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National Geographic

The value of consumer genomics services is increasing as customers seek to discover new cousins and adoptees track down their biological birth parents.

The term 'consumer genomics' may have a catch-all ring to it, but for the time being it means ancestry testing and genetic genealogy, including for companies such as 23andMe, which built its business on relaying both personal health information and ancestral information back to c

RootsTech is a family history conference held each year in Salt Lake City.

Name: Spencer Wells Title: Director of National Geographic's Genographic Project

The consumer genomics market is often thought to be dominated by a handful of American players, but across the Atlantic, a UK-based company called ScotlandsDNA is specifically courting British and Irish customers.

When 23andMe decided to stop offering health-related tests to new customers in early December, it may have created a 2014 consumer genomics market environment defined by what company can provide the best ancestry testing and genetic genealogy experience to its customers.

If there was ever a year that microarray technology went mainstream, it was 2013.

This article was originally posted on Nov. 20. 23andMe said last month that it will soon begin genotyping its customers on a new, custom-designed, higher-throughput microarray.

As the consumer genomics market continues to grow, driven in part by the low cost of microarray-based ancestry testing, next-generation sequencing-based services targeted to "hardcore genealogists" are beginning to pop up.

Sometime earlier this year, the millionth person ordered a direct-to-consumer genetic test. Most likely, the test was ordered for ancestry or genetic genealogy purposes. It also was likely to have been run on a microarray manufactured by Illumina.

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