Israeli-founded online genealogy platform MyHeritage, the company behind DNA testing for family ancestry, announced on Monday the launch of a new testing kit that would provide health testing to customers.
The test, MyHeritage said in a statement, helps people understand how their genetics may affect their health so they can make informed choices to improve their future.
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The new kit expands on MyHeritage’s existing DNA test packages, offering health reports that show users their risk of developing or carrying genetic conditions. These include conditions where specific genes contribute to the risk, such as hereditary breast cancer, late-onset Alzheimer’s disease, and late-onset Parkinson’s disease; conditions associated with multiple genes, such as heart disease, and type 2 diabetes; and carrier status reports on conditions that can be passed down from a couple to their children, such as Tay-Sachs disease and cystic fibrosis.
The company says its Health+Ancestry test covers one of the most extensive ranges of conditions offered by an at-home DNA test: 11 Genetic Risk Reports, including a hereditary breast cancer (BRCA) report that tests 10 pathogenic variants; 3 Polygenic Risk Reports; and 15 Carrier Status Reports.
“Our Health+Ancestry test is the next step in the evolution of MyHeritage. After 16 years of changing lives for the better through family history research and genetic genealogy, we are excited to expand our mission and try to improve and save lives as well. Our vision is to integrate our successful family history technologies with the new health product in innovative ways that bridge heritage and heredity to deliver deeper insights for our users,” said Gilad Japhet, founder and CEO of MyHeritage.
MyHeritage was founded in 2003 by Japhet and is currently based in Or Yehuda, Israel. The service allows users to create family trees by searching through historical documents like census, immigration, marriage, and burial records in 42 languages. In 2016, MyHeritage launched a genetic testing service that provides DNA matching, ancestry, and ethnicity estimates. The database currently has DNA samples from over three million people, the company says.