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This article was published on April 11, 2011

23andMe offers free DNA testing, on sale today only

23andMe offers free DNA testing, on sale today only
Courtney Boyd Myers
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Courtney Boyd Myers

Courtney Boyd Myers is the founder of audience.io, a transatlantic company designed to help New York and London based technology startups gr Courtney Boyd Myers is the founder of audience.io, a transatlantic company designed to help New York and London based technology startups grow internationally. Previously, she was the Features Editor and East Coast Editor of TNW covering New York City startups and digital innovation. She loves magnets + reading on a Kindle. You can follow her on Facebook, Twitter @CBM and .

Lifehacker first reported that the personal genetics company 23andMe is offering a one day sale for its genetic testing. The deal is they’ll analyze your DNA for free after you buy a 1-year subscription to the company’s $9 per month Personal Genome Service, totaling $108, which is a serious discount from the normal price of $399 (Limit 5 per person).

I signed up for 23andMe just before the holidays, paying $99.99, plus $5.00 per month for their subscription, so this is actually an even better deal. It’s easy to use, just spit in a tube and mail it off and about 6 weeks later the test results arrive via e-mail and in an easy to download PDF format.


The test provides insight into your ancestral origins; traits, from hair quality to muscle performance; risk factors for 93 diseases; and your predicted response to drugs, from blood thinners to coffee. You are then given a log-in where you can explore new genetic data as it comes in and how it relates to you.

The data is fascinating.  The amazing technology confirms so many facts I already knew about myself as standard as “I have brown hair,” to as random, yet still true as “I have moderately higher odds of smelling asparagus in my urine.” It then told me things I didn’t know about myself, like “I have about an 80% chance of not being able to taste certain bitter flavors.” This is not a good evolutionary sign.

One user even met a 3rd cousin on 23andMe through DNA analysis then confirmed with their family trees. It maps out your lineage (for female, only the maternal line is available and vice versa for males, so get your brother a test too).


The company, 23andMe was co-founded by Anne Wojcicki, the wife of Google’s Sergey Brin and is based in Mountain View, California. The more people who submit their DNA, the better the overall results will be for everyone. Let the DNA data collection begin.

N.B. This is not a gift to give to someone you’ve just started dating.