What is Helix?
Helix is a source for DNA learning—a place to find the latest and greatest in DNA-powered products from our reputable partners, so you can live better today and years from now.
How do I use Helix?
Order any product from our partners through Helix, and we’ll send you a DNA collection kit in the mail. After providing a small saliva sample and sending it back to our lab, we’ll sequence your DNA by reading the millions of letters of your genetic code that you inherited from your parents. We then store and protect your genetic data so you can access and share it with any partner of your choosing without ever having to provide another DNA sample.
How do I provide my saliva sample?
Who can use Helix?
All U.S. residents who are 18 or older can purchase products through Helix. We’re working to expand our offering to everyone in the future.
What can I learn from my DNA?
Helix will offer a variety of products from our partners. Each product will provide you with unique insights about yourself based on your DNA and actions you can take based on that information.
For example, the first product you purchase through Helix might teach you about your ancestry or health. After you’re sequenced by Helix to generate the insights for this product, you’ll then be able to purchase more DNA-powered products without being sequenced again. Products you might be able to purchase through Helix in the future include (but are not limited to): fertility and family planning, food and beverage recommendations, personalized digital experiences (think custom emojis, video games, and more), hereditary cancer screening, personalized nutrition and exercise plans, beauty products, and more.
How many people can be sequenced with each DNA collection kit?
Each DNA collection kit allows one person to provide a saliva sample and be sequenced.
How is this different from other services that use DNA?
Helix’s proprietary technology, called Exome+, reads every letter of all 22,000 protein-coding genes in your body, which produces 100 times more data than most consumer genetics companies. By capturing this additional information, Helix can offer more products with deeper insights, and continue to work with partners to bring you new products as scientists discover more about the genome. Because Helix captures all of your data upfront, you will be able to explore and purchase new products without having to submit another saliva sample and waiting months before you can unlock further DNA insights.
What is DNA sequencing?
Think of sequencing as reading the book of your personal genetics—every base (T, C, G, and A) is read in order and saved for the future. Using a reference sequence (a model sequence to compare to), we can determine when a base in an individual is different and the specific position of that variation within your DNA.
Most consumer genetics companies use a process called genotyping to read DNA data. If sequencing is reading a book, then genotyping is like reading a few letters on a few pages. Yes, you can learn a thing or two, but you don’t get the full story. Because genotyping requires an analysis of a specific variation, each experiment has to be done one at a time. With sequencing, you’re capturing all the words on all the pages and can flip through anytime.
What is Exome+?
Our sequencing technology is called Exome+. The “exome” is comprised of all the DNA that encodes for protein—and because proteins are the machinery of your cells, the exome represents some of the most important and well-studied pieces of your DNA. But the exome is only part of your DNA story. The genetic experts at Helix have identified other important information-rich areas to sequence (hence, Exome+).