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China's Genebox hypes a fresh breakthrough in home DNA testing

Chinese people's lack of interest in ancestral analysis may make the tech moot

China's bargain alternative to Google-backed genomics startup 23andMe -- Genebox -- says it has developed a type of testing apparatus key to consumer-grade DNA kits that could break a global duopoly.

High-density microarrays are key to so-called direct-to-consumer genetic testing kits used in the U.S. by DNA home-testing companies like 23andMe and, which encourage people to send in saliva samples that are tested to determine the likeliness that the customers might develop gene-linked diseases like Alzheimer's. The companies also promise to map customers' supposed ancestral backgrounds.

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