23andMe faces layoffs

It seems even Google-backed companies aren't immune to the economic crisis. Personal genetics company 23andMe has confirmed that its laying off an unspecified number of staffers. "We have reduced our staffing levels in a restructuring of our work force. This was a very difficult decision, but one that we felt was necessary to achieve 23andMe's long-term business development goals and maintain our strength in the industry. These cuts, which are a reflection of the current economic environment all companies are facing, will allow us to continue to invest in the growth of our Personal Genome Service and research endeavors," said the company in a statement.

For $399, 23andMe offers consumers a package to genotype their DNA. (The company does not offer whole genome sequencing, which is much more costly.) It also lets customers create a public profile and share their genetic data through a company-sponsored social networking site. 23andMe was co-founded by Anne Wojcicki (photo), the wife of Google co-founder Sergey Brin. Other notable backers include Genentech and New Enterprise Associates.

- check out the BizJournal report
- read the Washington Post article