A direct-to-consumer DNA testing service fails to distinguish dog DNA from human DNA

A reporter from NBC 5 Chicago investigated a set of direct-to-consumer DNA testing services by submitting his own DNA for analysis — along with the DNA of a Labrador retriever named Bailey.

The reporter, Phil Rogers, submitted samples of his and the dog's DNA to a random subset of direct-to-consumer DNA companies, including Ancestry.com, MyHeritage DNA and HomeDNA. Many of these companies sent back Bailey's test as unreadable. However, one did not.

Orig3n — which advertises itself under the banner "What makes you unique?" — says it analyzes customers' DNA to determine characteristics like strength, intelligence and speed. In return, it provides customers with lifestyle advice related to diet and exercise.

After Mr. Rogers submitted Bailey's DNA sample to Orig3n, the company returned a seven-page report, which didn't make any note of the DNA not coming from a human subject. The report said Bailey's muscle force would be best for quick movements, such as boxing and basketball, NBC 5 Chicago reports.  

Orig3n did not respond to NBC 5 Chicago's request for comment, which inquired why the company had not detected Bailey was a dog.

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