Direct-to-consumer genetic testing has exploded in popularity over the past few years, and 23andMe has become one of the leaders in the market thanks to their relatively inexpensive and easy-to-use kits. Though they offer a basic kit that provides a detailed look into your ancestry (including where you’re from, who you’re related to and other fun tidbits about your lineage), the Health & Ancestry kit also screens your DNA for potential health risks, your likelihood of certain genetic traits and more.
It’s all done using a small saliva sample, which is collected at home and sent to a third-party laboratory where technicians test your autosomal and mitochondrial DNA, as well as Y-DNA for male subjects. The whole process takes about two to three weeks, which means you won’t have to wait too long sweating the results. And if you’re worried about the company doing something sinister with your DNA, like secretly producing clones of you to work as slave labor in the aforementioned laboratories, you can request that they destroy your sample after analysis.
We were genuinely surprised with the amount of data that we received in our report. It was enough to fill a book – and they’ll gladly sell you one for a price. Though 23andMe is by no means a replacement for an actual health care professional, it does offer some cool (and potentially lifesaving) insight into your genetic makeup. It’s the perfect gift for anyone who’s ever shown an interest in learning more about themselves.