Get SNPd!

In my humble opinion, the best $100 investment you can ever make is to get yourself SNP’d. No scissors involved.

UPDATE: In November 2013, 23andMe was ordered to stop selling genetic testing kits by the FDA. Currently a much more limited product is available.

SNP DNA testing is a process by which your DNA is scanned looking for known mutations – 960,000 mutations to be exact. Mutations in your DNA can adversely affect cell Proteins. Scanning gives you insight into your disease risk, ancestry, response to drugs and other fun bits of trivia – over 200 results.  My favourite SNP testing company is 23andMe.

DNASnips.comThinking Exponentially, this is one of the best investments ever. First, 23andMe is extremely helpful in that it can give you insight into which diseases you are higher, average and lower risk for. Second, your response to drug dosage can prove invaluable. If you ever have a heart attack, your response to a common blood thinning drug called Warfarin just might be important. Third, as more and more research is reported, 23andMe adds this to your online report for free.

I personally SNPd a dozen of my family spanning 4 generations through 23andMe.  I compared our family history against the genetic results, it was incredibly accurate. To our surprise, one individual identified as high risk for lung cancer. Proactively scanning, we found 3 (yes three) lung tumors, two different cancers. Thanks to early detection, we successfully removed the tumors before they spread, the family member is now cancer free – Saving a Life.

This is not a unique case, others have had similar experiences. Using genetics to identify high risk conditions and sharing the results with your doctor – can potentially provide remarkably effective healthcare.

Thinking Exponentially again, one worthy human race project is the search for a cause and cure to Parkinson’s Disease. This is an excellent example of how crowd sourcing and genetics can address problems that were once unsolvable. Combined with the geometric drop in price and growth in capability, SNP testing will hit critical mass. Help yourself and in turn help everyone.

I have a history with 23andMe. I am the sole investor in Curetogether, a crowd sourced chronic condition company. 23andMe purchased the company in 2012, their first acquisition. I am now a proud shareholder of 23andMe. 23andMe not only generated a great return on investment, they also helped save a family member I care about.

scientist working at the laboratoryA number of third party services provide additional analysis of your 23andMe data. You will need to download your raw 23andMe data and upload it to the third party. Research is published almost weekly tying SNPs to conditions – and it may not initially appear on 23andMe. Such services include:

SNPediaPrometheus provides additional reports above and beyond 23andme.
GeneticGenie – Analysis of your DNA in Methylation.
GEDMatch – An assortment of tools for genealogy.
Y-Chromosome – Study the male side of DNA.
myKaryoView – DNA visualization tool.
Interpretome – Explore and study your genome.
Genomera – Crowd sourced health discovery.
23andyou – A blog listing more tools.

Icons Cloud around Touchscreen Smartphone. Vector Image

Mobile versions of 23andMe for the iPhone and Android platforms are available. Which can be helpful if you want to share genetic results with your doctor. By taking your data with you, versus emailing it, you always control who gets access to it. Likewise in an emergency situation, it helps if you need access to how your genetics will impact response to medicine.

Thanks to exponential growth in Genetic Sequencing, since 2008 there has been almost a 20 fold improvement in reading SNPs. What once cost $1,000 is available today for only $100 – and now you get twice the results.

There is a social component to 23andMe, it is possible to compare genetic results. If you sign up for 23andMe, feel free to contact me to share DNA. I share my DNA results with just about anyone.

Recently 23andMe raised $50M and announced their intention to get to 1 million subscribers. That will likely be the tipping point. In 2015 or 2016 I expect there will be a mass migration to more detailed Genetic Research.


Disclaimer: I own shares in 23andMe.

Tags: , , ,

Categories: Genetics, Video

Author:Geoffrey Shmigelsky

Technology Entrepreneur, Angel Investor


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8 Comments on “Get SNPd!”

  1. February 21, 2013 at 2:24 am #

    Excellent post, Geoff. My only problem with 23 and Me is that once you download your genome, and then discover all the ways you can analyze it, and learn all the ways you can improve and extend your life, its easy for a whole week to go by.


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