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The Amazon Prime Day sale is coming up on July 15 and 16, and there are tons of deals to be had through the online retailer. Last year, one of the bestsellers as part of the sale was the 23andMe DNA Test Kit. Currently priced at $199.00, the price could drop anywhere from $50 to $100 for the sale. (Last year, it was marked down from $149 to just $99 for Prime Day.)
Curious about what the hype surrounding DNA test kits is all about? More than 26 million people have tried these at-home tests that can give customers some insight on their ancestral history, as well as information on each of their 23 chromosomes.
The 23andMe DNA test kit requires users to submit a simple saliva sample in a tube, which is then mailed to a lab for testing. In three to five weeks, the customer receives an email to access their reports online.
Customers can opt-in to a DNA Relative features, which allows them to connect with other users in the database who share DNA. The customer can also get information on her predisposition to a number of health conditions and diseases. The report also includes details about the composition of her ancestry.
Concerns About DNA Tests
The kits do satisfy curiosity, as well as alert people to potential health problems due to genetic mutations. However, the popularity of the DNA testing kits raises serious privacy concerns.
“There is almost a complete lack of awareness among the public about this issue,” Peter Pitts, a former associate commissioner for the Food and Drug Administration and current president of the Center for Medicine in the Public Interest Forensic Genetics Policy Initiative, told TriplePundit. He continued:
“The DNA kits are being viewed as stocking stuffers or cocktail party conversation. People don’t think about the security of their DNA s they don’t realize its value. You can change your Social Security number or your computer password, but you can’t change your DNA. I’m not saying DNA doesn’t have testing value, but people don’t understand the privacy and security implications.”
So far, 23andMe has sold access to its database to 13 outside pharmaceutical firms, according to MarketWatch. While some say this information can help the development of future medicines, others say that the company — and other DNA test kit companies — should not be profiting off of their customers’ health data.
Other DNA Tests
That being said, if you do want to buy a DNA test kit, there are others available on Amazon to keep an eye on, in case you want to scoop one up on Amazon Prime Day.
If you’re looking to focus more specifically on health information, a kit called Color focuses on about 60 genes, some of which can tell you about how your body responds to medications.
It’s not clear whether any DNA testing kits will be available on Amazon Prime Day, however, so you have time to figure out which one is right for you — and whether you want to get your DNA tested at all.