Saturday, February 13, 2010

Comparing Apples to Oranges

by Janet Crain
After almost a decade of Y Chromosome and mtDNA testing dominating the layman user consumer market, autosomal tests have come within a price range that many Americans, despite the lousy economy, can afford. Here a reporter orders and uses tests from three different companies; Navigenics, 23andMe, and deCODEme to see which is the best. Guess who won out.

Web DNA Tests Raise Self-Absorption to a New Level

In which the writer compares the sometimes scary, sometimes entertaining services of Navigenics, 23andMe and deCODEme

I have fascinating genes. At least, they're fascinating to me. For the last several weeks I've been getting up close and personal with my DNA as I compared three major direct-to-consumer genetic testing services. These companies, which claim to identify their customers' genetic predispositions for various diseases, are products of the multibillion-dollar, multiyear effort to map the human genome. It's a place where biotech meets infotech.

To test the services, I signed up for all three; Navigenics, 23andMe, and deCODEme at the same time. Once I registered and paid online, each service sent me a kit to collect my genetic material and a mailer to return it. Navigenics and 23andMe use saliva samples for analysis. DeCODEme has a more involved process, using what looks like a specialized tongue depressor to take a scraping of the inside of your cheek. I was a bit worried about messing things up, but a video on the Web site showed me how to do it properly. To measure response times, I made sure to send back the kits simultaneously.

Read it all here:

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