23 and me

I’ve talked about sending away for this for awhile.  Finally I did:

Dear Jeremy Freese,

Thank you for your order! Soon you will be one of the first people in the world to have access to your genetic information. 23andMe enables you to explore over 500,000 data points throughout your entire genome. You will be able to learn about your own DNA and compare yourself genetically to family and friends in the 23andMe database.

We will ship your kit(s) as soon as your payment is approved. Depending on which shipping option you chose, you should receive yours within a few days. Please collect and ship your sample(s) to the laboratory at your earliest convenience.

Order ID: [order ID number]
Number of people to be genotyped in your order: 1
Order Subtotal: [price]
Shipping: [price]
Order Total: [price]

Each kit will include detailed instructions, but please note:

– Each kit is labeled with the name of the person for whom it was ordered.  It is important that each person use the kit specifically designated for him/her.

– You must log onto https://www.23andme.com/, enter the claim code listed on your kit and follow the instructions to set up an account.  We recommend you do this before or immediately after you spit.

Your genetic profile will be ready approximately 10 weeks after our laboratory receives your samples. You will receive an email notification from us at that time. If you have questions or need assistance, please email us at help@23andme.com.

I will keep you posted.  I’ve thought about asking my mother and father if I could buy kits for them.

Author: jeremy

I am the Ethel and John Lindgren Professor of Sociology and a Faculty Fellow in the Institute for Policy Research at Northwestern University.

11 thoughts on “23 and me”

  1. That’s cool! I’ll be interested to see what you find out. Being adopted, I toy with the idea of genetic tests every once in awhile, but I’m always stopped by the worry that the test will tell me something I just don’t want to hear.

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  2. I’m not sure, but I’m very curious.

    I hope it isn’t just some insane fraud of made up info. Maybe I should have tried to recruit a family member to also to do it without telling them so that I could see if the correlation seemed statistically kosher.

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  3. I read the second sentence to suggest others already have your genetic information, that you’re only one of the first. Hopefully they don’t mean it that way…

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  4. @4 — Hee. Actually to do this, you do have to allow your (anonymized) information to be shared with their research partners, which could be commercial enterprises. That’s been a sticking point with me, and then last night I decided to go ahead anyway.

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  5. Maybe the fact that they’re sharing your data with researchers should reassure you that they’re not just making it up. As long as they’re not also making up the researchers.

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  6. On my flight home this evening I sat next to a guy working for a biotech startup and I mentioned 23 and me. He knew all about it, and said that in about four or five years there are a couple of companies — one in particular — that are going to bring a product to market that will be able to sequence a person’s entire genome (not just a subset of markers) in four hours.

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  7. I’d be surprised if this was a fraud. Certainly, one of the co-founders doesn’t need the money nor does her family need that kind of bad publicity. I had dinner with her and some mutual friends once and was very impressed (we didn’t talk about 23 and me). This is not to suggest that impressive people can’t be fraudulent, but I just don’t see it given the various factors here.

    I offered to buy this for my family a few months ago, but nothing came of it. I’ll be curious to hear how it goes for you.

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