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September 4, 2019
DNA Hack
Did 23andMe call you “East Asian”? Check out WeGene to find out where you are really from!
WeGene focuses on genetic markers for Chinese and other East Asian ethnic groups. Check out this article for all you need to know!
By
Tomohiro Takano

If you were put into the “East Asian” or “South Asian” ethnic group when you got your 23andMe results, you were probably disappointed. Asia is made of dozens of ethnically diverse countries, with huge ethnic groups in each country. Maybe you are from China, or maybe you are researching a more general Asian descent. Either way, you will want better answers than “East Asian”. 


Enter WeGene, a company that started with Chinese populations and is now offering their ancestry and health DNA testing services to Asian populations all over the world. WeGene is like an AncestryDNA test or a 23andMe test, but it uses your raw data from other companies to give you results specific to your Chinese heritage. These include your maternal and paternal haplogroups, as well as different results about health and traits that consider your Asian descent. Check out the full review below!


1. About the Company

2. Test Results and Sample Reports

3. Reviews

4. Cost

5. Raw DNA Data Portability


1. About the company


Quick Facts:


Company Name: WeGene

Location: Shenzhen, China

Number of Data Sets: <500,000

Website: WeGene.com


WeGene is a Chinese company setting out to provide a DNA testing service much like the Western giants 23andMe, MyHeritage, AncestryDNA, and others. However, Wegene.com specializes in Asian genomes. While they do not yet have a DNA test available for US and overseas markets (test only available in China as of August 2019), you can upload your raw data from other sites and transfer it to WeGene to receive an analysis. In addition to Ethnicity and Health traits available, you can also see the maternal and paternal haplogroups you belong to, tracing your roots all the way back to Africa. Unlike other companies which group Asian ethnicities together, WeGene has specific reference populations for groups like the Han Chinese, Gaoshan Han, Southern Han, Hmong-mien, Thai, Korean, Mongolian, and many other Southeast Asian subpopulations. That makes it a great choice for users with complex East Asian family history!


2. Test Results and Sample Reports


Below, you can see what to expect from your DNA results with WeGene.


WeGene Report Overview


  • Ethnicity Estimate (Asian Focus)
  • Specific Asian subpopulations
  • No ability to find DNA matches
  • Health Report
  • Genetic health risks for various diseases
  • Alzheimer’s, Parkinson's, and more!


When you get your WeGene results, you will see it broken up into 3 different sections. The Health report details several health risks related to your genetics. The Ethnicity Report will show you your family history, with a focus on Southeast Asian ancestry. There is no option to do a family search, though you can connect to known relatives to compare your DNA.


People with a Chinese American history will likely find clear results within Asian populations, though any European ancestry will be less distinguished. Unlike Ancestry or MyHeritage, there is no database for researching the national archives. People with European ancestry will likely find only one group -- European. 


Genetic testing can only work with the data it has, and WeGene is suffering the same problems with European populations as other testing companies have seen with Asian and Native American populations. They simply haven’t gotten enough samples to make distinct groups. However, if you have Chinese ancestry, this company is one of only a few able to distinguish genetic markers from within the Asian population. This company can help you greatly with your Chinese family history, researching Chinese clans, or your Chinese genealogy book. Other Asian populations do not seem to be as detailed, so a more general Asian genealogy might be harder to accomplish...


The final report is on your paternal and maternal haplogroups, which are some of the deepest human relationships. This report will also show you some of your “famous relatives”, which is a little silly at the haplogroup level because we are all related at some point. Genealogists would tell you that everyone on Earth has a common ancestor relatively recently because of the amount of mixture seen in even closed-off societies. 



The page below contains a sample report from WeGene, so you know what to expect!


WeGene Sample Report


3. Reviews


WeGene has few reviews on English sites, though we have compiled a few below. Check them out for yourself!


In general, people feel that WeGene gives them different results on their ancestry composition than the original company they tested with, such as 23andMe results. This is likely because WeGene still has relatively few users compared to the bigger companies. These discrepancies were most common among people with Middle Eastern descent, Filipino descent, and other areas that are not necessarily close to mainland China. As the company’s database grows, these discrepancies will likely be worked out. 


4. Cost


Uploading your DNA results from another company is free, and can give you access to a large number of Chinese and Asian-focused test results. The company is planning its own DNA test for consumers outside of China, which is not yet available but will be $99. For an ancestry report and health report, this is slightly cheaper than 23andMe.


5. Raw DNA Data Portability


WeGene is a great service for people researching Chinese genealogy or trying to understand their Asian heritage! It has tools for ancestry analysis specifically for Southeast Asian genetic markers and ethnic groups. Soon, they will also offer their own DNA testing kit for US consumers, which may provide even more specific ancestry results!


Until then, you can check out these other raw DNA analysis companies. Many of them are also free!

Know "More" About Your DNA Data

1. Genomelink — FREE

2. Promethease (genetic health risk)

Ancestry Tests

3. Family Tree DNA (FTDNA) — FREE

4. MyHeritage DNA — FREE

5. LivingDNA — FREE

6. GEDmatch — FREE

Nutrition and Fitness

7. Genopalate

8. Athletigen

9. Vintage

10. DNA Fit

To find out more, go to the updated list of uploading websites here!



Did you get 23andMe, AncestryDNA, or MyHeritage results back?
Upload your raw DNA data to access 25+ traits for FREE at Genomelink!
Tomohiro Takano
Tomohiro Takano
Co-Founder and CEO
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