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Getting personal

Tests for inherited health risks may soon cost nothing. But who will actually benefit from them?

By Mark Henderson   September 2009

When Time magazine drew up the shortlist for its invention of the year award in October 2008, it did not lack suitable candidates. Yet the judges rejected the claims of the Large Hadron Collider and the sexy Tesla Roadster electric car in favour of an idea that has for years been long on promise and short on results: personal genomics.

Time selected the $399 personal genome service of genomics company 23andMe, a Google-backed startup, and the magazine pronounced that genetic tests for all would start “a revolution that will transform not only how we take care of ourselves, but also…

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