Ancestry Genetic Tests: AncestryDNA vs 23andMe

We wrote before about the DNA ancestry test offerings from 23andMe ($149 for international buyers and $199 for buyers in the U.S.) and AncestryDNA ($99) from Ancestry.com. Both of these companies have about the same number of people who have taken the test (1 million). Given that these two tests appear to offer about the same value proposition for genetic testing, we wanted to find out what are the differences between the two tests especially considering they are offered at significantly different price points. We wrote emails to each company asking them to send us sample tests and to tell us what they perceived the differences were between the two tests.

Ancestry.com promptly responded and provided us with the AncestryDNA reviewers guide which explains how to interpret the test with no commentary on the differences between the two. Not quite what we were looking for, but useful enough. 23andMe, on the other hand, was quite cagey. We chased them a few times and one month later, they proposed to give us a test to take and then walk us through the results. We told them that we didn’t want to actually take the test, and asked again for a sample test. We’re now approaching 2 months since our original inquiry and haven’t heard back from them. However, yesterday’s announcement from 23andMe may explain their reluctance to provide us with a sample test.

If you recall from our previous article on 23andMe, the Company was requested to discontinue any health-related results from their tests by the FDA. Just yesterday, 23andMe announced that they are now offering a new product referred to as the “Personal Genome Service (PGS)” with the typical ancestry reports and health reports that meet FDA standards for being scientifically and clinically valid. New customers will receive personalized genetic health reports that include carrier status, wellness, and trait reports as seen below:

23andMe_PGS

Existing customers will not have to pay extra to access the new health-related genetic reports, and will be notified soon when their accounts have been transitioned. If you’re an existing 23andMe customer, you’re quite happy now having been just been gifted $50 worth of additional health-related tests.

When debating whether or not to buy the 23andMe test or the AncestryDNA test, consider what’s more important; ancestry genetic tests or the health-related tests. With 23andMe, you get both. It also shows great promise that existing customers were given the expanded tests free of charge. If you’re not interested in the health reports, buy AncestryDNA and save yourself $50.

If you're just interested in DNA testing for ancestry reasons, you should try Ancestry.com. For only $99, no other DNA test connects you to as many specific places in the world or more living relatives around it. Don't want to give up your DNA? Explore the world's largest online family history resource – FREE for 14 days.

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