Day 4: Map my genome
I tend to receive rather unusual Christmas presents from my family. Among other things, for the past five years they have been donating farm animals, like chickens, pigs and even llamas, in my name through Oxfam to South America and Africa. To say the least, my family is composed of six wonderful, out of the box thinkers.
But this year, I received a rather unusual present for even the Danzico household - a home kit to map my genome from 23andMe, a personal genomics and biotechnology company in California.
The idea is simple. Spit into a vial, send it to geneticists at the 23andMe lab, and voilà – explore over 1,000,000 data points throughout your entire genome.
Their website says: “With a simple saliva sample we’ll help you gain insight into your traits, from baldness to muscle performance. Discover risk factors for 93 diseases. Know your predicted response to drugs, from blood thinners to coffee. And uncover your ancestral origins.”
I will attempt to recount the steps I had to take when preparing my saliva for shipment. I believe there were seven.
- Do not drink, smoke or eat anything for 30 minutes prior to depositing your saliva into the provided vial.
- Fill the vial with saliva (not bubbles) up to the designated line.
- Close the cap, which excretes fluid that is to be mixed in with your saliva.
- Shake well for 5 seconds.
- Unscrew the funnel on the top of the vial and screw the provided cap, with a green top, onto the container.
- Place the vial into a clear plastic bag, sealing the ends of the bag with glue.
- Place the package into the self-addressed, pre-paid envelope and seal it shut.
What steps was I actually asked to follow on Day 4? Find out here.
- I estimate the entire process of opening the package, filling the vial, registering myself on the 23andMe website, and preparing my saliva for the mail took 14 minutes.
How long did it take? Find out here.