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Why Is This $99 Home DNA Kit Causing Such an Uproar?

genomeRob Abrams did. His wife, Caitlin, couldn’t have been happier. She liked it so much she gave Rob the same thing for Christmas. “It was,” Caitlin says, “the most nerdy gift I have ever given and received.”

The package — a small tube, removable cap, and sealable spit funnel — was a genetic testing kit from California company 23andMe. The Abramses spent $299 on each kit in 2011. Once the couple mailed in their tubes, 23andMe tested their saliva for hundreds of genetic markers. The markers pointed toward clinically useless but nevertheless interesting ancestral information (look, Caitlin had 2.9 percent Neanderthal DNA!). They also pointed toward dozens of potential health risks. [Read more…]