Friday, September 13, 2013

7 Things to Love About Summer #1 | Learning Awesome New Things

As summer winds down,
most folks think of fall as the time of year for learning.

I loved going back to school
And it wasn't just because of the new schools and supplies.

I was totally that nerd.
Right on up through college.
Yep, that ivory (or is it ivy?) tower
was my existence.

At Cornell, I started off as a genetics major.
So it was with a squeal and a plea like no other
that I begged for the Clever Girls Network to choose me
for a 23andMe campaign to pry open and peek at my genetic code.

That sounds kinda scary right?
Well, it wasn't at all.

They send you this super cute #23andmeDNAkit.

You send them some spit.
In return, you get some really interesting personal information.
And, if you elect to do so, you can start getting messages from long lost relatives
who want to get back in touch.


Some of you know that this past February, we lost our daughter Sunshine.

During our first trimester, we did a standard Triple Screen. It consisted of a general genetic history make up, an ultrasound and some basic blood tests to tell us the probability of Sunshine having a genetically inherited condition. While there are some things they can rule out based on me and my husband not having conditions, other things due to chromosomal irregularities were a bit harder to rule out completely.
That's when I first became obsessed with genetic testing.
And wanting access to more of it.
Without it costing a billion and two dollars.
(Interesting note, when 23andMe first started, they charged $1000 for the tests)

Because of our Sunshine experience with the medical realm of genetic testing,
it was pretty easy for me to understand the 23andMe process of giving you very user friendly data about your likelihood of devolving certain conditions related to your carrier status of certain genes.
Basically, your genetic code can account for a lot of who you are, but it isn't everything.

Also, genetic testing is still so relatively new that there are only so many things you can even test for. 23andMe has a pretty comprehensive set of 240 pretty common health reports that they base your genetic findings on.

What I loved beyond the medical information was that with a quarter million members, 23andMe is the largest DNA-based ancestry service worldwide.

At $99 per person,
you can join in and have 23andMe fun with genetic ancestor

There was a time when I was obsessed with genetic testing.
Between potential blood clotting disorders and recurrent pregnancy loss issues, there are more and more options for testing available on the market. While medical testing should always include conversations with your doctor, what I loved about 23andMe is that it is plastered all over the fertility boards as an easy, accessible, first step for genetic testing.

Because you actually use saliva for the testing, you don't have to find someone to draw your blood and so you get access to lots of tests at a super reasonable price.

Also, the website itself and the results are in super user friendly format.
There are great forums to get help if you don't understand the concept of probability (ie, the probability that you will get diabetes based on your genes vs the definitive answer as to whether or not you actually have diabetes) and the ancestor fun making...that is going to make my fall.

So what say you?
Are you interested to know more about who you are and where you come from?
Is $99 an accessible enough entry point for you to dive in and get some genetic answers?
Check out what other folks are learning
with their #23andmeDNAkit on Twitter and Facebook.

I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls Collective
and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.