5 Things You Didn't Know About 23andMe
- 23andMe is the only genetics lab in the world that meets standards of the FDA and offers its services to the general public.
- When you utilize the services at 23andMe, you are not taxing the healthcare system while learning valuable information about your genetics and medical needs.
- A co-founder of 23andMe used the process to discover a spouse's predilection for Parkinson's and promptly put preventative measures in place to improve their health.
- Advocates believe 23andMe does what every health care professional should want: encourages people to look for ways to stay healthy and prevent risk to their health.
- Besides selling their kits, 23andMe compiles data with their users' consent in order to produce scientific reports and research studies to help the medical community.
How to Redeem a Coupon Code at 23andMe
There are many opportunities to save with 23andMe services and products by taking advantage of a coupon or promo code. There are not only sites that offer coupons, but sites like Giving Assistant will donate to a charity of your choice if you shop at 23andMe.
While these coupons and savings can change without notice, opportunities include learning about your ancestry, getting discounts on a second DNA kit and savings if you use a specific credit card. Make sure you review any advertised coupons carefully. The majority of available coupons do not require any code to use. They are click-throughs that take you straight to the site and applies savings at checkout.
Keep an eye out for fraudulent coupons. Websites that sell coupons should be avoided completely. However, there are many who develop and release fake coupons simply to disrupt the system and end up costing the consumer as retailers will raise their prices to recover the hundreds of millions of dollars that fake coupons cost them. There are sites like the Coupon Information Corporation that list fake coupons, as well as a lot of information about how to recognize them.
23andMe is the first genetics testing company to offer FDA-approved direct-to-consumer health testing kits. They are also the first company to get the Federal Drug and Administration's approval for selling, testing, recording and releasing genetics information to consumers without the consumer needing to go through a physician beforehand.
It has been a long road for the company. 23andMe launched in 2006 with many arguing its validity. While the general public had already embraced the idea of self-testing DNA kits, scientists and doctors argued the tests were unnecessary and risky diagnostic procedures. Ironically, none of the company's dissenters could argue the company's tests themselves were risky or even inaccurate, just that they shouldn't be trusted out of hand. Advocates argued that utilizing the services provided by 23andMe were no different from getting information from a traditional doctor's visit. The difference is the test came in the mail and the results were received via an email.
The standard debate was the company's test uncovering a mutation in the genes linked to breast cancer cannot be trusted and a second opinion should be sought through traditional means. Yet, it is common practice to get that second opinion even if your own physician had uncovered this link through traditional doctor visits and testing. No responsible medical professional would advise a patient undergo a double mastectomy without getting a second opinion. Even the scientists at 23andMe have said uncovering a genetic failing should be investigated further through conventional means.
The goal of the company is to provide safe and approved methods to detect health failure early. It started with the husband of one of the company's co-founders. The family of Sergey Brin had a history of Parkinson's. Using the tech developed at 23andMe, Brin discovered he carried the mutation that led to Parkinson's. The discovery prompted Brin and his wife, Anne Wojcicki, to investigate preventative measures to stop or delay the disease's onset. Wojcicki felt others should have access to this technology and the benefits of understanding the human genome. She helped form 23andMe with Paul Cusenza and Linda Avey, respectively, chief executive officer of the Nodal Exchange and a noted biologist.
Headquartered in Mountain View, California, 23andMe does far more than sell its DNA kits to customers. The company strives to use the results of its tests to improve the way the scientific community approaches genetics testing and treatment of disease. By getting the consent of their customers, the company's scientists and researchers have compiled information on over a million genotyped customers. Their studies have appeared in almost 50 scientific journals.
There are plenty of DNA kits on the market, such as Ancestry.com's AncestryDNA and Fitnessgenes's DNA Analysis, but these solutions were not engineered with the promise that 23andMe's solutions were developed to do. Those kits have not been through the rigorous testing and challenge that this company faced. The Federal Drug & Administration thoroughly investigated 23andMe, even asking them to stop selling their kits for over two years. In the end, the company could boast being the only provider of DNA kits produced in accordance with the FDA's Good Manufacturing Practice regulations.
The company's kits are easy to use. They come with a specimen bag, tube container, funnel lid, saliva collection tube, tube cap and step-by-step instructions. All testing is performed in a CAP (College of American Pathologists) accredited and CLIA-certified (Clinical Laboratory Improvement Amendments of 1988) lab. Results are determined using the latest established genome medical and scientific research and tech. Once 23andMe receives a sample, it will be between four and six weeks before results are returned, usually via email.
23andMe is changing the game. These kits are an answer to the endless argument that consumers need to take more responsibility when it comes to preventive health care. 23andMe also prompts consumers to shoulder the cost of healthcare. Tons of paperwork goes out the window when one of 23andMe's kits are used.
23andMe is the next evolution to resources like WebMD, Zeo and FitBit, another innovative means for keeping personal track of health. While some argue that the kits lead to unnecessary concern and medical investigation, how uncommon is that in health care to begin with? The company provides consumers with an affordable and safe way to discover health risk without taxing an already overburdened system that, as of 2012, was already spending $750 billion annually on unnecessary services. 23andMe doesn't attest to have final answers. It gives consumers a starting point for protecting themselves. Check out "What does your DNA say about you?" to learn more.
23andMe Social Media Links
Facebook: Follow the company on Facebook for all of the latest updates.
Twitter: Learn all about DNA and genetics on the company's Twitter page.
Google+: The Google+ page features a wealth of fascinating facts and statistics.
YouTube: Browse a wide range of videos and see how 23andMe is changing our understanding of DNA.
23andMe Contact Info
899 West Evelyn Avenue
Mountain View, California 94041
Phone: (650) 938-6300