How did Living DNA become one of the biggest DNA Testing companies in the world?
Hannah and David Nicholson in the DNA Lab
Living DNA is a UK-based DNA Testing company that was established in 2016 by husband and wife team David Nicholson and Hannah Morden-Nicholson. The company is recognized as one of the top 5 personal genomic companies in the world, and is the largest in Europe.
Best DNA Testing Kits had the pleasure of talking to CEO and co-founder David Nicholson about their big success so far and the future of DNA Testing.
First of all, congratulations on your big success! How did this all start?
Living DNA was launched after the growing interest in Ancestry DNA Testing. It was initially sparked after providing DNA testing to show school children how they have a diverse mix of ancestry in their past as part of a large Anti Racism program within the UK.
With young children aged 8 saying if you don't have white skin 'you should be shot' the program launched in the UK was the only one the charity had delivered that saw a long term change in perception over race.
What is the main goal of Living DNA?
To share how through our DNA we are all connected, all part of one family. And with that understanding we are able to then understand not only the fact we are part of one global family but the choices we make in how we live each day affects our wellbeing and health for the future.
Knowing the past, knowing what can support your future for a more enriched life.
This is all delivered in a way that makes DNA testing accessible for everyone.
What sets Living DNA apart from the competition?
The Living DNA sub regional ancestry breakdown is unrivalled in the industry and shows not only which countries your ancestry is from but which regions within many of those countries your ancestry is from.
We have incredible detail within the United Kingdom and Africa that is unmatched by any other DNA testing provider.
With our wellbeing test we don't focus on just the genes but you get to pick a goal, for example weight management and the system looks at your DNA and provides recommendations you can take one at a time.
Once you've followed one you can then choose the next.
What field within DNA research do you see the most potential for in the next 5 years?
Supporting people to make choices about their lifestyle to lead to an improved quality in life. Most of us have a basic understanding that we could be making choices to support ourselves more however with a focus on what step to take first DNA testing can help.
What are some of the biggest hurdles you have faced as a DNA testing company?
The technology to establish ancestry migration roots, ethnicity breakdowns and how networks of people are related is extremely complicated. Working to deliver this to people in a simple way has been a big challenge but one that means we now have strong foundations to build even greater tools on.
How does DNA testing contribute to the battle against Covid-19?
There are many discussions about DNA and COVID-19 and what perhaps is the biggest focus is on supporting people to live a healthy life, through this and boosting one's immune system it helps strengthen the body's ability to deal with any virus including COVID-19.
Most people associate DNA testing with ancestry mapping and genetic diagnosing. What else can DNA testing contribute to?
As well as ancestry mapping, genetic health testing can also be used to help people establish and prove relationships for immigration cases or settling will and estate disputes.