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23andMe gets FDA approval, but only to test rare Bloom syndrome

Nick Summers, @nisummers
February 20, 2015
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For over a year now, 23andMe has been effectively banned from offering its US customers health-related genetic tests. The company is still selling its personal DNA kits, but the information it can provide is limited to ancestry-related reports and raw genetic data. The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) was behind the original clampdown in 2013, but this week it's given the company its blessing for a new test. With the fresh approval, 23andMe can now offer to look for signs of Bloom syndrome, a rare disorder which is characterized by short stature, sun-sensitive skin and increased cancer risk. While this is a specific test, rather than the broader health reports it offered before, 23andMe calls it an "important first step" to offering detailed genetic advice in the US once more.

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