It’s been a year since I sent in my 23andMe kit and received my results. To this day, it continues to be a topic of conversation, and I find that people are curious about what their potential results would reveal.
I felt similarly, which is why I did it.
Yes, you have to spit in a tube. It’s an integral step to the simple process. Once you’ve done that, you package it up in the box it came in and send it to their labs free of charge. Just don’t forget to register kit and set up on account. You’ll be getting your results through their website.
Then it’s just the waiting game. It took about four to five weeks for my results to come in.
Creating an online profile might seem like a tedious step, but being able to view your results digitally is the absolute best way to do this. Not only do you have access to results as soon as possible, but with 23andMe’s ongoing research, you can see updates regarding your ancestry.
When I first received my results in 2017, it stated that was 32 percent Native American, and then had both South and North America highlighted. That’s a vast expanse of land. Given that I’m Mexican, however, I just put two and two together. Nonetheless, I was excited to see that earlier this year, 23andMe had updated that portion of the results to be more specific. Yes, the majority of my Native American background comes from Mexico, but the update also revealed that some of that genetic makeup comes from El Salvador and Colombia. What! I was very surprised.
I would also say that the 23andMe results are pretty accurate. I’m fortunate enough to have a family that is knowledgeable about our family history and open to discussing it. I already had a good idea of what my racial background consisted of, therefore 23andMe mostly solidified what I already knew.
The only con that comes to mind is that a company will now own your genetic makeup. As highlighted by the Atlantic, selling the aggregate data of our DNA was always the endgame. Presently, pharmaceutical companies are interested in this information as they are looking to DNA for insights into new drugs.
This type of research, however, is not inherently negative because it can lead to new and improved treatments for diseases. If you feel uneasy about your DNA being used in research, it is possible to opt out. Just be vigilant to make sure you do.
Ultimately, I enjoyed learning more about my racial background and gaining some insight about the people who came before me. It’ll be interesting to see any other updates that they might incorporate in the future. If you’re interested in trying it out, I have included a link here.
Have you tried 23andMe? Were you surprised by your results?