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New Releases: Apr 29, 2009

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Personal genomics company Matrix Genomics is offering DNA home testing kits for Alzheimer's disease, breast cancer and heart attack risk.

Unlike other personal genomics companies that estimate disease risk by isolating SNPs or by multiplying odds ratios from different published studies, Matrix uses a proprietary method of analysis called Grade of Membership to analyze multiple gene interactions, the company said. The Grade of Membership approach "helps Matrix Genomics define a range of inherited risk scores based on multiple gene interactions within a network of relevant genes, giving the customer a more meaningful report of their risk level for developing a given disease," the company said in a statement.

The kits, which are available through Matrix's direct-to-consumer website, range in price from $349 for a single home DNA test to $679 for a package of all three kits.

According to Larry Corder, president and CEO of Matrix Genomics, although "knowing your genetic risk factors for a specific inherited disease or condition empowers you to take preventative interventions that may improve your health … home DNA testing isn't a substitute for traditional health evaluation and conventional lab tests.

"Ideally, a knowledgeable medical professional should be involved in the process of ordering our DNA tests and interpreting the results, which are comprehensive and complex," said Corder.