It’s an odd thing to spit into a vial and send your saliva FedEx across the continent. So it was that curiosity tempted me a few months ago to try out 23andMe‘s personal genetics test.
Basically, you order a kit online for $399. It arrives a couple weeks later. You spit in the special vial, seal it up, and send it off. And another few weeks later an email arrives that tells you that your online profile has been completed. Pretty easy, actually.
The confidential (yet privately shareable) report summarizes your genome scan and provides you with a variety of health, traits, and ancestry – complemented by a rich library of background research. My results confirmed simple things like my skin and eye colour, insights into my ancestry on both my mother’s and father’s side, and indicators about the likelihood that I may go bald or become diabetic, among other things. It offers both the novelty of science and the profundity of extreme self-awareness. Not for everyone, and not especially actionable, but highly interesting for those seeking the ultimate in insider information.