Free 23andMe genotyping

By Razib Khan | February 20, 2012 1:41 pm

From OpenSNP:

At the end of last year we announced that we’ve got some funding from the German WikiMedia foundation to get more people – who are willing to share their results – genotyped. We have now settled on a process that should allow us to perform the project without too many problems.Starting today, you can apply for one of the free genotypings. The deadline for applications is Sunday, 03/25/12 23:59 o’clock, so you still have some time to think about an application. In the two weeks following the deadline, we will select as many participants as we can afford to get genotyped using the 5000 Euros we received from Wikimedia. We’ll get in contact with everybody who has sent an application to let all applicants know whether their application was successful or not.

The genotyping will be done through 23andMe. We will order you a gift kit which will be delivered to your address. These gift kits include prepaid access to the 23andMe website for 12 months, so you can check up on the latest findings about your genetic variation as well. After this 12 month period, those features will expire automatically, you don’t have to cancel any subscriptions.

Our application form contains some standard questions (Where do you live? Does 23andMe deliver to your country? etc.) but also some details about your motivation, why you want to make your dataset available to the public and why your data might be of great interest (For example: Do you have a rare disease where research is lacking?). Additionally, we will also try to get people genotyped who are currently under-represented in publicly available data sets. Most data up to now is from WEIRDs: Western, Educated, Industrialized, Rich and Democratic people (most are probably male, too).

Bastian already contacted me about getting Afrikaners typed this way. I haven’t had time to get back to him, but this might be a viable option if you live in a country where 23andMe ships.

CATEGORIZED UNDER: Personal Genomics
MORE ABOUT: Genotyping

Comments (11)

  1. Thanks for sharing this with your readers. It would be cool if you find the time to discuss this some time 🙂

  2. Jenn

    This is pretty cool!

    Bastian, if you’re still looking here – The link in the form to check shipping cost is busted

  3. Hey Jenn, thanks for pointing out that the link for the shipping costs doesn’t work as expected. It seems the link only works if you have an item in the 23andMe shopping cart. So you can use to add an item and then proceed to checkout. This should take you to the shipping-cost-page we linked to in the application-form. On the page you can select your country and the shipping fees will get adjusted. I now also added this information to application-form as well.

    But don’t worry if it works. In doubt we will look it up for you while screening all the applications, it is just to make it a bit easier for us. 🙂

  4. abc

    When filling up the form, you might want to watch the video or read the slides for some background info. They have linked to both, but the slides website is some flash-based. You can get the PDF from

    Oh… and… thanks, Razib!

  5. Bobby LaVesh

    There is a link to a video in the form that I will certainly watch later before filling out the form and submitting. Just scanned over everything for now.

    Does anyone know- will my real-name be associated with the DNA they collect. I have an unusual name (for all my hunting on the internet- I am the only one with my name); no, it isn’t Bobby LaVesh. Bob LaVesh (actually “bab leves”) is Hungarian for Bean Soup.

    I’ve been very carefull to keep my real name off the internet to protect myself from being searchable- I’d love to do this 23 and me thing- happy for the results to be public- but only if my name is not publicly linked to it.

  6. @abc: Thanks for pointing to the slides. These might indeed be useful for the application process. As are the other blogposts on the openSNP-blog.

    @Bobby: We won’t release the real names of the successful applicants (we will only need it once, to set the shipping location for 23andMe) and you can use openSNP using a pseudonym of choice. So it is possible to do this without leaking your real name to the web.

  7. I applied and I’m excited/apprehensive at the same time ha.

  8. NotMyNormalName

    Thanks for the notice/opportunity.

    I’ll probably try to get my wife to sign up, since she’d presumably be of more interest, being from a family that’s lived for generations in one of the more backward towns/regions in the world, and I’ve been wanting to get her on 23andme for a while now.

  9. I applied. 🙂

    I wonder what my Russian Mennonite ancestry will reveal about myself since the family can trace their ancestry back to the Netherlands and we speak Low German in Canada; yet we are phoneotypically Slavic in appearance.

  10. NotMyNormalName

    Btw, there are obvious reasons for the people running this to not answer, but I do wonder if anyone wants to suggest groups that would be desired for this. I’m pure WASP/Ashkenazi, so presumably I’d be a near-last choice, but I do wonder what the first choices would be

  11. DrHobo

    I just signed up,hopefully they will take me since I have an extremely unusual racial mixture of Moluccan(some of the smallest islands inbetween Indonesia and New Guinea) and Romanian/Hungarian Ashkenazi Jewish…


Discover's Newsletter

Sign up to get the latest science news delivered weekly right to your inbox!

Gene Expression

This blog is about evolution, genetics, genomics and their interstices. Please beware that comments are aggressively moderated. Uncivil or churlish comments will likely get you banned immediately, so make any contribution count!

About Razib Khan

I have degrees in biology and biochemistry, a passion for genetics, history, and philosophy, and shrimp is my favorite food. In relation to nationality I'm a American Northwesterner, in politics I'm a reactionary, and as for religion I have none (I'm an atheist). If you want to know more, see the links at


See More


RSS Razib’s Pinboard

Edifying books

Collapse bottom bar