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Layoffs at genetic testing companies reflect the changing market

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DNA test

At-home DNA testing companies 23andMe and Ancestry each laid off about 100 employees over the past month, cutting around 14 and 6 percent of their workforces, respectively.

23andMe pointed to declining sales as the reasons for the layoffs, and Ancestry CEO Margo Georgiadis cited “a slowdown in demand across the entire DNA category” in a blog post. Interest in DNA testing skyrocketed through 2016, 2017, and 2018, with millions of people buying kits from direct-to-consumer companies. But in 2019, interest started to wane — Illumina, which makes products used by these companies, said that the market was weak.

That’s probably because the market is saturated, and most people who would want to buy a DNA test kit already have, says David...

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