Frequently Asked Questions
What is whole genome sequencing?
Whole genome sequencing is reading the billions of letters in your DNA, a long chain made up of As, Ts, Cs, and Gs. All your genes are encoded with this 4-letter code, so we analyze your sequence and subsequently look for changes or variants in the genes.
What is DNA?
DNA is the genetic blueprint of life. It is a complex molecule that is found within every cell of our body and contains all the necessary instructions to create and maintain life. It is an information storage system, a code written with four letters that represent four molecules: adenine, thymine, guanine and cytosine. The complete sequence of these chemicals makes up our genetic code, our genome. A single DNA molecule contains around 6 billion A’s, T’s, C’s and G’s, in fact, if you could unfold a DNA molecule it would measure more than 6 feet.
What are chromosomes?
DNA is not dispersed in our cells, it is carefully packed into structures called chromosomes. We have 46 chromosomes in total, half inherited from our mother and half from our father. Located on these chromosomes are segments of DNA called genes, many of them contain instructions for making proteins, and it is these proteins that determine everything about us, from the color of our eyes to our susceptibility to disease.
Why sequence the entire genome?
Whole genome sequencing allows all your genetic material to be read by creating a library about you. In this way you will be able to know the relevant information today to prevent and have access to updates in the future, accessing your library again. This trip makes it possible that from now on you can personalize, with the help of your specialist, your health care based on what makes you unique: your DNA.
What is the difference between Genomic Screening and Genetic Testing?
Genomic screening refers to our entire genetic makeup (DNA), which is called a genome. Genetic testing is the testing or study of specific gene.
How does genomic sequencing help my family?
Whole genome sequencing allows all your genetic material to be read by creating a library about you. In this way you will be able to know the relevant information today to prevent and have access to updates in the future, accessing your library again. This means that from now on you can personalize, with the help of your specialist, your health care based on what makes you unique: your DNA.
Why should I purchase myNewborn?
MyNewborn offers early screening for genetic diseases that appear during the first stages of life, providing key information for preventive management, diet or early treatment. The test complements the conventional heel prick test, improving clinical utility. The test is indicated for newborns and children in the first years of life who do not present symptoms of genetic disease and is performed on blood or by saliva.
How does the myNewborn test work?
MyNewborn is a genetic sequencing test that is performed from a small sample of your baby's cord blood. We sequence the entire exome (Whole Exome Sequencing) and issue a results report, the impact of which must be assessed by a specialist. All our tests include pre- and post-test genetic counseling.
What is the difference between myGenome Standard and myGenome Premium?
myGenome Standard: $1,749
- For anyone who wants to be proactive about their health
Insights on 80+ genes associated with 200+ conditions, including 20+ highly actionable conditions and 40+ carrier
- Expert curated information on 150+ drug sensitivities (aka Pharmacogenomics or PGx)
- Information on 50+ traits and ancestry
- Risk Section on lower-impact genetic findings that contribute to 15 common diseases whose risk can be minimized proactively by lifestyle changes
- Review of actionable medical findings with a genetic counselor
myGenome Premium: $2,249
- For anyone who wants to dive even deeper into their cancer and cardiovascular risks, and carrier conditions
- Insights on 400+ genes associated with 20+ highly actionable conditions and 125 genes associated with 200+
- Plus all of myGenome Standard
Can my genome change over time?
No. The genetic information of a person does not change, what advances is scientific knowledge for which fortunately we know more every day. For this reason, the genome is a resource for life and that can be consulted over time to find out new findings that have been produced thanks to the advancement of scientific knowledge.
What does it mean to have a genetic variant?
All people have thousands of genetic variants in their DNA, but it doesn’t mean that they will develop a genetic disease. There are variants that simply make us unique, others that slightly increase our probability of developing a disease, and others that require medical attention because they pose a risk to our health. Interpretation of genetic reports should always be done during a consultation with a genetic counselor to help you understand the information.
How long does it take to receive my results?
The entire process from receiving your sample, analyzing the information, and producing your results takes between 8 to 14 weeks. The estimated delivery time varies because every person’s genomic information is unique and may require different degrees of analysis.
Will I receive a guide to help me interpret my results?
Yes. A 30 min complimentary review of clinically actionable (very important) findings will be provided. The genetic counselors are experts in whole genome sequencing and are highly-experienced across many clinical genetics specialty areas including cancer, prenatal, cardiovascular, pediatrics and adult genetics. They are Board-certified and licensed to provide genetic counseling throughout the United States.
Why does pricing for genetic tests vary so much?
The cost of a genetic testing service is related to the technology utilized and the amount genetic expertise is required to provide the result. There is a direct correlation between the amount of DNA information analyzed and the more clinically impactful and reliable the result will be. At Americord, we use whole genome sequencing that allows for the capture and analyzing of all of a person’s DNA. Because the information is so valuable and can significantly impact a person’s future healthcare, we believe it should be managed by a medical professional. We support either directly or in collaboration with the prescribing physician the pre and post-test genetic counseling process where the results are explained and an action plan is established to fully benefit from the information provided.
Is Genomic Testing covered by my insurance?
You may be able to pay for the test via your FSA or HSA account.
Are you sharing my data and information?
Americord partners with Veritas Genetics to offer families comprehensive and industry-leading genetic testing. We will not share any information about your family, unless you have purchased a genomic service. Purchasing a genomic service connects you with a Veritas representative. Information and results will not be shared with Americord. Your data is encrypted in Veritas' cloud once the DNA sample has been sequenced. Veritas will not sell your info to 3rd parties without your consent.
What is the regulatory status of the genomic tests performed by the company?
Are there any states genomic services are not offered?
Yes, Alaska, California, New York, and Washington DC. These states have restrictions and regulations that prevent Americord from offering genomic services to individuals who have blood or saliva collected for genomic testing in these states.
If you are a resident of these restricted states, but deliver or provide a maternal blood outside of these states you can purchase Genomic services.