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'A Waste of Time and Money'

According to Gizmodo's Elly Hart, "23andMe genetic testing is a waste of time and money." Hart says that she chose to purchase the direct-to-consumer genetic testing firm's services last year, when it offered a discount for Gizmodo readers. Now, she says, "I kinda wish I hadn't." (This week, 23andMe announced an early "DNA Day" sale. For a limited time, customers can either order its Personal Genome Service for $0 down plus a 12-month subscription commitment of $9 per month or the testing service without a subscription for $399.)

Hart was disappointed by both her risk and ancestry results. According to her disease risk report, Hart is 1.21-times more likely to suffer a heart attack than the average person. However, upon accessing the detailed disease risk report, she found out that the heart attack risk "data is based on the assumption that I am of European ancestry, and between the ages of 40 and 79." Hart describes herself as a "twenty-something woman with mostly Asian ancestry." Because of that, Hart says her ancestry results were a bit of a letdown. "23andMe also failed to adequately inform me that there's no way to trace my paternal line because it's 'determined by the genetics of the Y-chromosome.' Maybe this is common sense to some, but it isn't to me." As such, "if I really want to know my paternal ancestry, I would have to get my dad, brother or paternal uncle to do the test and cough up more money," Hart says. As a result of her experience, Hart suggests that "unless you have a specific reason behind your motivation, don't bother with genetic testing services, especially if you're not of European ancestry and under the age of 30. … The money is probably better spent towards a gym membership, more fruits and vegetables and health/life insurance."

The Scan

CDC Calls Delta "Variant of Concern"

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From FDA to Venture Capital

Former FDA Commissioner Stephen Hahn is taking a position at a venture capital firm, leading some ethicists to raise eyebrows, according to the Washington Post.

Consent Questions

Nature News writes that there are questions whether informed consent was obtained for some submissions to a database of Y-chromosome profiles.

Cell Studies on Multimodal Single-Cell Analysis, Coronaviruses in Bats, Urban Microbiomes

In Cell this week: approach to analyze multimodal single-cell genomic data, analysis of bat coronaviruses, and more.