You Can Explore Your DNA At This Free 23andMe Pop Up

by Carolyn de Lorenzo
Courtesy of 23andMe

If you’re in NYC on Oct. 12 and 13 and curious about genetic DNA testing, you’re in luck. The genetic testing company 23andMe is hosting a two-day immersive pop-up event called "Meet Your Genes," where you can learn about your DNA in a series of interactive rooms. The free event (yep, it's free) will help you learn about how individual traits, like being a morning person vs. a night owl, can be traced back through your genetics, which is some pretty cool science.

The pop up aims to help you better understand how genetics paint the overall picture of who you are, from ancestry to health traits. Things like sleeping patterns, caffeine consumption, and whether or not you’re cranky in the mornings, can often be traced back to genetic factors. The pop-up event will include additional interactive vignettes, along with a few fun surprises, too.

According to the brand’s official website, 23andMe’s at-home genetic testing kits can trace your ancestry, along with your unique genetic health profile, and don’t require any blood draws, needles, or trips to a doctor’s office. All you do is order your kit, spit in a tube, and mail it back. Within six to eight weeks you’ll get an email linking you to your online DNA reports, where you can read all about your genetic history, from your ancestry to health and wellness traits.

While human DNA is more than 99 percent the same from person to person, that other 1 percent is significant, 23andMe says. These DNA variants are passed down from your parents and grandparents, and can show you your ancestry while also pinpointing where your genetic tendencies towards various illnesses might lie. So, if you want to know if you carry the gene for celiac disease or any of the BRCA mutations, these tests can help.

The representative further notes that 23andMe is the only at-home DNA testing kit that can trace both your ancestry and your genetic health profile. The ancestry-only service offers a break-down of your global ancestral lineage by percentages, reports on Neanderthal ancestry (yes, really), and also give you the option of connecting with new-found relatives if you want to via the DNA Relatives feature. And if you opt in for the combined health and ancestry service, you can access over 90 reports that explain how your genetics may impact your overall health. Diet preferences, sleep patterns, and vulnerabilities to certain illnesses are all traced with this service, along with your ancestral profile, too.

The upcoming 23andMe pop-up event is totally free to the public, and is open from 11 am to 7 pm on Friday, Oct. 12, and Saturday, Oct. 13. You’ll also have a chance to score some free goodies, and 23andMe experts will be on site to answer any questions you might have about genetic testing. So, If you’ve been mulling over trying out a DNA test, the upcoming pop-up event is the perfect time to get more information.

Correction: This story has been updated to accurately reflect the opening and closing times of the pop-up.