FDA allows the company 23andMe to provide genetic tests directly to interested people


23andMe will now be reporting telltale markers for 10 diseases. Some of them are rare, like factor XI deficiency (a blood clotting disorder) and Gaucher disease type 1, an organ and tissue illness, or the celiac disease. Until now, the only way for people to get such genetic tests was to see a medical professional who would order a test and later deliver the results to patients. Often, patients were required to see a genetic counselor before getting a test. Not more this way ! Now, a customer will spit into a tube and then mails it to 23andMe. The company’s lab extracts DNA from the saliva cells and tests it with probes that find genetic markers using a special chip for genotyping. In about six to eight weeks the company sends the customer an email saying the results. By logging onto an online account, the customer can see the report and its interpretation. Risk genes for Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s are treated separately. Customers will have to specifically say that they want that information. The price of the Ancestry and Health test from the company was set to $199.


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