Near realtime DNA testing, for the masses? Yes, though we were disappointed at the expense and frivolity of this early implementation: UK firm geneOnyx is launching the first in-store DNA test that’s aimed at helping patients choose skin care products most compatible with their genes. To be offered at the Organic Pharmacy chain of stores, the test requires a bit of spit from the customer, a few seconds of prep to get the DNA to a little microchip that amplifies and performs PCR on it, and a thirty minute wait time for results to come in.
The technology in the kit, called Genalysis, comes from DNA Electronics, a London, UK company. It requires no pipetting or expensive lab time, but relies on a platform that looks just like a standard USB memory stick that works off a pharmacy laptop. Once results are obtained, they are cross referenced with geneOnyx’s database of skin care product ingredients and advice is provided immediately to the client. If it works as promised, the £295 ($475) price tag of the kit may be reasonable for a lot of people with a variety of skin issues.
The DNA computer microchip is plugged into a cloud-connected gateway device linked to CosMos™, geneOnyx™’s cloud-based analysis engine. The genetic test results are analysed to provide a personalised shortlist of skincare products most appropriate and effective to the individual. Results are ready within 30 minutes. CosMos™ includes a comprehensive SMP™ library, a unique mapping database based on geneOnyx™’s extensive research into cosmetic product active ingredients, our genes and how these compounds are metabolised. Following the results, the DNA computer microchip is then immediately and securely disposed of, ensuring that no genetic information is retained or stored.
While most genetic tests available today require the sending of saliva or other biological tissue to a laboratory for testing, the geneOnyx™ system harnesses state-of-the-art on-the-spot DNA detection technology developed by world-leading medical technology pioneer Professor Chris Toumazou FRS, FREng, CEO and Founder of DNA Electronics. Leveraging DNA Electronics’ Genalysis® technology, geneOnyx is now delivering the world’s first commercial application of a lab-free DNA test – bringing on-site, over-the-counter genetic analytics to the consumer cosmetic industry. This approach is set to change the way we purchase and understand skincare with fast, tailored results.