New initiative called 23andWe will initially focus on Parkinson’s.

23andMe launched 23andWe as an extension of its Personal Genome Service™ (PGS). The 23andMe PGS allows individuals to learn about their genetic information through DNA analysis and web-based interactive tools. 23andWe will collect genetic and phenotypic information of 23andMe customers, with their consensus, for use in the company’s research projects.

23andMe will evaluate and approve research proposals for inclusion in the 23andWe program. Once a proposal is approved, 23andMe researchers will develop online surveys for collecting phenotypic information from 23andMe customers to complete and participate in the study. When the data is compiled, 23andMe researchers will analyze it with the goal of determining the genetic bases for certain traits or diseases.

One of the first initiatives of 23andWe seeks to advance the understanding of Parkinson’s disease through a partnership with the Parkinson’s Institute. This project is designed to improve current methods of collecting information for Parkinson’s research by leveraging the internet to expand the involvement of Parkinson’s patients in clinical research and increase the frequency and quality of patient data collection.

“The mission of 23andWe is to enable 23andMe customers to join together and be active participants in large-scale, centralized genome-wide association studies where they are in control of and have access to their own data,” says Linda Avey, cofounder of 23andMe.

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