Oct 3, 2013 - Stories

Spit And Tell

Editor’s note: This post has been changed to reflect 23andMe’s newly regulated product offering.

Caitlin, a blogger and self-described nerd, titled her ode to 23andMe “Do These Genes Make My Butt Look Big?
Rob and Caitlin
When she and her husband Rob gave each other the test kits as a gift, the two were captivated by the results, and like many things in her life, she went online to share.

The first thing Caitlin wanted to address was her relationship with Rob. The two had been together since high school, so long in fact that they began to look like each other she said. So some folks started asking, “Are you related?”

“Not so.” And 23andMe gave them the proof!

At first blush one might look at this young couple and see two fun loving, adventurous 28 year-olds. But Caitlin is a survivor of childhood cancer and Rob a combat veteran from the Iraq war. They have known their share of hardship, and yet, as a couple, life is about what’s new, what’s next and what they can learn. Testing with 23andMe was part of that exploration.

“(I)t can also show … where your family most likely came from, how much Neanderthal DNA you have, and what physical traits you’re most likely to have, given your genes,” said Caitlin.

When she first looked at her results, Caitlin started with the easy stuff, her predicted traits. Her genetics indicate that she’s likely to have Curly hair (check); that she would likely be near sighted (check), have green or brown eyes (check), and most likely have a big head – as Caitlin commented: “Yep, it’s huge”.

Then Caitlin moved to the health results. It did make her feel more assured about the veracity of the rest of the results and she became more proactive.

Caitlin took her report to her doctor to review.   Again, Caitlin felt empowered with the knowledge the results provided so she could have an educated discussion with her doctor.

Comparing their results, she and Rob discovered that, as prospective parents, their genes are a good fit.

“We also found out that our child has only a 22 percent chance of being blue-eyed, that we are not related (even though many people have suggested the possibility given the resemblance between us), and that neither of us appear to carry any of the diseases they keep track of,” She said.

But for Rob the golden nugget was this, Caitlin has 2.9 percent Neanderthal DNA which puts her in the 89 percentile.

“Rob is slightly less Neanderthal than I am, which he’s pretty proud of. So there you have it, quite possibly the most nerdy gift I have ever given and received.”

Results not typical. Results vary due to unique differences in each individual’s DNA. On average, users receive at least one or two results that may help with proactively managing health.  23andMe’s services are not a substitute for professional medical or diagnostic advice.

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