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DNA sequencing goes mainstream as 23andMe begins TV ad push

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23andme ad
23andme ad

It's become easier and easier to discover who you are and where you came from thanks to DNA analysis, and now 23andMe is trying to expand those interested in their genes from a group of dedicated enthusiasts to the general public. The company, which has been analyzing DNA for seven years now, debuted its first TV commercial on Monday, with the aim of explaining to the public what DNA testing is and why it can be helpful. "Our goal with this campaign is to provide consumer education and raise awareness about the potential of personal genetics," 23andMe president Andy Page said in a statement. The ads will be broadcast throughout the US this year, and more are expected to come in 2014.

So far only one ad has premiered. The spot briefly explains genetic material as being akin to "a self-portrait," and then suggests that knowing about DNA — and therefore about risks for issues like arthritis and heart disease — can lead to better preventative health care. “The more you know about your DNA, the more you know about yourself," the ad says. The DNA test is available for $99 and doesn't require much more than spitting into a test tube and sending it off to a lab. Though it's the same product that 23andMe has been offering for years now, the company recently brought Page on as an executive with the hopes of reaching a broader audience — this ad could be one of his first big moves.