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Wouldn't it be cool to interact physically with a model of your genetic code?

This Instructable will show you how to use free tools to download your raw genome data from 23andme and generate a 3D model that you can view on your computer. With access to a 3D printer or 3D printing service, you can even print a model to hold in your hand!

You can learn more about the motivation behind the project in this interview on the 23andme blog.

Prerequisites for this Instructable:

  • The ability to run command-line applications (using a terminal, console, command prompt, etc.)
  • Access to a 3D printer or a 3D printing service

This project is competing in the Instructables 3D Printing Contest; if you like it please vote to support my future 3D printing projects.

Step 1: Download the Raw Genome Data

To download your raw genome data from 23andme:

  1. Log on to 23andme
  2. Select Browse Raw Data from the drop-down menu under your name (this will take you to the Browse Raw Data page)
  3. On the Browse Raw Data page, click Download

You'll be asked to re-enter your password and to answer a verification question. You may also need to select a Profile (if there's more than one person's DNA under your account) and a Dataset (choose All DNA). Finally, click the Download Data button and the data will begin downloading automatically.

Once the download is complete, unzip the file and you will have have a text file with a long name and a .txt extension. Make a note of this filename as you'll be using it in the next step.

very intriguing idea to say the least, just wondering why it turns out the shape it does ? :)
<p>The program essentially plots the data in in a circular way around a center pole going upward, sort of like a record turned inside-out and 3-dimensional. The differences in the genetic code will result in different &quot;ridge&quot; patterns around the outside of the cylinder. </p><p>We chose this because it was the most visually and tactically interesting of the variations we experimented with, but future versions might provide other ways as well.</p>
wow very cool :D and thanks for the explaination
<p>So its not really a &quot;model&quot; of one's genetic code its just a variation of a model designed to interact and change with different algorithms derived from genetic code markers? Sort of like if I said to print a cube based on fingerprints, each cube would be a little different, right?</p>
<p>That's correct, it's more of a sculpture than a model (arguably a model of your DNA would be you :). We're continually experimenting with ways to visualize and interact with the data, it's fun having something of that size that you know has meaning, although you can't directly interpret (yet).</p>
<p>This is such a cool idea. So nerdy. I love it! :)</p>

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