Skip to main content
Premium Trial:

Request an Annual Quote

Congress Seeks More Information on 23andMe Data Mix-up

By a GenomeWeb staff reporter

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) – A US congressional committee has sent a letter to consumer genomics firm 23andMe requesting more information regarding a recent mix-up in sample processing that may have lead to some customers receiving data that was not their own.

The House Committee on Energy and Commerce sent the letter today asking the firm to provide certain documents by June 28 to help with its investigation. Among the documents it seeks are internal and external communications related to the collection, processing, and analysis of the DNA samples affected by the mix-up; internal company policies, directives, and guidance materials that relate to handling such errors; and any documents from previous instances in which customers received DNA results belonging to other persons.

23andMe had informed customers of the mix-up on June 4. The firm said that it had "immediately identified all customers potentially affected, notified them of the problem and removed the data from their accounts."

According to GenomeWeb Daily News sister publication Pharmacogenomics Reporter, 23andMe had told its customers that the batch of mismatched records loaded on June 1 was due to "human error" and the "incorrect placement of a single 96-well plate used in processing samples."

Last week, the US Food and Drug Administration warned several firms, including 23andMe, that their consumer genomics services were offering diagnostic tests that have not been cleared for marketing by the agency.

In addition, the same House committee that sent 23andMe the letter today had opened an investigation last month into direct-to-consumer genomics services providers. According to the committee, the letters were prompted by "recent reports that at least one of the companies is seeking to sell personal genetic testing kits in retail locations, despite concern from the scientific community regarding the accuracy of test results."

The Scan

Study Tracks Responses in Patients Pursuing Polygenic Risk Score Profiling

Using interviews, researchers in the European Journal of Human Genetics qualitatively assess individuals' motivations for, and experiences with, direct-to-consumer polygenic risk score testing.

EHR Quality Improvement Study Detects Demographic-Related Deficiencies in Cancer Family History Data

In a retrospective analysis in JAMA Network Open, researchers find that sex, ethnicity, language, and other features coincide with the quality of cancer family history information in a patient's record.

Inflammatory Bowel Disease Linked to Gut Microbiome Community Structure Gradient in Meta-Analysis

Bringing together data from prior studies, researchers in Genome Biology track down microbial taxa and a population structure gradient with ties to ulcerative colitis or Crohn's disease.

Ancient Greek Army Ancestry Highlights Mercenary Role in Historical Migrations

By profiling genomic patterns in 5th century samples from in and around Himera, researchers saw diverse ancestry in Greek army representatives in the region, as they report in PNAS.