This review is written with the intent to be as unbiased as possible. However, it represents the opinion of an individual reviewer and is therefore subjective. Furthermore, at Nebula Genomics we seek to educate the public about the benefits of Whole Genome Sequencing. Information about our Whole Genome Sequencing DNA test is therefore incorporated into the review.
September 13, 2021
Edited by Christina Swords, Ph.D.
Table of contents
- 7 Facts from our Genomelink Review
- Genomelink Introduction
- Getting started with Genomelink
- Review of Genomelink Trait Reports
- Genomelink Report Packages
- Review of Genomelink Privacy
- Genomelink in the News
- Genomelink Reviews
- Genomelink Pros and Cons
- Nebula Genomics
Edited by Christina Swords, Ph.D.
7 Facts from our Genomelink Review
- Location: Berkeley, California
- Products: DNA data upload for genetic trait analysis
- Reports: 250+ trait reports plus additional ones on ancient ancestry, nutrition, and fitness
- Report delivery: Genetic trait reports are delivered through the Genomelink website
- Cost: Free trait reports (access to 25 traits) or $14/month (for 150+ traits), additional reports for $24 – $39
- Privacy: will share genetic data with consent only
- Alternatives: Nebula Genomics (Whole Genome Sequencing with regularly updated reports (incl. diet), data exploration tools, and advanced ancestry reporting)
Genomelink, a DNA data upload and analysis service, supports 23andme, Ancestry, or MyHeritage files. Users receive insights into nutrition, personality, and fitness. The service is owned and operated by the Tokyo-based genomic software company AWAKENS Inc., which now resides in Silicon Valley.
AWAKENS Inc. was co-founded by Yuta Matsuda, Tomohiro Takano, and Kensuke Numakura.
Getting started with Genomelink
Users create a Genomelink login using their email and creating a password. They are then required to upload raw DNA data from 23andMe, Ancestry, or MyHeritage. Genomelink is a great company to upload data. Users can also let the site connect directly to their 23andMe or Ancestry account to retrieve their DNA data.
Review of Genomelink Trait Reports
Genomelink claims to help its users learn more about themselves by analyzing various genetic traits. Importantly, this company does not report on any health-related traits.
Users who upload the DNA data will immediately receive 25 trait reports free of charge. This provides users with a sample of the services to explore before full purchase. These include Physical Traits, Personality, Intelligence, Food & Nutrition, and Fitness.
Customers should be aware that some experts believe that there is little evidence to support analyzing certain traits by DNA. This is especially true of the Genomelink Intelligence report. That is, many scientists believe intelligence is too complex and reliant on social factors to be simplified by a simple genetic predisposition.
Users access their dashboard to examine various trait analyses. The company markets itself and this extensive dashboard as “your personal DNA cloud.”
Based on one or multiple genetic variants, Genomelink estimates the tendency towards exhibiting a genetic trait. In addition, users are given a level of reliability for each trait. This is calculated based on the amount of scientific data that backs up the markers for traits.
This is followed by a list of genomic research papers referencing genome-wide association studies that identified genetic variants linked to the trait.
Users can also provide feedback to Genomelink about the accuracy of their test results. Some users state that their trait reports are not accurate.
Genomelink addresses this concern in a blog post. It explains that the reports are only as accurate as the scientific research studies behind them.
The user is also able to compare their data with other Genomelink users.
For $14 per month, users can purchase an unlimited plan. This gives them immediate access to 100+ additional traits based reports. Furthermore, users receive additional trait reports every week. It provides weekly updates on things like unique traits, ancient ancestry, family finder, medical research, and more.
Additionally, users are able to compare their data with five other users.
Genomelink Report Packages
In addition to the regular trait reports, it offers three reporting packages: Ancient Ancestry Report, Personalized Nutrition Advice, and Personalized Fitness Report. These reports cost extra and are delivered as PDF downloads.
Review of Genomelink Ancient Ancestry Report ($29)
This ancestry report provides users their ancient admixture. It breaks up users’ ancient ancestry into Hunter-gatherers, First Farmers, Steppe pastoralists, Indigenous Americans, West African, East Asian, and South Asian. This is done by comparing user samples with ancient DNA samples.
The report also describes the typical physical characteristics of these groups, such as hair, eye, and skin color. Additionally, you can learn about the migration history of each group through stories and maps.
Review of Genomelink Personalized Nutrition Advice ($24)
To generate this report, users first complete a questionnaire on their food and health habits. The results of this questionnaire are then combined with DNA analysis.
The report results tell you whether your intake of various micronutrients, including vitamin A, B12, C, D, E and folate, is sufficient. It will also recommend increased intake in some cases. Genomelink then suggests a list of foods they should eat.
For example, suppose a user needs a vitamin A rich based on their genetics but does not consume vitamin A rich foods. The users are then recommended to eat more sweet potato, beef liver, spinach, and carrots.
Did you know you can test for vitamin D levels at home? Learn more in our article about vitamin D tests.
Review of Genomelink Personalized Fitness Report ($39)
This report provides a genetic score for endurance, speed, and strength performance. Users are recommended training routines based on their unique genetic make-up. The reports include lists of genetic variants that were analyzed to generate the recommendations.
These recommendations are particularly useful to those wishing to increase their athletic performance and highlight their fitness strengths. For example, someone with a high genetic score in endurance may be able to develop endurance faster than others. Therefore, that individual would be recommended a fitness training routine involving aerobic exercises.
Review of Genomelink Privacy
If you consent, the company shares your Aggregate Information with a list of Third-Party Subprocessors, as well as with research partners. You may also be invited by the company to participate in research opportunities with them or its partners.
Is Genomelink safe? If you feel unsafe using the company’s services, you can request that they delete your data and your account. The policy states that it will release information to the authorities if it believes a court order or subpoena requires it.
Genomelink suggests you take reasonable precautions to protect your Personal Data (strong passwords, not reusing passwords). It cannot guarantee its systems or your information security.
Genomelink in the News
Genomelink is featured in many articles that discredit the effectiveness not only of this company but others with similar services. ScienceAlert, for instance, went as far as stating that “DNA test startups are basically scams, just like horoscope readings.”
But not everything is bad news for the company as some do recognize its services. For example, MUO, one of the largest online technology publications on the web, put them in a good word in its list of websites and tools to interpret DNA data from 23andMe.
Genomelink was accepted to Y Combinator, a money startup accelerator that helps fund startups, for Summer 2021.
There are several pieces of conversation circling all around Reddit. In many cases, people share their results and highlight some inaccuracies. This user posted a photo of their global ancestry report from Genomelink. People are mainly eager to compare their results with those obtained with other sites such as 23andMe and Ancestry.
The TrustPilot reviews page adds up to a rating of 4.3 stars (as of Sept. 2021). Users appreciate the accuracy of the results and the regular updates.
Genomelink Pros and Cons
- Clear and comprehensive reports
- Receive the first 25 traits analysis for free
- Scientific data and resources provided for each trait
- Does not offer DNA testing
- Only supports data from a few companies
In this final part of our Genomelink review, we will compare Genomelink with Nebula Genomics and other DNA testing companies.
DNA data Upload and Analysis
If you have received DNA genotyping through Ancestry or 23andMe, you can upload your genetic sequencing results to Nebula Genomics. You will then receive an expanded genetic report for free! While Genomelink reports are limited to your raw DNA data, Nebula uses statistical models to expand it. Therefore, our Nebula Research Library provides users with the latest research and much more information than Genomelink.
30x Whole Genome Sequencing
For users who want more than DNA data uploads, we offer 30x whole genome sequencing. It is the most complete genetic test that decodes 100% of your DNA. It produces 10,000 times more information than that provided by 23andMe or Ancestry.
|Type of genetic testing provided||DNA microarray||DNA microarray||No DNA testing offered||30x Whole-Genome Sequencing|
|Ability to upload raw DNA data||No||No||Yes (23andMe, AncestryDNA, MyHeritage)||Yes (23andMe and Ancestry)|
|Target customer||Consumers who are interested in ancestry and connection with relatives||Consumers who are interested in ancestry and connection with relatives||Consumers who are interested in personal traits||Consumers who are interested in advanced reporting and complete DNA testing|
|Regular reporting updates||No||No||Yes||Yes (learn more)|
|Data exploration tool||No||No||No||Yes. Gene analysis tools, variant search tool, genome browser|
|Cost||$99 – $199||$99 – $119||$0 – $59, or $14/month||$0, $99, $299|
If you are interested in genetic testing that will help you achieve your health and fitness goals, there are a lot of products to choose from. You can learn more about your options on our website including:
- Athletigen (free upload and basic report; additional tests and reports available at an additional cost)
- CircleDNA (health and wellness test)
- DNAFit (in partnership with CircleDNA)
- Fitness Genes (data upload and DNA testing kits)
- Genopalate (data upload and DNA testing kit)
- HealthCodes DNA (personalized plans for wellness, nutrition, and fitness)
- Helix DNA (DNA test and additional cost for the apps)
- Living DNA (well-being kits)
- myDNA (personalized fitness, diet, and medication plans)
- Noom (subscription based nutrition service)
- Nutrisystem (subscription based nutrition service)
- Orig3n (various DNA tests – no longer available)
- Promethease (health information)
- SelfDecode (wellness reports)
- Sequencing.com (fitness app purchased separately)
- Vitagene (diet and health)
- Xcode Life (fitness and health report)
There are a lot of great supplement companies out there that may help you lose weight and get healthy (you can read about many of them on our blog!) But be careful! There are also dangerous experimental drugs out there like SR9009 and RAD 140 that are not approved for human consumption.
Did you like our Genomelink review? Take a look at our other reviews and check out our complete guide to the best DNA test kit and other home tests!
Or would you like to contribute to genomic research but be compensated? Check our our Luna DNA review!