23andMe has also announced that they have upgraded their testing chip to the Illumina OmniExpress Plus Genotyping Beadchip, which was originally released in January of this year and enhanced in March. Information on this chip (before enhancements) from the press release:
- Premiere Genomic Coverage - Greater than 700,000 strategically selected tagSNPs provide genomic coverage up to 90% for Caucasian and Asian populations as assessed by the International HapMap Project.
- Proven Data Quality - Industry-standard Infinium HD Assay affords greater than 99% average call rates and greater than 99.9% reproducibility.
- Industry Best Throughput - With the iScan System, researchers can process in excess of thousands of samples per week.
[Update - From 23andMe's updated FAQs :
The DNA chip that we use genotypes hundreds of thousands of SNPs at one time. It actually reads 1,000,000 SNPs that are spread across your entire genome. Although this is still only a fraction of the 10 million SNPs that are estimated to be in the human genome, these 1,000,000 SNPs are specially selected "tag SNPs." Because many SNPs are linked to one another, we can often learn about the genotype at many SNPs at a time just by looking at one SNP that "tags" its group. This maximizes the information we can get from every SNP we analyze, while keeping the cost low.
In addition, we have hand-picked tens of thousands of additional SNPs of particular interest from the scientific literature and added their corresponding probes to the DNA chip. As a result, we can provide you personal genetic information available only through 23andMe.
There is a list of the 733,202 non-custom markers here.]
Existing customers have the option to upgrade their results to this new testing platform for $89, but it also requires subscription to the Personal Genome Service. Existing customers will not be required to subscribe or upgrade and will still receive their updates as before. Not surprisingly, without the upgrade, some new information based on specific markers will not be available.
All week 23andMe has been tweeting about upcoming sales and one tweeter who may or may not have inside info tweeted this morning, "@23andMe $99 discount returns; code B84YAG to be live 10 AM Wednesday for the new v3 chip." I imagine this sale price will require a subscription to the Personal Genome Service, but at only $5/per month, this is still a great deal.
I will post updates as I get them, but keep your eye on 23andMe!
**UPDATE - 23andMe is determined to keep the details secret until tomorrow. We will just have to be patient! Check back then for more...