DNA testing kit

23andMe genetic testing kit (complete), a mail-order consumer DNA testing kit produced for the UK market, by 23andMe Inc, Mountain View, California, USA, 2015

Founded in 2006, 23andMe was the first company to offer genetic testing to people. A range of tests are available including ancestry, predisposition to certain health conditions, whether a person carries some genetic variants that could be passed on to the next generation. Over 80% of 23andMe customers have opted in to having their data used in research.

People provide a saliva sample in a tube which is sent to the Netherlands for processing before being tested in the United States. The results take from four to six weeks. In 2015, the kits were available for the first time in the United Kingdom, through Superdrug, a high street retailer. At the time, 23andme tests were under regulatory review by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in the United States. Between 2013 and 2015, 23andme were banned from marketing and giving health interpretations from people’s genetic results. Concern over the accuracy of the science behind the assessments, led to a scaling down of the tests and reports allowed by the FDA. Ancestry and family tree results were still available.


Object Number:
paper, plastic and cardboard
overall: 33 mm x 165 mm x 127 mm,
dna testing kit