A few weeks ago the world learned that Angelina Jolie underwent a preventative double mastectomy after finding out she was a carrier for the Breast Cancer gene mutation (BRCA). Mindfully Frugal Mom facebook subscribers had a wide range of opinions about Jolie’s actions — from indifference to shock to disdain. Personally, I applaud a public figure not being afraid to have such a drastic surgery.
Now there is a way that anyone can get genetic health reports as well as fascinating and important ancestry information.23andme.com provides over 240 health reports, including testing for Tay-Sach’s disease, BRCA cancer mutations, and sickle-cell anemia.
Here’s how 23 And Me works: You order the kit for $99. When you receive the kit, you spit in the enclosed tube, and send it off to be processed. When the results come back, you will learn about your recent AND ancient ancestry, if you are a carrier for several diseases, and different risks and drug responses you may be prone to due to your individual DNA.
23andme.com is NOT just for the big serious diseases and disorders though. By engaging in this simple test, you can also find out if you are a carrier of the gene for male pattern baldness, curly hair, or freckling.
23andme.com is the service featuring on PBS’s popular show, Finding Your Roots with Henry Louis Gates. I find it fascinating that through DNA, it is possible to identify your ancestry composition, from recent ancestry to “deep roots” — to find out how much of one’s DNA is from neanderthals living over 10,000 years ago.
Even cooler, is that through 23andme, you can learn if you share DNA or common lineages with famous historical figures such as Marie Antoinette or Thomas Jefferson.
Personally, I know a little bit about my family tree already. I know that I am primarily Italian, German, and English. My husband, who is a self-proclaimed “mutt,” would love to find out more details about his ancestry, however, including if he is part native-american, as family lore states.
All it takes is a little bit of spit to get all this information about genetics and ancestry, and all information is encrypted and confidential.
I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls Collective and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.