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This is a lightly edited transcript from a recent episode of STAT’s biotech podcast, “The Readout LOUD.” Like it? Consider subscribing to hear every episode.

Over the past decade, more than 25 million people have ordered at-home DNA testing kits from companies like 23andMe and You spit in a tube, send it away, and get notified by email when your results are ready. Initially aimed at providing information about ancestry, some companies now test for certain genetic mutations that are strongly correlated with the risk of developing cancer, Alzheimer’s disease, or other serious conditions.


Dorothy Pomerantz is one of those 25 million people. Last year, almost on a lark, she bought a 23andMe test and sent her spit to Silicon Valley. But what she learned went far beyond the lighthearted stuff advertised on TV, like connecting with long-lost family members. She wrote about that experience for STAT’s First Opinion, and spoke with STAT about the reaction to it.

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