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"Better Tomorrow"

23andMe's Anne Wojcicki had to deal with both a divorce and the US Food and Drug Administration halting her company's direct-to-consumer genetic testing four years ago, the New York Times writes.

It adds that she's since bounced back with the help of a mindset inherited from her mother. "You don't let a bad experience hold you back, otherwise you spend the rest of your life ruined by that experience," Wojcicki tells the Times. "So it doesn't matter what happened today. Make it better tomorrow."

Because of that ethos, the Times notes that Wojcicki has remained friendly with her ex-husband, Google's Sergey Brin, and similarly set about to salvage the relationship between 23andMe and the FDA. "We clearly pissed them off," Wojcicki says, adding that a cultural difference between Silicon Valley and the regulatory agency contributed to miscommunication. 

The FDA sent 23andMe a letter in November 2013, instructing the company to cease selling its Personal Genome Service test until it had the regulator's go-ahead. The agency said the company hadn't shown the test's clinical and analytical validity. Earlier this year, 23andMe resumed selling a version of the test with the FDA's OK.

Wojcicki tells the Times that she explained having to do the tests FDA required to her team by likening it to the vision test at the motor vehicles department. "You don't say, 'Oh, I just had a vision test. I don't need to do the vision test.' Like, you just do it," she says. "The FDA is in charge of public safety, and I have a respect for the job that they have to do. And we're just going to do the job that they're asking us to do."

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