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[Cancer]

[cancer] Meanwhile, back at the gene ranch

From the department of free range expression comes news that I’ve signed up with 23andme.com. This is a genetic testing service which provides you with some health and ancestry information (including the always-popular Neanderthal percentage!), for a mere $99. In my case, I’m getting the service for free, because I fall into a class of cancer patients that 23andMe and Genentech are interested in studying. They’re trading me the assay for access to my data.

Why am I doing this? Well, in a fairly obvious sense this is redundant to the much more thorough genomic testing effort currently underway to analyze my tumor tissue. That testing effort will provide a baseline of healthy genome, which is a substantial superset of what 23andme will be measuring. But 23andMe will give me some analysis that the medical sequencing won’t. For example, the ancestry mapping. This is fun and interesting, and, hey, it’s free. I don’t get a lot of benefits from having cancer, I may as well enjoy this one.

At any rate, the spit sample kit arrived yesterday.

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Sometime in the next day or two I’ll find the time to actually do the deed, then get it back in the mail. This is a fun, low-pressure bit of genomics for me, and hey, it’s also for SCIENCE! I’ll let you know what they tell me.

In the mean time, for a mere $99 (or a horrible case of late stage cancer), why not try it for yourself?


Photos © 2013, Joseph E. Lake, Jr.

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This work by Joseph E. Lake, Jr. is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 United States License.

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