23andMe Sends Wrong DNA Test Results To 96 Customers

Jason Kincaid reports:

Sending your spit sample to a startup may not seem like such a good idea, after all. On Friday, 23andMe, the company that allows consumers to get portions of their genome tested for a relatively modest fee, announced that “a number of new 23andMe customer samples were incorrectly processed” by the lab 23andMe contracts” to carry out its tests. This resulted in “up to 96? customers receiving DNA results that were not their own — a major mistake that led to some very confused customers, and will doubtless help bolster the push to increase regulation for direct-to-consumer genetic testing. 23andMe has notified all affected customers about the issue.


According to the blog Genetic Future, the problem likely stemmed from a single mishandled 96-well tray of customer DNA samples. It’s worth pointing out that the error resulted from a mistake at the contracted lab (in other words, 23andMe didn’t run the DNA test itself). But 23andMe was still responsible for reporting that data to its customers, and in this case its safeguards clearly failed. 23andMe says it is taking measures to ensure this doesn’t happen again.

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