So I had heard about 23andme (www.23andme.com) from a friend and decided to try it out. I happened to be looking on World DNA Day or something so I got a full package of ancestry & genetic medical profiling for 99 bucks. Not a bad deal. I got my results back and I’m thoroughly impressed with how in depth they go.
For ancestry they track both maternal & paternal lines, and compare your similarity to various populations. I’m mostly southern & northern European which I expected. I figured 3rd would be north african, but there was a surprise; there was actually a decent amount of middle-eastern and near eastern (like afghani, etc.). They can tell you what populations you most closely resemble within the groups; and for me it was Italian and a little Austrian which was a huge surprise. I thought it would be Italian & French. There’s a relative finder too, they show you people you might be related to so you can contact them. No one really close for me, a bunch of 3rd cousins.
The medical portion of it was astounding as well. They go pretty in depth. They measure you for disease risks, then compare it to genetic contributions to those afflictions. They then compare your risk to the average person. So for venous thromboembolism (blood clot that moves to the lungs) the average person is at a genetic risk of around 12.5%; I on the other hand am at 72% between the age of 0-79. But they also point out that it’s about 55% attributable to genetics, so there are many mitigating factors that they then go into. They also cover what to do to reduce your odds. You can even select your age range, so between 25-29 the average population has a 0.2 risk and I’m at 2.1%.
They also test you for carrier status for certain conditions (cystic fibrosis, etc.) I’m not a carrier for anything major; potentially an extremely minor form of Alpha-1 Antitrypsin Deficiency and potentially a very minor form of Hemochromatosis, but most likely neither. Drug responses are also covered; i.e. caffeine metabolism speed, heroin addiction potential (apparently I have an extraordinarily high risk of becoming addicted if I tried it). Finally they test for traits, (likely eye-color, HIV resistance, birth weight). I found out I have all the genetic variants they have in their database for people that live to around 100. So that was nice.
Anyway, if anyone’s curious I highly recommend the site; it’s informative, fun, occasionally terrifying, and can help you plan for your future.