Pricing and Features
23andMe’s Ancestry Service focuses on giving you more information about your ancestral origins and lineage, with details on ancestry composition, lineage from both parents, Neanderthal percentage, and possible relatives by checking on similar DNA matches. Aside from the ancestry composition per population, you can see a breakdown detailing the specific region for each population. The test kit costs $99 plus shipping fees.
Finding Your DNA Relatives
You can find some of your relatives, perhaps even those that you are unacquainted with, with their DNA Relative tool. 23andMe also shows the percentage in which your DNA matches with other people in the community, plus a list of famous personalities that you are related to. With over 1 million individuals in their database, you are bound to discover people in your family that you are not yet aware of, adding yet another branch into your family tree.
An exciting feature that 23andMe offers is the Neanderthal testing- simply put, it gives you insight on how much Neanderthal DNA you have in you. They also present a comparison of your percentage with the rest of the community.
Health and Wellness
Health + Ancestry Service is the other kit offered by 23andMe, which covers the previously mentioned features and adds wellness, traits, and carrier status report into the mix. With this test, you can learn your predisposition to certain diseases and conditions, plus, key information that can push you to make healthier choices. These include pertinent details on caffeine consumption, lactose digestion, and muscle type. It costs a little extra at $199 plus shipping fees.
The carrier status report is quite helpful for families, or for those looking to build one. The report shows if you are a carrier for certain conditions, and the possibility of passing the genes down to your children. Since a carrier does not usually manifest the actual condition, it may come as a surprise if one of your children suddenly appears with this condition, so knowing this information beforehand can be of great help.
Before anything else, be sure to make an account in their website so you can register your kit so that you can access your results online. If you and your family are participating, you can share a single account, but you need to individually register your kits.
Collecting the specimen is quite simple: you will find a small test tube inside the package which you will fill with your saliva. The tube has an indicator that you need to reach prior to sealing it with the lid. You should avoid eating, drinking, smoking, brushing, or using mouthwash 30 minutes before you collect your saliva. To ensure that the specimen is still viable when it reaches their facility, the kit has a buffer solution to stabilize the DNA and prevent microbial contamination.
23andMe covers return shipping of your kit. All you have to do is drop off the package at any USPS mailbox and you are good to go. You can track the status of your sample from your account, and you will be promptly notified if it has been received in their lab and when the results are already available. Delivery of the results vary from person to person. Some customers received theirs in just a couple of weeks, while others took more than a month to appear in their accounts.
Knowing Your Family
23andMe looks into 22 autosomal chromosomes to identify relationships from both of your parents, which is a big advantage over all other DNA testing services that offer information for only one side of the family at a time. Through their DNA Relatives feature, you can find individuals within the community that share an identical DNA segment with you, meaning somewhere along the line, you share a common ancestor. By analyzing the segments and percent of the shared DNA, they are able to predict two individual’s relationship. Of course, as the connection becomes more distant, accuracy may be a bit off, but you can rest assured that as the connection goes closer, the accuracy gets better.
23andMe houses a highly informative help section with articles covering important topics prior to purchasing a kit, such as getting started, account specifics, reports, tools, and their research. Their articles are pretty easy to absorb, and giving them a quick read before placing an order is highly suggested. If you want to contact their support team, you can give them a call. Their office is open from Monday to Friday, 3 AM to 8 PM PT. You can also send them an email, as they are able to respond 7 days a week. You can also connect with them via Facebook, Twitter, Google+, and Youtube for the latest news and announcements.
What's the Verdict on 23andMe?
23andMe Review 2020 – Conclusion
Despite only offering two testing kits that are a bit on the expensive side, you can get far more information from their results compared to what you will get from their competitors. They provide ancestral details from both sides of the family, making use of 22 autosomal chromosomes instead of haplogroups for better accuracy. Even your Neanderthal origins are determined with their test – a feature rarely offered by others. You can also learn more about your health conditions, traits, and conditions carried which can possibly be passed down to your children with their Health + Ancestry test. And since they are fully compliant with FDA and CLIA standards, you can rest assured that their laboratories are fully equipped and ready to finish the job with the highest quality. Go ahead and take a peek at your family’s history and connections with 23andMe!