Time Magazine has named 23andMe, one of the first consumer genetic testing services, its 2008 Best Invention of the Year.
23andMe, named for the 23 chromosome pairs every human has, set itself apart from other DNA-testing services, because "it does the best job of making them accessible and affordable," according to Time.
The company offers a $399 DNA test that includes an ancestry analysis, and a health analysis. The health analysis tests for about 90 predispositions ranging from what eye color you'll probably pass on to whether you're likely to get arthritis someday.
Customers are sent a kit by mail that includes a test tube to spit in for the saliva sample and registration materials to log in online. Once the sample is registered and mailed to 23andMe, customers can expect results in about 4-6 weeks.
The company was co-founded by Linda Avey, a biopharmaceutical industry veteran with a background in biology; and Anne Wojcicki, an entrepreneur with experience in healthcare investing and a Yale University degree in biology.
Wojcicki's husband, Google co-founder Sergey Brin, has an additional reason to be proud of Time Magazine's list. The Tesla Roadster, an all-electric sports car made by Tesla Motors, was named runner-up. Brin has given some financial backing to the struggling company.
Other inventions that made it into the top 10 include Hulu.com, the video-streaming site that legally offers free TV shows and movies online; NASA's Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter; and the Large Hadron Collider.
The full list of all 50 inventions Time Magazine has named noteworthy for 2008 will appear in the October 31 issue, but it's already been posted to Time's Web site.