Thud, a new satirical media company, has launched this week with a parody of a direct-to-consumer genetic testing company they've dubbed DNA Friend, the Atlantic reports.
Rather than sending in a vial teeming with spit, the parody company has users contort their mouths in front of a webcam and answer odd questions — the Atlantic's Scott Nover writes he was asked if he had any canines in his family tree and whether any grandparent knew Genghis Khan intimately. His results indicate that his ancestry is about a quarter "grandma," that his cousin is a bonobo, and that he's likely to "inherit a 2004 Chevy Sonoma." (If you want to see what DNA Friend has to say about you, its mascot Spitty has been sent to Rockefeller Center.)
Thud was founded by Cole Bolton and Ben Berkley, both formerly of the satirical newspaper The Onion, and Elon Musk, who has since left the company. Bolton tells Nover that real DTC firms like Ancestry and 23andMe have been everywhere as of late. "People haven't really paused to consider as much — at least a lot of the people who are doing it as a novelty — that they're in fact handing over the most intimate information that there is about themselves: their genetic code," he says. "And handing that over to a for-profit company."