Genomics is just beginning to give insight into health and disease, and 23andMe's Anne Wojcicki tells CBS News that her company's mission is to enable people to benefit from such discoveries.
"The reason why we started this company was the research component and the fundamental belief that by really understanding the human genome we will be able to make significant improvements in quality of life, have a novel approach to therapeutics and eventually understand and detect diseases earlier," she says.
But that might take a little bit longer than originally expected. CBS News notes that 23andMe has faced regulatory setbacks as it halted the sale of its health test after receiving a warning letter from the US Food and Drug Administration in 2013. The company has since received authorization for its direct-to-consumer Bloom syndrome test.
Wojcicki says that after receiving the FDA letter, the company met with an advisor to draw up a 10-year plan for bringing direct-to-consumer genetic testing into the mainstream.
"I think it was really an important moment, and so I recognize it's going to take a little time to prove how consumers can, in fact, understand this information," she says. "I feel that more than anything the FDA has given us an opportunity to prove that this is feasible."
She adds that education is also needed to drive acceptance and adoption of the technology.