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Genomelink Review: Should You Upload Your Raw DNA Data?

Updated on September 17, 2021
Written by
Joel
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We live in an era of self-quantification. We quantify our sleep, our exercise, our caffeine intake, and more. But what about the most important quantifier of all: our DNA? Genomelink is a company that lets us upload a raw DNA data file and get back a report full of genetic-based information about our various traits and risk for certain diseases. But is it worth the hefty fee? Here’s my Genomelink review, complete with the pros and cons of uploading your raw DNA data.

Genomelink uses your existing raw DNA data from services like AncestryDNA, MyHeritage, and 23andMe to give you additional insights into your DNA. This is done simply by uploading your raw data onto their website, where it will be analyzed. And the best part is, this service can even be used for absolutely free!

The list of genetic traits that Genomelink examines is constantly expanding and is based on the latest scientific research. While they do offer some of their trait reports for free, if you want to take advantage of everything Genomelink has to offer, you will need to pay a small subscription fee. 

In this Genomelink review, we’ll look into the different reports they offer, how dependable the results are, and whether or not the subscription fee is worth your money.

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Genomelink:

  • Founded by Tomohiro Takano, Yuta Matsuda, and Kensuke Numakura
  • Based on a subscription model
  • Doesn’t handle DNA testing but allows you to upload your raw DNA data from 23andMe, AncestryDNA, and MyHeritage
  • Offers trait reports that focus on wellness and identity

Quick facts:

Sample CollectionUpload raw DNA data (autosomal DNA transfer)
DNA Testing TypeSingle nucleotide polymorphisms analysis
SpeedInstant reports upon uploading
Privacy ProtectionStrong
Genomelink Logo

How much does Genomelink’s DNA kit cost?

Genomelink offers a premium monthly subscription plan in addition to its free reports. The two different Genomelink plans are:

  • Limited Trait Report — Free
    • Instant access to 25 free trait reports
    • Compare your genetic traits with up to 1 other person
  • Genomelink Unlimited Plan — $14 per month
    • Instant unlimited access to 100+ trait reports 
    • Weekly email updates including new “Discovery Traits” —  entertaining new traits that are based on the latest science and research
    • Compare your genetic traits with up to 5 other people

Send in steps

Genomelink works by analyzing prior DNA test results. At this time, the company only accepts test results from AncestryDNA, MyHeritage, and 23andMe. To receive your trait reports, follow these 4 steps:

  1. Download your raw DNA data from either AncestryDNA, 23andMe, or MyHeritage.
  1. Navigate to the Genomelink website and sign up by giving your email address and creating a password.
  1. Upload your raw DNA data report file, or import your data directly from AncestryDNA or 23andMe.
  1. Your trait reports should be available immediately after your raw DNA data has finished uploading.

According to Genomelink, their servers are set up with HIPAA-grade security. This means all servers meet the federal-level standard used to protect health and patient information. 

Additionally, the company promises to never sell your DNA data or test results unless given your explicit consent. You’re free to delete your data from their servers as well, giving you complete control and ownership over your information.

The competition

While there are plenty of DNA testing companies that can analyze your DNA for a number of factors and traits, there aren’t many quite like Genomelink. While companies like MyHeritage and Family Tree DNA allow you to upload your DNA results directly, their main focus is on DNA testing. Genomelink, on the other hand, doesn’t actually test a DNA sample but rather analyzes an existing report from either AncestryDNA, 23andMe, or MyHeritage.

Using this existing data, they provide you with 25 free trait reports or unlimited reports for subscribers. Some similar companies that also analyze existing DNA raw data to offer you new insights include:

  • Promethease ($12) — Upload your DNA raw data from companies like 23andMe and AncestryDNA and get tons of additional information based on the latest research. 
  • Living DNA (Free) — While Living DNA does their own genetic testing, they also let you upload your raw DNA data for additional information. 
  • Genopalate ($39.95) — In addition to conducting their own DNA testing, Genopalate allows you to upload your raw DNA data from AncestryDNA, 23andMe, and MyHeritage to receive their health-focused report at a discount.

The results

Genomelink’s trait report is broken up into a few different categories, we’ll explore each one in-depth below:

Food and Nutrition

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In this section of Genomelinks’s test results, you’ll learn about your body’s ability to handle certain foods. From the vitamins and minerals that you should include more of in your diet, to the foods you need to avoid. I've personally uploaded my DNA and already discovered some great insights about my traits. Here are a few screenshots of my reports so far.

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I was given a total of 46 Food and Nutrition traits, and I didn't take the time to check the exact % that seemed accurate to me, but I would estimate a 70% accuracy rate.

Personality

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The trait report includes a personality section as well. Here, Genomelink will explore the different ways that your genes could be affecting your behavior. This includes your likelihood of taking risks, your pain response, and your ability to recognize faces. Here is a screenshot of my reports:

Genomelink Review: Should You Upload Your Raw DNA Data? 25
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Each of these reports also links to a pubmed article backing up the research into why your genes would say this. The one for my "Agreeableness" report is https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18957941

I got something like 51 reports, and most of them look fairly accurate. On reports like this, you will most likely need to ask friends and family, as none of us are that good at self-diagnosing personality traits (especially negative).

Intelligence

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In the intelligence portion of your test results, you’ll read about how your genetics could be affecting your cognitive processes. Some of the things they cover here include your mathematics skills, your overall intelligence, and your word reading ability.

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Most of these look accurate, I have better-than-average hearing, terrible at multitasking, etc. An individual report looks like this:

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Physical Traits

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The physical traits portion delves into the different ways that your genes can alter your physical appearance. The traits covered in this section include your waist size, height, freckles, and body fat mass index.

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This is probably the scariest section. I hope some of these aren't accurate:

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Sports

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Genomelink’s final section states that the genetic markers that affect your ability to burn fat and build muscles are explored. This includes your post-exercise heart rate recovery time, habitual exercise activities, and heart rate during exercise.

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These all seemed fairly accurate to me as well:

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According to Genomelink, the accuracy of their test results is dependent on a few different factors. These include:

  • Genetics — Depending on how your unique genes express themselves, they can potentially alter how certain traits appear as characteristics. This can lead to results that seem different than you would have expected.
  • Environment — Your environment can also affect your traits, which could change the accuracy of your results. Environmental factors that could alter your expected outcomes include fitness, nutrition, lifestyle, and education.
  • Study Reliability — All of the conclusions that Genomelink reaches in their test results are based upon current research and genetic studies. If a study’s results turns out to be incorrect, this too can negatively affect the accuracy of your test. As new science emerges, Genomelink will update their results to reflect these changes.

Even though there are some things that could affect your test's accuracy, your results are still pretty reliable. Just keep in mind that your test results are mainly intended for entertainment purposes, and aren’t a substitute for advice from a licensed doctor, nutritionist, or personal trainer.

I found the majority of these to be accurate, and only a few to not be accurate. To be fair, Genomelink does just give you percentages, so they're not necessarily "wrong."

Reports

In addition to "Traits," Genomelink also has Reports. An overview of all of the reports are:

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Most of these cost somewhere between $20-$35.

A sample report looks something like this:

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I didn't have access to any of the other ones, but some of them look interesting, like Skincare advice or Fitness Advice.

Review of Genomelink

We like Genomlink as a product.

Joel

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Ease of Use
Health Information
Ancestry Information
Speed of Results
Speed of Updates
Privacy Protection

Summary

If you're not feeling satisfied with the amount of information that 23andme and Ancestry have given you, Genomelink is a great resource to use. With them, you'll be able to find out more than just your ancestry or genetic traits.

4.5

Pros

  • Instant access to 25 free trait reports
  • Unlimited trait reports (100+) available for paying subscribers
  • The list of traits Genomelink analyzes is constantly growing as research develops
  • Trait reports are returned incredibly fast once you’ve uploaded your raw DNA data
  • Compare your genetic traits with other Genomelink users

Cons

  • Genomelink doesn’t do DNA testing 
  • Raw DNA data must be provided by either AncestryDNA, MyHeritage, or 23andMe
  • If you want to see all of your genetic traits in your trait report, you’ll have to pay a monthly fee
Genomelink Logo

FAQ

Is Genomelink safe to use?

With a strong privacy policy and an easy process for uploading your raw DNA data, Genomelink is a safe company to trust your data with.

What does Genomelink include in their ancestry report?

The ancestry report covers how much of your genetic profile and DNA data is shared with your distant ancestors and goes back as far as 5,000 years. This includes 7 major groups, including first farmers, hunter-gatherers, steppe pastoralists, native Americans, West African, East Asian, and South Asian.  

How do you cancel Genomelink?

Just log into your account, navigate to the ‘Plans’ tab, and follow the instructions for canceling your account. Automatic billing should be stopped on the day of cancellation.

Joel
Content Contributor
Joel is a writer with a passion for the science of DNA and the power of its manipulation.
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