The DNA Download, Take One

People want to know what DNA testing can tell them about their health and ancestry, but they are often intimidated by the science of genetics.

 

It doesn’t have to be that way, as 23andMe’s new video series, The DNA Download, brilliantly shows.

 

Hosted by the engaging Halleta Alemu, and starring 23andMe employees, the dozen videos that make up this series break down the science of genetics into simple concepts that are easy to understand.

 

We know people are curious about genetics, interested and eager to explore what they can learn through DNA testing, as several national polls have shown. And we think these short videos will help spark curiosity and start a journey of learning.

 

You can watch the videos in any order, but we’re starting with this batch of four because they offer a great leaping off point for your exploration into genetics.

 

NATURE VS. NURTURE

In this video 23andMe product scientist, Ruth Tennen, Ph.D., unpacks some of the most commonly asked questions around genetics and cuts through a bit of the confusion. Ruth explains that with most traits, it’s not nature versus nurture, but nature and nurture that play a role.

 

DNA 101

A lot of the concepts that 23ande software engineer, Patricia Penton, talks through in this video — like how DNA is organized and is passed down from parents to their child — you likely first learned about in biology class. But on the off chance you had an absence that day, let Patty go through some DNA basics.

 

SIMPLIFYING COMPLEX TRAITS

One of the reasons there’s so much confusion around genetics is how it’s written about and talked about in popular media. 23andMe Health and R&D scientist, Sarah Laskey, Ph.D., quickly points out that there is almost never a single gene that explains a trait or condition, but dozens, or hundreds and even thousands of genes that play a role. But genetics can play an important role in some surprising ways, like whether or not you are a morning person.

 

THE POWER OF EDUCATION

Finishing off this first set of videos is on featuring, Thao Do, Ph.D., the 23andMe Education & Academia Marketing Manager, who spearheaded this series of videos. Thao shares her vision on teaching and the power of education not just to learn complicated topics like genetics, but to bring an appreciation for the beautify around us.

 

Next week we’ll go over the next batch of videos that focus on different aspects of your ancestry and ethnicty that you can explore using DNA.