First was the publication of a massive Parkinson’s disease study that our scientists worked on with a consortium of 50 other organizations that were lead by researchers at the National Institute on Aging. Among other things the study found five new genetic associations for the disease. Then a few days after the publication of the paper, 23andMe announced that we had received a $1.4 million grant from the National Institutes of Health for a two-year project to refine our online genetic database and the research engine we use for making genetic discoveries.
While these two announcements were not related, they both illustrate the power and potential of our data. In the case of the Parkinson’s study, data from more than 66,000 23andMe customers who’d consented to participate in research helped power that study, which identified six new genetic variants associated with the disease.
The NIH funding was more about embracing the future, and refining some of the online genetic research tools 23andMe pioneered and opening up our database for other researchers.
Here’s how some others wrote about the announcements.