23andMe health study needs 5,000 Nevada volunteers

The comprehensive study will examine health, population, genetic and environmental data.

A year after the FDA loosened limitations on what genetic analytics company 23andMe could offer consumers, the company is embarking on a groundbreaking study of 5,000 people across Nevada. In partnership with the not-for-profit healthcare provider Renown Health and the Desert Research Institute (DRI), the survey will combine health, population, genetic and environmental data for a comprehensive look at the various influences nature and nurture have on people's wellness.

For their participation, folks will get a 23andMe report of their own genetic information on traits and ancestry for free. With that DNA data, plus Renown's de-identified health and population info, DRI will model public health risks of disease and illness along with the health impact of conditions like air quality on a community.

They're seeking 5,000 volunteers to follow Nevada Governor Brian Sandoval, who has already signed up to be part of the study. Hopefully, such a comprehensive data set can help researchers build predictive models to look for health factors across the state's 2.8 million residents. But if anything proves how seriously they're taking this collaborative project, it's the dedicated YouTube video they made to promote it: