Genetic Future

Personal genomics company 23andMe is now offering a discount of $200 for customers who buy three or more kits before December 31st.

In a press release the company explains the reasoning behind the price cut:

By offering this discount, 23andMe hopes to encourage families, in particular, to explore the unique features of the 23andMe Personal Genome Serviceā„¢ that are of special interest to people who are related. These features allow family members to learn how genetically similar they are and how genes were passed down from grandparents to grandchildren.

Still unconvinced? Just imagine the heart-warming sound of your entire family spitting into plastic tubes on Christmas morning. Now that is the sound of the 21st century Christmas…


Example photo only. Results of buying a 23andMe kit for your children may vary from the scenario depicted.

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  1. #1 Mike McKeown
    December 8, 2008

    They may see this as a marketing tool, but it is also decidedly a paternity test as long as dad is one of those tested.

    Do they really want to go there?

    Despite their disclaimers, are they liable if this ‘family friendly’ adventure ends up as a family disaster?

  2. #2 Amit
    December 8, 2008

    I was thinking the same thing!

  3. #3 none
    December 8, 2008

    from their website

    “You may learn surprising things about yourself.

    There is a chance you could be surprised by what you learn about your genome. For example, you could discover that your father is not your biological parent. You could learn that individuals with your genetic profile are at increased risk of developing a currently incurable disease. You might learn something unexpected about your ancestry. In certain cases, these discoveries could have social, legal or economic implications.”

  4. #4 Daniel MacArthur
    December 9, 2008

    heh – I probably should photoshopped the mother in the background, looking decidedly apprehensive…

    as for liability: I’m sure 23andMe’s lawyers have looked into that issue fairly extensively, but I have no idea about it myself. Does anyone out there have an informed opinion?

  5. #5 Andrew Yates
    December 10, 2008

    I’m sometimes contacted by PR companies (23andMe included) about “reporting” releases like this, and I’m not sure how I feel about that, because really, is it news that some company is offering a moderate discount (about >17%)? Plus, I’m not the weekend saver newspaper insert.

  6. #6 Daniel MacArthur
    December 10, 2008

    Actually, this post is my early Christmas present to Linda and Anne – I left it too late to ship them the pink sweaters I had planned…

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