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It seemed a foregone conclusion: Despite the early popularity of companies offering health and ancestry insights for the cost of roughly $200 — and the brief but awkward experience of spitting into a tube — the consumer genetics industry was not going to thrive. Privacy concerns took center stage. Sales declined. Profits never materialized.

But on Thursday, 23andMe threw water on that premise by filing paperwork with the Securities and Exchange Commission to go public, providing a glimpse into the financials of its business.

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