With an increasing number of demand for inexpensive residence DNA testing, the sector of obtainable exams retains rising. Some supply extra specialised outcomes or the power to buy solely the testing classes you want, whereas others would possibly undercut the bigger-name kits on value.
TellMeGen claims to supply the entire package deal, with each well being/medical testing and ancestry outcomes at a single buy value. However, in observe, the service is clearly targeted far more on the previous than the latter, offering an extended checklist of well being traits and medical circumstances with ample element… after which barely scratching the floor with its simplistic ancestry outcomes.
Note: This evaluate is a part of our best DNA test kit roundup. Go there for particulars about competing merchandise and the way we examined them.
You’ll have to mail in a saliva pattern for TellMeGen to investigate your DNA. Here’s what’s within the package:
- Saliva assortment tube with DNA stabilizing resolution
- Funnel prime
- Plastic clamshell casing
- Prepaid return label
Collecting a sizable-enough pattern for TellMeGen means spitting into the included plastic tube time and again till you fill it to the road (not together with bubbles). It took me a number of strong minutes of conjuring up fluids to fulfill the quota, however a minimum of it’s an easy request.
Having to unscrew the cap, screw on the funnel cap, after which unscrew the funnel and change the unique cap earlier than mailing provides further potential for fumbling the tube and doubtlessly shedding the free-floating stabilizing resolution—so watch out with it. It’s not as intelligent as 23andMe’s tube, which has its resolution sealed within the funnel cap and releases it into your saliva pattern once you securely shut it.
TellMeGen estimates that outcomes shall be out there inside 4 to 6 weeks of receiving the pattern. I registered an account and my package when getting ready the pattern, however didn’t obtain any form of electronic mail alert that my outcomes had been out there. Five weeks after sending the pattern, I logged into my account and located that the package really was not tied to the account, regardless of finishing that step throughout preliminary registration.
Luckily, once I registered the package once more, the outcomes had been already out there. Unfortunately, I don’t know precisely how lengthy it took because of the package registration mishap, however the turnaround nonetheless fell inside the estimated window. Comparatively, I despatched 23andMe and AncestryDNA samples again on the similar time, and obtained outcomes from each providers in simply over two weeks.
TellMeGen is an autosomal DNA check, very similar to 23andMe, AncestryDNA, and different widespread exams, which analyzes the 22 pairs of autosomal chromosomes in addition to the X and Y intercourse chromosomes. According to the corporate, it will possibly analyze greater than 655,000 single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs)—or DNA sequence variations—used to trace organic variations in addition to shared connections to family.
Ancestry is listed final underneath the “My Results” part on the TellMeGen web site, and that is perhaps a sign of its significance on this specific DNA check. The ancestry outcomes are extremely simplistic, sadly, with little in the best way of interactivity or depth.
In my case, the outcomes confirmed that I’m 89 p.c British; practically 9 p.c Russian: Adyghe folks; and about 2 p.c French: Basque. Both 23andMe and AncestryDNA likewise pointed to just about 100 p.c Northwestern European totals, however neither estimated that the overwhelming majority of that was British. In reality, each of these exams demonstrated much more nuance of their estimations of my ancestors’ origins.
The proportion estimates are proven in a chart atop a map, however you’ll be able to’t actually do something on the map besides click on on the highlighted nations. Flip over to the Details tab and also you’ll discover somewhat extra data on every area—emphasis on “little.” Each clarification for my highlighted areas had simply two to a few sentences of data.
It actually pales compared to the aforementioned rival providers. Click on 23andMe’s outcomes and also you’ll get exhaustive explanations of every area, an interactive map with current ancestry information, numerous further background element and pictures, and hyperlinks to discover extra in regards to the area. It’s a world of distinction. TellMeGen has practically nothing value digging into. It’s very disappointing.
TellMeGen additionally has no matching service for connecting with folks with related DNA. So when it comes to studying extra about the place your ancestors got here from or discovering long-lost kin, you’re higher served by one other service corresponding to 23andMe or AncestryDNA.
According to TellMeGen, its ancestry knowledge is especially from Western Europe (Iberian and Central European), with sources together with public databases such because the Human Genome Diversity Project. TellMeGen analyzes greater than 12,500 SNPs to detect world populations, and plans to repeatedly replace its knowledge. New populations and subpopulations shall be added in September, with the opportunity of different options—corresponding to relative-matching—into consideration.
Thankfully, TellMeGen supplies a good bit extra data in its health-related outcomes, that are break up into three classes: Complex Diseases, Inherited Conditions, and Traits. Under Complex Diseases, TellMeGen exhibits an inventory of circumstances break up between high-risk, low-risk, and typical-risk classes, along with your danger proportion proven in comparison with the typical.
For instance, it says that I’m practically 14 occasions extra more likely to develop stressed leg syndrome than the remainder of the inhabitants. Luckily, that hasn’t occurred to me—but, a minimum of. But I can click on on the itemizing and browse extra about what it’s, the signs, the genetic position, and my very own technical report, which highlights every SNP tracked, the genotype the check returned, and what that consequence means. It additionally supplies additional element for every SNP, together with a bibliography for anybody on the lookout for additional context.
The different classes are equally detailed, however the web site lacks the polish and imagery of one thing like 23andMe, for instance. That mentioned, TellMeGen presents an extended checklist of traits and well being circumstances that it check for than the 23andMe Health + Ancestry check, however the outcomes are typically ambiguous. At occasions, it merely pointed me in the direction of my technical report, which then typically gave conflicting information primarily based on which SNP was examined. In some instances, the entire examined SNPs had been in settlement, but TellMeGen nonetheless didn’t present a conclusive consequence.
Both TellMeGen and the 23andMe Health + Ancestry check delivered related outcomes relating to sure traits, corresponding to doubtless elevated caffeine consumption and unlikeliness to have an alcohol flush response. While TellMeGen’s lists are longer, nevertheless, 23andMe’s measured traits are total extra enjoyable and attention-grabbing (like “Ability to Match Musical Pitch” and “Toe Length Ratio”), plus 23andMe does a a lot, significantly better job of presenting its outcomes than TellMeGen. You’ll usually get a plain wall of textual content with TellMeGen, whereas 23andMe has bespoke graphics all over the place, together with charts and graphs, and simply digestible chunks of information and knowledge.
When you register a package, you’ll need to comply with the knowledgeable consent settlement to proceed. The doc states that you just agree to permit TellMeGen to obtain and analyze your DNA, and supply the outcomes—even when these outcomes show to “cause situations of emotional stress.” You also can select whether or not to permit your knowledge for use anonymously for analysis. That’s your name to make.
Your package has a 12-character alphanumeric code connected to it, and the laboratory that analyzes the package is not going to have entry to your figuring out data, together with your full identify. Additionally, all bodily samples are mechanically destroyed two months following completion of testing. That’s helpful, because it signifies that you wouldn’t have to contact customer support to have a pattern destroyed, not like with another providers.
TellMeGen retains issues easy with its pricing strategy, promoting a single package for $169 by its web site. There’s no add-on service or separate variations focused towards several types of outcomes: It’s one buy for the total set of outcomes. That’s cheaper than 23andMe’s Health + Ancestry test, which is $199, however there’s a giant distinction within the expertise given TellMeGen’s barebones web site and reviews.
As talked about, TellMeGen is considerably extra targeted on the well being aspect of the DNA testing equation, with the ancestry element coming off as a really minor add-on. Hopefully the ancestry element of the service shall be additional enhanced over time and customers’ outcomes shall be up to date with additional element and nuance. Right now, it’s not a lot of a promoting level, however the well being outcomes are wide-ranging and attention-grabbing.
Editor’s be aware: Because on-line providers are sometimes iterative, gaining new options and efficiency enhancements over time, this evaluate is topic to vary as a way to precisely replicate the present state of the service. Any modifications to textual content or our ultimate evaluate verdict shall be famous on the prime of this text.