23andMe, the Mountain View, California-based ‘personal genetics’ company, has launched its mail-order DNA test kits in the UK today. The kits provide customers with comprehensive reports about their health, genetic traits, inherited conditions and ancestry.
The Personal Genome Service starts with a testing kit that you can order online for $196 (£125). After you submit saliva samples, 23andMe’s lab analyzes them and sends back a report covering inherited conditions like Cystic Fibrosis and Sickle Cell Anaemia, response to drugs, genetic risk factors like Alzheimer’s Disease and traits like male pattern baldness, memory and more.
This information can help doctors better diagnose your ailments and ensure better medical care by avoiding drugs that you’ll react poorly to, or not at all.
In addition, 23andMe’s service may also help customers trace their lineage.
23andMe offered this service in the US for over five years, but was ordered to halt sales last year by the FDA. The agency was concerned users might undergo unnecessary or inappropriate treatment based on the reports they received.
However, the service has just been reviewed and approved by the Research Ethics Committee in the UK, and so is ready to begin shipping kits to customers across the country.