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Yahoo to sell genetic home testing kits

Posting in Cancer

Yahoo will soon begin selling home genetic testing kits for the general public to find out if they are susceptible to particular diseases.

The Japan Times reports that the tech giant will be involved in the marketing of a medical test kit to go on sale in Japan. According to Yahoo officials, the kit can be used to identify genetic markers that may make you more at risk of catching particular afflictions.

The kits are made by Tokyo-based Genesis Healthcare Co., and once the kit has been used, consumers have to send saliva samples to the firm, who will analyse the sample to see if the user is predisposed to afflictions including higher risks of stroke or gout. It takes two months for the results to arrive through an emailed URL.

In the face of making genetic kits available to consumers -- and the privacy risks associated with such products -- Yahoo Japan said:

"It is the No. 1 firm in Japan in the field that conducts analyses. A groundbreaking product good for preventive medicine will be made available at a low price."

The kits, priced at 29,800 yen ($371), are due to go on sale online in December. Yahoo Japan expects online sales to reach 300 units a month.

Image credit: Yahoo

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— By on November 4, 2012, 8:58 PM PST

Charlie Osborne

Contributing Editor

Charlie Osborne is a freelance journalist and photographer based in London. In addition to SmartPlanet, she also writes for business technology website ZDNet and consumer technology site CNET. She holds a degree in medical anthropology from the University of Kent. Follow her on Twitter. Disclosure