Biomedicine

Mail-Order Genetic Screening

Recent years have seen a flood of studies linking genetic variations to particular diseases, and companies are trying to parlay those discoveries into direct-to-consumer genetic tests. ­Navigenics mails its subscribers containers for saliva samples. When it gets the samples back, it uses microarrays–chips studded with fragments of DNA–to screen the subscribers’ DNA for genetic variations linked to 18 diseases, including Alzheimer’s and colon cancer. Such genetic screening has received little clinical evaluation, however, so whether it helps prevent disease is unclear.

Credit: Joshua Scott

Product: Health Compass

Cost: $2,500 for the initial test; $250 a year for continued consultation

Source: www.navigenics.com

Company: Navigenics

Other products in this section:

Cheaper Solar Power

Playing God

Mouse for 3-D Navigation

Chip for Depth-Sensing

Do-It-Yourself Multitouch Display

Low-Power GPS

Cheap Gene Sequencer

Every TV an Internet TV

Uh oh–you've read all five of your free articles for this month.

Insider Online Only

$19.95/yr US PRICE

Biomedicine

New technologies and biological insights are providing unprecedented ways of improving our health.

You've read of free articles this month.