A Google-backed personal genetics company called 23andMe has launched its Personal Genome Service in the UK, allowing Brits to test for genes associated with inherited conditions such as Cystic Fibrosis or Sickle Cell Anaemia.
Anne Wojcicki, who is married to Sergey Brin, one of Google's founders, started 23AndMe in Mountain View with Linda Avey and Paul Cusenza. Google has invested millions into the company since 2007, helping 23andMe to create a spit-testing service of sorts that enables people to "access, understand, and benefit from the human genome".
The idea is that you would use PGS to test for specific genes. These genes may reveal risk factors for diseases and conditions like blood clotting, Alzheimer’s disease, and Parkinson’s disease. PGS can also determine how your body may respond to medications, why you're a more frequent smoker, and how you metabolise caffeine.
PGS will even predict if you're predisposed to be a sprinter or endurance athlete. The service basically provides a full genetic ancestry report, unlocking your family’s genetic roots. More than 600,000 customers have already taken the test, and some have used it to find new relatives through 23andMe’s DNA Relatives feature.
Starting today, you can can purchase the Personal Genome Service at www.23andMe.co.uk for £125 including shipping. Once you order PGS, it will arrive with a DNA kit and instructions on how to provide a saliva sample. 23andMe's website serves as a hub, providing access to your DNA's health and trait reports.