Although every day is DNA day for us here at 23andMe, today is actually National DNA Day.
Established ten years ago, DNA Day is meant to encourage everyone to take a little time to learn more about genetics. It also commemorates the day in 1953 when James Watson and Francis Crick’s discovery of the structure of DNA was published in Nature.
To mark the day, 23andMe commissioned a survey to find out just what people in the United States know, and don’t know about genetics.
While many Americans might not fully understand what their genetic information can tell them, most are interested in learning more about themselves by exploring their DNA, according to the survey conducted for 23andMe by Kelton research.
For us here at 23andMe, that’s the big takeaway. People want to explore this information and decide for themselves how to use it. But it also brings up the need to better understand what your DNA can say about you.
The survey showed that while only a small percentage of people have been tested, a majority of Americans surveyed said they’d like to explore their DNA to learn more about themselves. They said they’d use that information to help manage their health.
While the survey showed that Americans have a strong interest in genetics, it also revealed some big gaps in their knowledge of genetics. Sadly just 21 percent of Americans surveyed knew that humans have 23 pairs of chromosomes.
From our founding, 23andMe has dedicated itself to not just opening up access for people to information in their DNA, but introducing them to genetic science in a fun and engaging way. We’ve created a series of videos, educational resources and tools that help people use their genetics to learn more about their health and ancestry.
We want people to understand that while there is a lot of useful and important health, ancestry and family information that you can glean from your genetics, it’s also a ton of fun to explore.