SEATTLE, April 24 /PRNewswire/ -- iGenix, Inc, today launched QTrait, a personal online genetics testing service with prices beginning as low as $99 per DNA test. iGenix co-founder and chief scientist Tera Eerkes, Ph.D. developed QTrait to create affordable DNA testing for the general public, while providing the most secure privacy procedures in the genetics industry. QTrait tests have received certification from TRUSTe, a leading consumer privacy group that helps consumers and businesses identify trustworthy online organizations.
QTrait test categories include: 1) Health and Longevity; 2) Addictive Tendencies; 3) Nutrition and Allergies; 4) Pregnancy and Childbirth; 5) Sleep and the Senses; and 6) Performance. Tests range from $99 for one test, up to $749 for 30 or more tests.
"QTrait proves that secure DNA testing isn't just for the wealthy," said Eerkes, who has a doctorate in Genome Sciences from the University of Washington. "Anyone should be able to learn about their genetic make-up, and have the right to keep that information 100 percent private."
GENETIC TESTING and DISEASE DETECTION
Designed by a team of scientists and physicians, QTrait tests are highly accurate. They differ from tests that evaluate disease detection or prevention. QTrait evaluates the genetic component of existing disorders or conditions that can be improved through detection and behavior modification, like allergies. QTrait also provides assessments that can improve lifestyles, such as insights on aptitudes for memory and retention.
DNA PRIVACY and PRICING
Many people are worried that employers might discover their personal genetic information and use it to discriminate against them, Some are concerned that insurance companies might deny coverage based on unfavorable results. To protect privacy, many consumers choose to pay out-of-pocket for extremely expensive DNA tests that might normally be covered under insurance. Prior to QTrait, standard industry tests ranged from $175 per test up to $350,000 to map an individual's entire genome. To help make this type of information more accessible, QTrait offers the market's least expensive pricing, starting at $99.
QTRAIT REFUSES TO DISCLOSE DNA RESULTS TO THIRD PARTIES
People are unaware that many providers of DNA tests have contractual clauses that allow them to sell or release their customers' information to third parties. This raises many ethical concerns as third party organizations can mine DNA data for health, marketing or identity information. A person's DNA never changes. Since genetic information is a unique "fingerprint", once a person is distinguished by genetic information, that person is always potentially identifiable.
Unlike other genetic testing companies, QTrait guarantees its clients' privacy. QTrait does not share genetic information with outside parties, except under court order. After QTrait customers receive their results, they can at anytime delete the information from the QTrait database; thereby, guaranteeing the data will not be available to third parties or unauthorized individuals.
Eerkes explained, "With QTrait, people don't need to worry that we'll release their genetic information to an insurance or pharmaceutical company. Our customers feel safe knowing they have complete control over their DNA information because they can delete their test results whenever they want."
QTRAIT SECURITY PRECAUTIONS
To protect customers' privacy, QTrait encrypts genetic information in the company's databases. Names and account information are anonymized and kept separate from test results. QTrait staff and employees are limited in their access to both test results and clients' personal information. The company also encrypts genetic information when it is transferred through the network into its database.
DNA ON A NEED-TO-KNOW
Many personal genetics companies bundle their services and force customers to receive results that they didn't request. Some individuals are concerned that DNA tests will reveal genetic predispositions that they would rather not be alerted to or believe they can't change. Still, they may wish to seek evaluations for other conditions or aptitudes. With the QTrait system, individuals only receive information that they want.
Other individuals feel that knowledge is power, and identifying their predispositions can help them make changes to improve their health and quality of life. QTrait is a solution for both sets of customers. It allows each to choose the tests that they want. With QTrait people learn as much, or as little, as they want to know about their genetic make-up.
QTRAIT CATEGORIES and DNA TESTS
QTrait has more than 40 genetic tests in categories that include: 1)
Health and Longevity; 2) Addictive Tendencies; 3) Nutrition and Allergies;
4) Pregnancy and Childbirth; 5) Sleep and the Senses; and 6) Performance.
QTrait genetic tests can help:
-- Adults and children identify genes that indicate conditions and
allergies such as: asthma, lactose intolerance, eczema, and gluten
-- Parents evaluate their child's potential susceptibility to smoking,
alcohol or drug addictions.
-- Women determine prenatal risks such as preeclampsia or preterm birth.
-- Athletes evaluate performance genes that process oxygen levels in
blood; and aptitude for endurance versus power sport training.
-- Individuals assess aptitudes for memory and retention.
HOW Q-TRAIT TESTING WORKS
QTrait makes genetic testing easy. Customers go to Qtrait.com, where they select and purchase only the genetic tests that they want. QTrait will then ship a personal saliva test kit. The customer will provide a saliva sample and mail the kit back to QTrait. Within eight weeks of receiving the test kit, QTrait will process the results. When the results are ready, QTrait will email the customer a link to their information. Customers must use a unique and secured pass key and pass phrase to sign in to see their results.
iGenix is a privately held company that is pioneering personal genetics by using technological innovations designed to lower DNA testing costs. Chief executive officer and chief scientist Tera Eerkes, Ph.D. and Dr. Carl Newman founded the company in 2007 to provide the most secure, conscientious and affordable genetic testing to the public. Eerkes received her doctorate in Genome Sciences from the University of Washington and conducted scientific research in genetics and genomics at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center. Before co- founding iGenix, Dr. Carl Newman worked more than 30 years as a practicing clinical physician. For more information about iGenix and QTrait, visit: http://www.QTrait.com.
|SOURCE iGenix, Inc|
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