Direct-to-consumer genetic testing services

There are many companies offering easy access genetic testing services. Here are some examples
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The Independent Online


Navigenics

Customers send a sample of saliva in a specially designed container, complete with a solution which preserves DNA until it arrives in Navigenics' laboratory in California. The "Navigenics Health Compass" test scans an individual's entire genome to give a picture of one's genetic makeup and looks out for specific genetic variations that have previously been linked to diseases, such as diabetes, macular degenerations, and breast cancer.

Cost: $2,500, plus additional $250 yearly subscription for ongoing counselling and updates.



23andMe

This web based service claims to help you read and understand your DNA for educational and research purposes. After sending them a saliva sample using their "spit kit" you can access the results and use their online tools to "shed new light on your distant ancestors, your close family and most of all, yourself". The service emphasises a more recreational approach to genetic testing; however it does offer analysis of customers’ genetic risk for various diseases.

Cost: $1,044 (including FedEx postage)



deCODEme

Based in Reykjavik, the service uses a cheek swab to discover "your genetic propensity for developing specific diseases and conditions, enabling you to make more informed decisions about your health". The company tabulates genome results to offer a calculation of genetic risk for 29 diseases and traits as well as DNA ancestry tracing services.

Cost: $950



Genetic Health Clinic

Located in Harley Street in London, the clinic offers genetic diagnostic testing and "expert doctors in the field of genetics and anti-ageing". With the help of the European Scanning Centre they assess genetic risk of future disease - with additional specific tests for cardiovascular diseases and the possible effects of hormone replacement therapy. Testing includes a post test consultation with one of the clinic's doctors.

Cost: £850 - for the full premium service



Oxford Ancestors

The UK company focuses on genetic roots and DNA services for personal ancestry research. They claim to trace paternal and maternal ancestry as well as attempting to trace individuals’ genealogy to specific clans, including the rather hopeful search to see if "you carry the heroic Y-chromosome that flowed through the veins of the High Kings of Ireland".

Cost: Prices range from £25 to £370



Biopet VetLab

Based in Knoxville, Tennessee, the laboratory maps the genetic history of dogs to better understand behavioural traits and long term health problems of pets. Also offers a DNA identification card for proof of animal identity and mail-order DNA tests to reveal mixed-breed dogs' heritage. The lab plans to launch products to allow veterinarians to detect genetic disorders in animals later this year.

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