Around the same time I traveled to Boston to have my genome sequenced, I deposited 2 milliliters, or about half a teaspoon, of spit in a plastic tube, sealed it up, and dropped it in a mailbox. While I got a whole genome sequence with Illumina, I was also going to get what is called the 23andMe experience.
At the time, this cost just $99. It was before 23andMe's October announcement that it was back on the market providing certain health and wellness information, at a new price of $199. When I submitted my sample, 23andMe was only providing ancestry data.
This was because in 2013, the Food and Drug Administration ordered the Silicon Valley company, which takes its name from the 23 pair of chromosomes found in a human cell, to stop providing health information that it said violated the Federal Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act. The FDA warned that by providing information about an individual's genetic risk for certain diseases, or the way their genes indicated they may respond to different drugs, people might make dangerous medical decisions without the advice of a physician.