Personalized genomes at your doorstep

Personalized genomes at your doorstep

Three giants of the personal genomics industry are Linda Avey's 23andMe , Kari Stephansson's deCODEme and Dietrich Stephan's Navigenics.

They will genotype millions of regions in customers' genomes, called single nucleotide polymorphisms or SNPs, which have

been linked to a handful of diseases and nonmedical traits. They then sell that information

back to the customer.

Navigenics will use information from scientific studies to estimate composite risk factors for diseases based on each customer's SNPs. It also plans to provide genetic counselling to help customers interpret these risk factors. The firm will conduct long-term studies on how well those predictors work.

23andMe will analyse not just medical information, but also traits not necessarily linked to disease. The firm will introduce a social networking component to genomics by allowing customers to link their data with others', such as family members. It is also considering providing researchers with access to the data.

deCODEme will also analyse genetic risk factors,complete Ancestry Scan,provide tools to compare your results to those of friends and family.

All three of the company interests in developing whole-genome sequencing capabilities, sequencing has always been the Holy Grail of personal genomics, with the current SNP chip technology really little more than a crude place-holder until sequencing prices drop.


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