MOUNTAIN VIEW, CA – October 30, 2008 - TIME Magazine announced today that the Personal Genome Service™ from 23andMe, Inc. has been named 2008′s Invention of the Year. 23andMe was chosen as the year’s most significant invention for its exceptional work in making personal genomics accessible and affordable. The eighth annual list is comprised of fifty inventions including Hulu.com, the Chevy Volt, the World’s Fastest Computer (IBM), the Bionic Hand, Montreal’s Public Bike System and Smog-Eating Cement.
“We are at the beginning of a personal-genomics revolution that will transform not only how we take care of ourselves but also what we mean by personal information,” writes Anita Hamilton in TIME. She continues, “[i]n the past, only élite researchers had access to their genetic fingerprints, but now personal genotyping is available to anyone who orders the service online and mails in a spit sample.” The article goes on to examine the issues surrounding genetic privacy, the psychological and physical benefits of learning about your genome, and how amassing and studying large pools of genetic information can change health care.
23andMe is dedicated to helping individuals understand their own genetic information through DNA analysis technologies and web-based interactive tools. The company’s Personal Genome Service informs customers how markers in their genomes affect their propensity for over 90 health conditions and inherited traits, traces customers’ genetic roots back to the origin of the human species, and allows customers to compare their genomes to those of family and friends who are also 23andMe participants.
Linda Avey and Anne Wojcicki founded 23andMe in 2006, with the company launching the Personal Genome Service to the public in November 2007. “We are thrilled to be chosen by TIME as the Invention of the Year,” said co-founder Linda Avey. “Our idea in starting 23andMe was to empower individuals by giving them access to their genetic information and the opportunity to advance genetics research. We hope the community we’re building becomes a significant mechanism for translating genetic discoveries into personalized health care.”
Co-founder Anne Wojcicki said, “We’re honored that TIME magazine recognizes the power and potential of the 23andMe Personal Genome Service. We see health care at an inflection point, where consumers and technology can come together to make significant changes to the system. 23andMe is excited to be part of a revolution in health care.”
Since its launch, 23andMe has made significant strides towards achieving its goal of becoming the world’s most trusted source of genetic information. The Personal Genome Service has greatly expanded – from having detailed genetic associations for 13 health conditions and inherited traits last November to its current offering of over 90 conditions and traits. In an effort to democratize genetics, 23andMe has decreased the price of its service from $999 to $399 and also has launched community features that allow customers to connect to others with similar genetic make-ups or interests and learn about the latest research. The company’s research program, 23andWe, has gotten off to an impressive start as well, with the announcement of a research collaboration with the Parkinson’s Institute. In the coming months, 23andMe hopes to build on the successes of the past year, with announcements of new research collaborations, the development of communities around specific health conditions, and the addition of several new health and trait reports.
Joining the 23andMe Community
To learn more and embark on your own personal genetics journey, please visit: www.23andme.com.
23andMe is now available to consumers in the following locations: Albania, Andorra, Armenia, Australia, Austria, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Belgium, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Canada, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Georgia, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Macedonia, Malta, Moldova, Monaco, Montenegro, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Russia, San Marino, Serbia, Singapore, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey, Ukraine, the United Kingdom, the United States and Vatican City State.