Bill and Melinda Gates shined a spotlight on at-home DNA tests like 23andMe, calling them one of last year’s biggest surprises

Bill and Melinda Gates

In their yearly letter, Bill and Melinda Gates called personal DNA tests like the kind 23andMe offers the second-biggest surprise of 2018.
The Gateses shined a spotlight on the tests’ surprising utility in two divergent areas — crime and maternal health.
“We didn’t see this coming,” the Gateses wrote at the top of their annual letter.

It’s going to be a big year for at-home DNA tests. The spit-in-a-tube kits, which offer the ability to learn more about your heritage and, to a lesser extent, your health, have spiked in popularity in recent years.

And now that at least 19 million people have used Ancestry and 23andMe’s kits, Bill and Melinda Gates are shining a spotlight on their surprising utility in two fairly divergent areas: crime and maternal health. In their yearly letter, the Gateses called genetic tests the second-biggest surprise of 2018.

“We didn’t see this coming,” the Gateses wrote at the top of their letter.

Last year, law enforcement officials used test results from the free genetic research service GEDmatch to help home in on the lead suspect in the Golden State Killer case, Joseph James D’Angelo. By uploading DNA from one of the killer’s crime scenes to GEDmatch’s database and cross-referencing what they found on roughly 23 relatives against the data in census rolls and death certificates, they located D’Angelo and arrested him.

“When police used genetic test results to catch the Golden State Killer [suspect] last year, the story made headlines around the world,” Bill Gates wrote in the letter.

The use of genetic data in the Golden State Killer case hit a nerve with many people, from privacy experts and scientists to consumers who’ve either already taken or may be considering taking the tests.

Read more: DNA-testing company 23andMe signed a $300 …read more

Source:: Business Insider


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