TellmeGen Test: What you should know before ordering!

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Choosing an at-home personal genetic DNA test can be confusing. With so many providers and many offers, the best bet is to rely on well-established companies with years of experience under their belt.

TellmeGen is one of those. The test strongly focuses on health-related markers and is our opinion, one of the options to consider for those willing to know more about their genetic makeup. 

The DNA test kits will provide numerous information about genetic predisposition but are probably not the ones to consider if your main focus is on ancestry composition.

What about the company?

From its humble beginnings in 2014 in sunny Valencia, Spain, TellmeGen is now a well-established company that sells DNA test kits worldwide. 

Since its inception, the company was headed by Dr. Ramón Catalá, an orthopedic and trauma surgeon. In 2004, the then startup received $100,000 of debt financing and then grew independently. 

Contrary to many other at-home genetic test companies, TellmeGen is heavily focused on health genetic predisposition and not so much on ancestry composition. It shows in the tests they offer and the composition of their team and Scientific Advisory board, including medical professionals. 

What about the tests?

TellmeGen offers numerous tests ranging from $89 to $369, which can be confusing. Simply put, the DNA test kits divide into starter and advanced kits. 

Starter DNA Kit

TellmeGen Starter DNA Kit offers the possibility to analyze more than 750,000 markers for an overall analysis of 90 characteristics, including traits, health, fitness, and ancestry. 

For an average of $89, this kit may not provide as many details as more comprehensive tests but is somehow an excellent introduction to what you can get from at-home genetic testing. 

As with all at-home DNA test kits, the process is the same. Order the test kit, spit the required amount of saliva that will contain the cells from which DNA will be extracted, send back the sample and register the kit number on the website.

Will then come a 4-6 weeks period for the analysis. The test results will then be available online. It could not be simpler, and all companies use the same process.

The differences are in selecting the DNA markers to detect your genetic makeup. 

When it comes to privacy, it is essential to know that as a European company, the privacy of the data will be covered under the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and not HIPAA. This does not make a huge difference in our opinions but may be necessary for American customers who do not want their samples to be processed outside of the U.S and protected by U.S Health Data Privacy rules.

The company also offers a swab collection method for children or people who have difficulties collecting saliva samples. For minors, parental consent is requested, and the parents or legal guardians will have to provide a copy of the child’s ID, family record book, or court decision.

Starter DNA Kit by TellmeGen
  • tellmeGen is the DNA test that tells you about the role of your genetics in more than 90...
  • You will know your ancestral ethnicity, where your ancestors come from and the path and origin of...
  • The tellmeGen DNA test kit is regularly updated free of charge. In addition, you can ask your...
  • Knowing your genetic information is very useful and valuable. With this information you can modify...
  • tellmeGen is endorsed by official organizations. Find out what your DNA says about you with just a...

 

 

Advanced DNA Kit

The Advanced DNA Kit is where it becomes more thorough. Four hundred forty characteristics will be extracted out of the genetic data. They will cover in more detail the genetic predisposition to develop more than 110 diseases covering cancer, metabolic, cardiac, or neurological diseases. The complete list is available on the company website

The genetic risk of developing one monogenic disease among a list of 90 is also assessed. We appreciate that the results are updated regularly and include the latest scientific discoveries. Of course, most serious DNA testing companies will do the same, but this is somehow good to know that the genetic information is accurate.

Specific traits such as the genetic predisposition to alcohol intolerance, baldness, intelligence will also be assessed. These traits will only be informative, of course, but they are indeed interesting to know and will be fun subjects to discuss around the breakfast table.

Ancestry testing is not the strong point of the TellmeGen test, but the company has been working on improving its ancestry testing and ethnicity estimate capabilities. As a result, the test is not yet at the same level as what can be expected from Ancestry.com or Family Tree DNA that leverages their years of experience and massive databases to analyze ancestry components. 

The report includes populations from Europe, the Caucasus and Central Asia, North Africa and the Middle East, Sub-Saharan Africa, South and East Asia, Oceania, and the Americas. Do not expect, though, to go very deep into the details of the sub-populations. The analysis will only scratch the surface but is a good teaser for conducting additional analyses for those interested in understanding more about their lineage.

Sale
Advanced DNA Kit by TellmeGen
  • tellmeGen is the DNA test kit that informs you about your genetic predisposition to more than 400...
  • You will be able to know your predisposition to more than 140 complex and hereditary diseases,...
  • The tellmeGen genetic test analysis is regularly updated free of charge. In addition, you can ask...
  • Knowing your genetic information results is very useful. With your DNA test you can adapt your...
  • tellmeGen personal genetic service is endorsed by official organizations. Find out what your DNA...

What is the science behind it?

TellmeGen will not analyze your whole genome. Instead, the company relies on the IlluminaTM Global Screening Array v3.0 DNA chip, including 800,000 DNA markers. Ten thousand genetic markers, supported by 200 scientific publications, have been selected to define the predisposition for specific genetic diseases, estimate ethnicity, and other genetic analyses.

Overall TellmeGen DNA test will focus on detecting 3,000 Single Nucleotide Polymorphisms (SNPs) to deliver their health data and ancestry components.

Contrary to full genome sequencing that analyses the full 3 billion base pairs, analyzing only 3,000 markers may seem low. Still, it is more than enough to define the essential characteristics of your genetic makeup. 

Interestingly, the Raw data can also be downloaded. It offers the possibility to expand the scope of the analyses by using other providers’ bioinformatics systems. 

TellmeGen relies on Eurofins laboratories to extract and analyze the DNA samples. In our experience, Eurofins is one of the leaders in biomedical analyses. Used by numerous biotechnology and Pharmaceutical companies, their platform is certified for accuracy and seriousness—an excellent point for the accuracy of the results.

What do customers think?

On Amazon, the TellmeGen Advanced test received four stars out of more than 2,200 reviews, which is pretty good and shows that customers like the DNA data and results. The same goes for the Starter DNA test kit, even though fewer clients rated the test.

Most of the negative comments were linked to the fact that their ancestry results were superficial compared to more specialized tests. Even though TellmeGen is undoubtedly focusing on autosomal DNA, they now offer the possibility to analyze maternal lineage through mtDNA. 

The company states that the paternal lineage (Y-Chromosome) will soon be available to go deeper into the ancestry composition. 

Unfortunately, nobody left a rating on Trustpilot to corroborate the reviews and feedback available on Amazon.

Pros and Cons of TellmeGen

Pros

  • Focused on Healthcare and Hereditary diseases
  • Attractive pricing
  • Robustness of their DNA analysis partner

Cons

  • Lack of accuracy when it comes to the ancestry composition

To wrap up

TellmeGen is not a newcomer among the DNA testing companies. However, their tests emphasize health-related markers and ancestry analysis even though the company claims to be willing to expand its scope is not to be compared with other providers.

As a first approach to genetic testing, TellmeGen has somehow a lot to offer. The samples are processed under strict privacy and quality control conditions.

When searching for an affordable test that will open new doors in understanding how genetic makeup can influence health, TellmeGen tests are certainly to consider.

The possibility to download the raw data is a nice perk as it lets the option to proceed to other types of analyses in the future. 

Interpreting DNA results can be tricky and sometimes a bit scary. TellmeGen offers the option to get personalized genetic counseling for a modest additional fee. This is undoubtedly an add-on to consider for those just starting their journey in the DNA world.

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Last update on 2022-04-14 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API