23andMe is a privately held personal genomics and biotechnology company based in Mountain View, California. The company is named for the 23 pairs of chromosomes in a normal human cell. Its saliva-based direct-to-consumer (DTC) personal genome test was named Invention of the Year by Time magazine in 2008. In 2013 the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) ordered 23andMe to discontinue marketing its personal genome service (PGS) as the company had not obtained the legally required regulatory approval resulting in concerns about the potential consequences of customers receiving inaccurate health results. The company still sells a personal genome test without health-related results in the United States. 23andMe has been selling a product with both ancestry and health-related components in Canada since October 2014, and in the United Kingdom since December 2014.
About the Author: Matt Artz
Matt Artz is an anthropologist, artist, and activist who advocates for the responsible design of human-centered technologies. He is the Head of Product & Experience at Cloudshadow Consulting, the Founder and Principal Researcher at Azimuth Labs, and the Founder and Career Coach at Anthro to UX. His current business and design anthropology research focuses on the benefits and risks of consumer DNA testing. To learn more about his research, you can watch his TEDx Talk titled Are DNA Tests Safe?. You can follow him on LinkedIn, Twitter, Instagram, and Spotify. For media inquiries, contact Matt.