Learning about Your Genome

Once we've extracted the DNA from your saliva sample, we'll have a lot to share with you!

We’re very grateful for every participant in this important health research, since it takes many thousands of people to generate enough data to do genetic studies. Though our research projects will take several years, we want you to get back some interesting information about yourself in the meantime!

It is voluntary to provide a saliva sample, but rest assured that we take privacy issues around sensitive health and genetic information very seriously. If you are willing, we will send you a spit-kit free of charge and return the following information directly to you: 

1. You’ll be able to learn about your genetic ancestry. We have the tools to give you information about what proportions of which ancestries are suggested by your DNA. In our first version we are looking at seven geographic regions. Below is an example of one way we’ll plot information – and, don’t worry, we’ll help you interpret it!

2. Although research studies traditionally have not returned raw genetic information to participants, we believe you have the right to your information. So, if you want to, you will be able to download your raw genetic results to do with as you choose. These are files with the list of about 500,000 positions of your DNA (your genotypes) directly measured by Genes for Good. The genotypes are quality-controlled but we make no attempt to interpret your genotypes. For example, we do not attempt to figure out which genotypes may carry disease risk. In addition we will also return files of you imputed genotypes. That means we estimate genotypes at an additional 7 million positions by comparing your directly measured genotypes to a set of 2,500 people whose genotypes have already been determined, and filling in the best guesses for the DNA bases we did not directly measure. Because these files contain imputed and not directly measured genotypes, there is a greater chance of errors in these files.