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They require a good amount of spit, in order to ensure that they get enough DNA from each sample. It's quite likely that they're not left with much afterwards, and for many of their samples there may be nothing left at all. Banking the DNA is a whole other hassle. Banking the 500,000 samples that they've done so far would require quite a bit of freezer space.

Also, based on their recent statements, it seems that 23andMe doesn't actually do any of the lab work, they contract out to a lab partner. Based on the amount of capital they've raised, I would have assumed that they did everything in house. Anybody know more about this?




"Banking the 500,000 samples that they've done so far would require quite a bit of freezer space."

Maybe one or two -70 freezers full of eppendorf tubes. It's not a significant cost.


I'd never calculated the density of eppendorf tubes before, but it looks like they would fit in 3 cubic meters. Needless to say the freezers I've used have not been nearly that well packed.


My understanding was that the reason they require "a good amount of spit" was actually so that you couldn't steal someone else's saliva and submit it for testing.




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