The consumer genomics market is rapidly changing. What started off as quite an innocent offering to discover your ancestry has become a hugely varied market worth billions.
A study by Andelka Phillips at the University of Oxford found that at least 246 genetics testing companies are operating across the globe, selling their products and services online.
According to a recent article in TIME magazine, not all of these DNA testing firms focus on predicting ethnicity and finding relatives; today, you can get everything from paternity tests that look specifically for African or Native American ancestry while other services offer DNA-based matchmaking.
Apparently, some of the tests are called She Cheated and Who’zTheDaddy. As you can imagine, these services have gone from light-hearted fun to what can be heartbreaking for some customers.
But it gets evermore fascinating. Some tests make claims that they can offer insight into your child’s athletic ability. There are things like career profiling, too. Can any of these services be trusted? And which can we believe?
Those who do engage in ancestry testing usually learn a lot about their heritage. Over 30 million people have done so already, many of whom have uncovered things that either delighted or shocked – all from just spitting into a vial.
The industry is slowing slightly – whether that’s because the initial fascination is waning or people have increased privacy concerns, as higher powers apparently gather the information collected to solve cold criminal cases, opening up a whole new debate on privacy and human rights. Whatever the case, it’s clear that the DNA testing industry is only just beginning.