23andMe allows a peek at its genomics service, minus the $999 fee

23andMe — the Google-backed startup that scans your genome for disease-risk factors and other information, now lets anyone see how the service works without first charging $999 for the privilege. My first impression: It packs a tremendous amount of information into clean, uncluttered pages that are still relatively easy to understand even for newcomers to genetics.

23andMe: Will the personal-genomics company need Big Pharma to make money?

23andMe held its official launch today, as expected, and in the process managed to address a few of the nagging questions that remained after I reviewed its service over the weekend. “Addressed” is definitely the operative word here, though, because firm answers are still in short supply.

Will 23andMe and Navigenics lock up your genome and charge you for the key?

Over the last few months, startups like 23andMe and Navigenics have attracted a fair bit of attention for promising to let ordinary people search through their own genomes to better understand their disease risk, genealogy and ancestry. (For our coverage, see the links at the end of this item.) But one of the first major attempts to take a close look at them — courtesy of the November issue of Portfolio — left me with the distinct impression that these companies may not actually be anywhere near as revolutionary as they seem.

Compendia Bioscience, cancer-genomics data miner, leverages the Web for biodata analysis

A number of startups are starting to bring the power of the Web to bear on complex masses of biological data. One of the latest is Compendia Bioscience, an Ann Arbor, Mich., computational biotech that’s focused on mining cancer-genomics data. The company just received a $2.4 million grant from the National Cancer Institute to further development of Compendia’s lead product, a program that combs through and analyzes publicly available data on gene activity in a variety of tumors.

Decoding 23andMe — Illumina spills the beans

First, it was self-described 23andMe investor Martin Varsavsky who spilled some early information about the secretive personal-genomics startup founded by Sergey Brin’s new wife, Anne Wojcicki, and now backed by Google and Genentech. (See our coverage here.) Now more details about 23andMe’s plans to help individuals map their own genomes are emerging, courtesy of Illumina, a gene-scanning company partnered with the startup.

Personal genomics and the end of insurance

Not too long from now, your genes are likely to be at war with your health insurer — and your genes may well have the upper hand.