7 Things You Should Know About The Future Of Your Genetic Data

Over the last decade, more than a million people have spit in a vial, sent it to 23andMe and received a report on what their personal genetic information says about them. In the decade to come, many more may join them using the first consumer testing kit approved by the Food and Drug Administration.

On Oct. 21, 23andMe launched its new personalized DNA testing product. A week later it released a smartphone app that provides quick access to results and offers current customers the ability to contribute to research, if they choose. The moves come just under two years after the FDA told the startup to stop marketing its genetic testing product because it failed to demonstrate that the underlying science was valid.

As the Wall Street Journal reported, the FDA hasn’t given 23andMe permission to claim that its $199 direct-to-consumer genetic test can show you your risks for breast cancer, Alzheimer’s disease or adverse drug reactions, as it once did. What has been approved is the company sending you a research report that shows if you’re a carrier for 36 other rare diseases, provides information about your ancestry and offers insight into how your genes make you, well, you.

The FDA’s approval hasn’t laid to rest concerns about what 23andMe will do with a huge database of genetic information. Some of these fears may be heightened by lucrative partnerships with pharmaceutical companies. In an interview with The Huffington Post, 23andMe co-founder and CEO Anne Wojcicki emphasized consumer choice regarding how genetic data would be used and answered a raft of other questions about privacy, data use and transparency in the biotech industry.

Here’s what Wojcicki told us about genetic testing today and what she sees coming in —> Read More