Mapping Your Genetics

Image from Unsplash

Image from Unsplash

Post By: Molly Hover, Upstream Research™ Marketing Manager

If you could predict what illness you or your family member would be diagnosed with, would you? And if you could take steps to prevent this illness or get ahead of it, would you do that as well? Most people would answer, “of course!” Because why wouldn’t you want to know what to expect for your health and learn how to take control of your DNA?

It seems idyllic but one company is making this their goal. 23andMe is a genetic testing and analysis company that offers extensive results on consumer’s DNA so they can find out about their ancestry and what might be an issue to their health in future. According to their website,, their mission is to “help people access, understand and benefit the human genome.” The premise is simple: order a saliva kit, provide a sample, and wait a few weeks until your report is ready. The company goes beyond basic DNA testing into “Health + Ancestry” where they reveal a person’s ancestry, wellness and traits to take control of their genetics.

USA Today covered the company and listed some of the blocking factors 23andMe had encountered trying to make a mark in the industry: “Companies such as 23andMe and Theranos are being closely watched by the FDA as they press into new arenas where often proprietary technology crosses into the medical space.”

'I think there’s an internal battle at the FDA about where to go with such companies, but for the moment (regulators) are focusing on making sure tests are accurate and efficacious, which equals safety,' says Mark Mansour, a partner at Washington, D.C., law firm Mayer Brown, where he often represents biotech companies dealing with FDA inquiries."

Despite the ‘internal battle’ with the FDA, 23andMe’s CEO Anne Wojcicki is ready to continue with her mission (now FDA-approved) to make DNA accessible and understood. The larger goal of the company–to help people understanding and access their DNA–is part of its persistence despite pushback. At Upstream Research, we believe in the public’s right to know not only what is inside of them affecting health but in the air, soil, and water around them as well.

Mapping genetics is just the beginning.

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