23andMe Talks New Survey Revealing Increased Level of Understanding of Genetics

By LAURA KIRTLEY | lkirtley@tristatehomepage.com

Published 05/01 2014 11:12AM

Updated 05/01 2014 11:16AM

DNA Day (April 23) is a day dedicated to learning more about genetics and exploring how DNA impacts our everyday lives. 23andMe, is a personal genetics company, which has conducted a survey designed to look at the level of knowledge and understanding of genetic information among Americans and how it has evolved over the past year.

The survey looks specifically at what Americans know today about how genetics can influence human health and traits and what it can reveal about ancestry. The relatively new nature of this field contributes to a general lack of education about DNA and its practical applications. However, 23andMe is dedicated to providing individuals with access to their own DNA in a way that is easy to understand.

The survey results demonstrate an increase over the past year in what Americans believe they can learn if they were to get personal genetic testing, including:

Diseases they may not be affected by but could pass onto their children (77% vs. 72%)
Their risk of getting a disease (76% vs. 69%)
A better understanding of their ancestry (67% vs. 61%)
A chance to connect with living relatives (51% vs. 46%)

23andMe is currently providing new customers with access to their ancestry analysis and uninterpreted raw genetic data only. The company is not providing health reports to new customers as per directive by the U.S. Food & Drug Administration while the company completes the regulatory review process.

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