We make your safety our priority.
We believe it should be easy for everyone to access their DNA information, but our first consideration is safety. DNA information should always be presented clearly and responsibly. For health-related products, our partners provide a physician review of the order and more resources such as genetic counseling. Additionally, we believe products that aren’t related to medical outcomes should not provide medical information.
We review each and every scientific claim.
We evaluate the scientific content and claims of each product. This means we review the primary literature on which the associations are based. We ask our partners to remove claims that do not pass our scientific evidence evaluation process.
We test products for accuracy and reliability.
We test products by using sets of deidentified positive and negative controls including different sets of variants and replicates of individuals and families. This process helps ensure products return the expected results for every person.
How We Evaluate Our Products
The Helix Laboratory
Helix’s state-of-the-art DNA sequencing laboratory in San Diego, California is one of the most advanced DNA processing facilities in the world. Our lab employees developed procedures which have met the highest standards for accuracy and reliability according to federal regulatory standards.
Frequently Asked Questions
Helix's CLIA certification means that our lab meets certain quality standards under the Clinical Laboratory Improvement Amendments (CLIA) of 1988, including qualifications for the individuals who perform the lab processes and other standards that ensure the accuracy and reliability of results.
Helix's accreditation from the College of American Pathologists (CAP) means that our lab meets the most scientifically rigorous requirements. It ensures that we are compliant with the most comprehensive standards and accuracy of lab results.
What is genotyping?
Genotyping is an older technology that takes a snapshot of only specific single letters. These single letters are predefined based on common typos in the genome. If you imagine that your DNA is like a book, there might be a common typo on page 12, sentence 17, letter 4, and genotyping would look there only. Because of this, genotyping is static.
What is sequencing?
In contrast, by sequencing, we read base pairs in order (like reading an entire sentence, paragraph, or chapter). By comparing your letters to a reference genome, we can determine which letters are different. The places you are different are called “variations,” and this is what makes you unique.
Meet some of our scientific staff.
When it comes to Helix’s science, our processes are only part of the story. Our diverse team of experts provide the thoughtfulness and precision that go into our high standard of service.
How accurate is sequencing?
We work closely with Illumina, the market leader in Next Generation Sequencing technologies. Next Generation Sequencing is typically 99.5% accurate at each location of the DNA. In the rare case that we are unable to read small portions of your DNA, we will mark it as “unreadable” rather than guessing.