From disease risks to body traits, Atlas Biomed provides it all – even what type of earwax you have!
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I’ve always been interested in having my genome sequenced, whether it be due to paranoia about hereditary disease risks, or whether or not I’m likely to lose my hair at a young age (spoiler alert: that process started a while ago!) I had never got round to getting it done.
Atlas Biomed’s DNA test is available to buy from the Longevity.Technology store (UK residents only, sorry)
Then, along came Atlas Biomed – a UK based company that utilise DNA microarray technology from Illumina in a certified EU lab – and their DNA test.
The process is pretty simple; the sample tube comes in a prepaid, cardboard, postage box and is essentially a plastic tube with a funnel on the top. You simply spit into the tube, seal it and send it off to Atlas Biomed in order for them to work their magic.
Between 6 and 8 weeks later, you will receive an email telling you that your results are available online. In the meantime, various informative emails from Atlas, explaining the various results that you will receive once your sample has been sequenced, ping into your inbox. This was a really nice touch and added to the anticipation.
Once your results are ready to view, your dashboard will present some interesting cues such as “disease risk” with a score and “hereditary diseases” with a number out of 315. When you click on these icons, you are taken to the associated pages, such as the “carrier status” page, which details all the hereditary traits you are carrier and thus may pass on to children (useful if you are considering procreation).
The test is exceptionally detailed, looking into: disease risk, carrier status, health-related traits, taste traits, nutrient level related traits, dietary response traits, physiology and metabolism, sports injury traits, perception (smell, photic sneeze reflex, etc) traits, body traits, appearance and ancestry.
Each of the traits in the report is then given a sliding scale based on your genetic and questionnaire results, from green (good) to red (bad). What this scale represents and how the scoring is done is not apparent from the website. A great feature of the Atlas Biomed product is their advice and guidance that comes along with the traits. Their ‘insights’ are related to the various results from your test, such as (in my case) the avoidance of caffeine, as people with my traits tend to have a low tolerance/ability to process caffeine.
I am unique – and so are you! DNA, the blueprint for life, contains genetic information inherited from a mother and father. A double-helix, like a twisted ladder, its rungs are made from four nucleotides that connect in pairs. These patterns of nucleotides are a distinct segment of DNA called genes, and they make the codes for all the proteins in your body, which in turn determine your phenotype – the observable characteristics. A person’s genotype is all their genes and what information and characteristics they code for.
Atlas Biomed promises a detailed genetic profile of your health, nutrition, physical activity and geographical ancestry. It includes over 400 traits and indicators and builds a risk profile for 19 multifactorial diseases and carrier status for common gene variants linked to 322 hereditary conditions.
Different tests, of course, examine different gene variants, and Atlas Biomed investigate single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs), the nucleotide variants in genes, where a DNA sequence variation of one nucleotide differs in the genome of representatives of the same species or between paired chromosomes.
With explanations of the risk factor for every disease and a list of the studies used to determines the risk score, the Atlas Biomed DNA test provides a wealth of information for the user. The information is detailed, but Atlas say it is for “informational purposes, it is not a diagnostic tool,” so if a user wants confirmation of being or not being a carrier for a hereditary condition, then a more scientific method might be advised by a genetic counsellor.
This genetic testing kit from Atlas Biomed is well designed, well delivered and well… pretty impressive! The dashboard is pleasing to the eye, the results are shown in such a way as not to confuse the user, however, enough reference is made to the associated genes and why they show such results, that the scientific mind is appeased. Having taken the test and spent the time looking into the results, I would happily recommend this to anyone keen to understand a little more about why they are the way they are, where they come from, and what to look out for as they navigate the world.
Atlas Biomed’s DNA test is available to buy from the Longevity.Technology store (UK residents only, sorry):