Genera, a Brazilian company that developed a Genealogical DNA kit for a Latin American clientele, has arrived in Uruguay. The simple action of scraping the inner side of a person’s cheek gives genetic material that enables scientists to make a host of determinations that range from that individual’s caffeine sensitivity to his or her ancestral roots.
Ricardo di Lazzaro, the executive director and co-founder of Genera, said that the company’s DNA test can be a life-changing experience for those who want to know the family history. A physician and biochemist with a master’s degree in human genomics from Brazil’s University of Sao Paulo, he founded Genera in 2010 along with partner Andre Chinchio.
Based on the official census 2011, 90.7% of Uruguay’s population proclaim themselves to be of European ancestry and only 4.9% say they are of indigenous descent. Nevertheless, a 2017 study by the University of the Republic’s Biological Anthropology department found that 34% of Uruguay’s population has indigenous ancestry.Lazzaro said that some people are afraid to discover their genetic predisposition to diseases such as Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s and cancer, one of the results of the complete, $149 Ancestry, Health and Wellbeing test.