23andMe is best known for its at-home DNA testing kits, but founder Anne Wojcicki believes it has a bigger impact on people.
"My hope is that 23andMe, by being less and less regulated, will enable more people to open their eyes to science," said Wojcicki on Wednesday at Fortune's Most Powerful Women Next Gen conference in Laguna, Nigel. She added that providing her customers with information about their genes can empower them to take a more active role in making decisions about their health.
A big reason for that, according to Wojcicki, who founded the company nearly 11 years ago, is because 23andMe aims to make genetics understandable for its customers and take the mystique away. There's no reason why any person shouldn't understand the basics of DNA, she says.
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"People really thrive when they actually are empowered," she said, adding that roughly 40% or 50% of 23andMe's customers have been prompted to make changes to their lifestyle or health habits due to what they've learned about their genes.
On a personal note, Wojcicki shared that her ex-husband, Google Co-Founder Sergey Brin, learned that he had a high risk of Parkinson's Disease, which has prompted him to exercise and eat well.