way to gently rip tape off of an animal completely covered in two-inch-long fur. My cat was furious with me for hours. Read More >>

science
Report: A DNA Testing Company Could Not Tell the Difference Between Human and Dog DNA

Dog may be man’s best friend, and even genetically similar to humans, to boot, but there are enough key differences that it shouldn’t be too hard to distinguish between human and doggy DNA. Read More >>

23andme
23andMe Is Working to Make DNA Data More Diverse

When you mail off a sample of your spit to find out about your ancestry, companies like 23andMe compare your DNA to other people around the world, seeing how closely your genes match the genes of people in, say, Norway, in order to deduce whether your ancestors might have been Norwegian, too. Read More >>

science
An Indian State Is Building a Massive, Blockchain-Based DNA Database

India’s eighth largest state is seeking to build a blockchain-based DNA database of all 50 million of its citizens. Read More >>

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 >>

dna testing
Woman Says Ancestry.com Test Revealed Her Parents’ Fertility Doctor Was Actually Her Father

It’s become a familiar story in the age of consumer DNA testing: a person spits into a test tube to learn more about their genetic heritage, and ends up finding out they have a parent or sibling they didn’t know existed. It can be hard to keep family secrets under wraps when all it takes to reveal them is about 100 quid and a mouthful of spit. Read More >>

genetics
Estonia Is Taking a Page from 23andMe to Offer DNA-Based Health Advice to Citizens

From its perch on the Baltic Sea, the tiny former Soviet nation of Estonia has become an unlikely leader in all things digital. Its government has already embraced blockchain, declared Internet access a basic human right, and embarked on a massive undertaking to become a “digital society” where everything from identity to voting is digitized and linked together across one massive platform. Given this, it’s no surprise that this nation would be quick to embrace another up-and-coming technology: DNA testing. Read More >>

science
Dutch Police Are DNA Testing 21,500 Men to Solve a 20-Year-Old Murder

In 1986, a technique called “DNA fingerprinting” was used for the first time in a criminal investigation, when a geneticist named Alec Jeffreys realised that when DNA was extracted from cells and attached to photographic film, it developed as a sequence of bars that could uniquely identify someone. His accidental discovery helped nail the suspect in the murder of 15-year-old Dawn Ashworth. Since then, for better and for worse, DNA has become gold-standard evidence that has led to thousands of convictions. Read More >>

medicine
23andMe Gets FDA Green Light to Sell First Consumer DNA Test for Cancer Risk in the US

23andMe currently offer health risk reports for UK customers including Parkinson's Disease, Celiac Disease, and Alzheimer's Disease, but does not test for cancer. That could be changing in the near future though, as The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has cleared 23andMe to sell a DNA test for gene mutations linked to breast cancer directly to customers in the US, making it the first consumer DNA testing company to win the agency’s approval for a cancer risk screening. Read More >>

science
‘Stunning’ Family Tree Includes 13 Million People Over 11 Generations

Genealogy is an old hobby that has had a recent surge in popularity thanks to new technology. In addition to attics and archives, ancestry sleuths can now log on to popular websites like Ancestry.com and connect with millions of other to whom they may be genetically linked. Read More >>

science
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 >>