23andMe has launched Genotyping Services for Research (GSR) so that researchers – no matter their level of genetics expertise – can infuse genetics into their studies.
Their intent is to simplify the genotyping process and reduce costs for academic researchers recruiting for cohorts. GSR will be used to help generate and study new genetic data and will enable researchers to give information back to the research participants in the form of 23andMe Personal Genome Service reports. Typically most researchers fail to implement reciprocity-based reasons for trial participationand many authors are not aware of alternatives to providing post-trial access.
When paired with 23andMe’s mobile API for ResearchKit, researchers will have the ability create apps to collect digital phenotypes on smartphones to study alongside genetic information. The end-to-end service includes non-invasive sample collection, DNA extraction, genotyping (arrays, reagents and sample processing), data and project tracking for researchers, and return of 23andMe reports to participants.
The GSR platform also simplifies the recruiting process, offering non-invasive sample collection through a simple saliva kit, and the ability to recruit nationally by shipping the 23andMe kit directly to participants’ homes. Those who have signed on to pilot the GSR platform prior to today’s full launch are conducting studies as varied as smoking cessation, cognitive impairment in glioma patients, as well as addictions and psychiatric disorders.