For an initial $80, Helix sequences the most important part of the genome—about 20,000 genes plus some other bits—called the exome. That information is digitized and stored by Helix, which doles out pieces of the information to companies selling other apps through Helix. “It’s our goal that someone will have a lifelong relationship with their DNA data,” Thurston says.
Previously exome sequencing cost several hundred to more than a thousand dollars.
Helix was founded in 2015 with $100 million from genomics giant Illumina, is launching its much-anticipated online hub where people can digitally explore their genetic code by downloading different applications on their computers or mobile devices.
* Order a product and Helix sends you a DNA collection kit to collect a small saliva sample from you, which takes just a few minutes. Helix’s world-class laboratory then uses the most advanced technology to read your DNA—all from that one sample.
* Helix sequences your DNA using true next-generation sequencing, which unlocks 100X more data than other companies. Where they do single tests, we assemble, store, and protect your genetic data so you can access and share it with any partner of your choosing without ever having to provide another saliva sample.
* through Helix, you can explore a variety of DNA-powered products that help you discover more about yourself and make better-informed decisions about your life. From the profound to the just-for-fun, there’s a lot to learn about yourself through your DNA.
* Another company, Exploragen, says it can tell you about your sleep patterns—like whether you’re a morning person or a night owl—just by looking at your DNA (in case you needed help knowing that one).
* Another company, Dot One, will examine the tiny portion of your genes that makes you different from everyone else and print that unique code onto a customized fabric scar
* Insitome, has an app that will determine what percentage of your DNA you inherited from Neanderthals and how those traits are relevant to your physiology. Insitome CEO Spencer Wells says this initial app will cost $30.