Parody DNA company backed by Elon Musk pokes fun at 23andMe

DNA Friend, a parody company, is marketing itself as the rival of 23andMe with “fastest and freest DNA testing services,” according to CNBC.

DNA Friend has a website and social media presence. The parody company was created by Thud, a media project run by former Onion staffers. Thud was formerly backed by Elon Musk until the Tesla CEO sold it to the Onion.

On the website, fake customers poke fun at DNA testing companies. In one comment, a consumer raves about discovering his eye color. Other DNA companies are criticized for telling consumers obvious facts about themselves.

Another fake note jokes about DNA being used for criminal investigations. Privacy has always been a hot topic for DNA testing companies.

“We know that you’re entrusting us with every intimate detail of who you are,” the parody website says. “And we will never violate that trust by allowing your DNA to fall into the hands of anyone outside our corporate partnership network.”

DNA Friend also touches on the fact that other testing companies do not have a lot of participation for non-white and non-European users.

23andMe has more than 8 million users. Rival Ancestry has more than 10 million users. And DNA testing is expected to continue to grow, reaching a $22 billion value by 2024.

“Consumer genetics companies have a challenging job of building more applications of genomics to attract more customers, but also building applications responsibly to ensure scientific validity,” David Mittelman, former chief scientific officer of Family Tree DNA, told CNBC.

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