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Biotech Science Technology

Two Companies Now Offering Personal Gene Sequencing 146

Posted by Zonk
from the sequencing-for-fun-and-profit dept.
corded writes "Yesterday, deCODE genetics announced the launch of their $985 personal genotyping product, deCODEme (video), beating their competitors to market. Perhaps not coincidentally, 23andMe's website is suddenly much more informative today, and the New York Times features a preview of 23andMe's $999 offering. deCODEme and 23andMe will scan about a million and 600,000 sites across the genome, respectively and assess your risk for common diseases, along with providing information about ancestry, physical traits, and the ability to compare genes with friends and family."
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Two Companies Now Offering Personal Gene Sequencing

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday November 17, 2007 @05:19PM (#21392311)
    Confirmed here [rootsweb.com]:

    I contacted the support team at deCODEme this morning. You will receive the raw data along with reference numbers for the SNPs.
    If 23andMe isn't offering raw data, that's a point in favor of deCODE.
  • Re:Gene Patents (Score:3, Informative)

    by foobsr (693224) * on Saturday November 17, 2007 @05:30PM (#21392417) Homepage Journal
    "A new study shows that 20 percent of human genes have been patented in the United States, primarily by private firms and universities."
    as of 2005 [nationalgeographic.com]

    Ohne Worte (spechless, though not quite)

    CC.
  • by Daniel Dvorkin (106857) on Saturday November 17, 2007 @05:33PM (#21392435) Homepage Journal
    What they're offering isn't "full sequencing." It's looking at a very specific set of markers (SNPs) which are known to vary widely between individuals. SNP stands for single nucleotide polymorphism -- that means one base pair or bp. There are about three billion bps in the human genome, of which these companies identify about a million, or one out of every three thousand. Such markers are certainly sufficient for genealogy, and are often enough to locate the regions of the genome on which genes predictive for certain diseases may be found, but they're nowhere near the full sequence. By way of analogy (I'm sure someone will come along to punch holes in this, but I think it's a pretty good one) a million-SNP map of your genome is like the satellite view of your house you get from Google; a full sequence is like knowing the location of every blade of grass on your lawn.
  • by Daniel Dvorkin (106857) on Saturday November 17, 2007 @05:47PM (#21392563) Homepage Journal
    I think what's going on is an overzeaous application of carelessly written privacy laws. It's not that NJ (or any of the other states on the list) doesn't want you to see the map; it's that the states have laws preventing companies from doing certain kinds of data mining involving other people's genetic data necessary to give you meaningful results. (SNP maps in isolation are pretty useless.) Most likely the laws were written when having this kind of test done for an affordable price was impossible. There are good reasons for safeguarding medical data of all kinds, most certainly including genetic data, but the laws should keep pace with the technology.
  • For less... (Score:3, Informative)

    by _PimpDaddy7_ (415866) on Saturday November 17, 2007 @05:51PM (#21392605)
    If you are interested in just your ancestry part check out National Geographic's Genographic project:

    https://www3.nationalgeographic.com/genographic/index.html [nationalgeographic.com]

    Less money and pretty interesting. I did it myself and was pleased with the results. Very interesting indeed! :)
  • by mexicanpizza (1151143) on Saturday November 17, 2007 @06:13PM (#21392787) Homepage
    The three main personalized genomics companies that have hinted at their offerings (23andMe, deCODEme, and Navigenics) are all basically offering the same product, SNP genotyping:

    23andMe: 550k SNPs + 30k custom SNPs, $999

    deCODEme: >1M SNPs, $985

    Navigenics: $2500, with hints at a "lock-in" model where you purchase a subscription service for continued updates as science understands more about disease:genotype correlation.

    ...however, deCODEme is founded by perhaps the largest private genetics-centered biopharma firm. It will be interesting to see how this plays out as the IT-strong 23andMe competes with the science-strong deCODEme.

    One company that was not mentioned is Knome [knome.com]. They haven't released details of their service, but instead of SNPs, they plan to offer whole genome sequencing. This is the direction that all of the above companies will head, once it's economically feasible to sequence the whole genome.

    (Most of this has been summarized on my site: http://seqanswers.com [seqanswers.com])

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