23 and Me expands COVID-19 genetics study

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Wednesday, May 20, 2020
Action News coverage of the coronavirus COVID-19 outbreak

The 23 and Me genetic service has jumped into research on COVID-19.

Since April, it's enlisted 8,000 members who've had the disease, surveying them on their symptoms.

But after realizing most of those cases were in the mild to moderate range, 23 and Me decided it needed hospitalized survivors.

So, now, it's enrolling anyone in the general public hospitalized with coronavirus, even if they're not 23 and Me members.

"If they come to the 23 and Me study landing page, they can enroll, answer a few questions about their experience with the disease, and if they're eligible, we would send them a saliva collection kit to their house," says Joyce Tung, Ph.D., the vice president for research.

"We're looking for genetic associations with the severity of the disease. So we're looking for how variations in our DNA may be associated with more severe symptoms, or more severe outcomes," she adds.

23 and Me is now analyzing the data it's already collected, and will share results with scientists and the public this summer.

For more information on 23 and Me's COVID-19 study, CLICK HERE.