When two identical twins, Carly and Charlsie, did a DNA test with each of the major DNA testing companies, they quite reasonably expected their ethnicity results to be the same. So how did the companies explain why their results were actually different?
One company spokesman admitted, “It’s kind of a science and an art!” Is that good enough? At any rate, in my opinion it shows that the ethnicity calculations are certainly more on the artistic interpretation side!
Nonetheless, it is important to remember that the most significant information of your DNA test is going to be found within your match list, not in your ethnicity predictions.
Read about this story here:
‘Twins get mystifying results when they put five DNA ancestry kits to the test’
Here is an interesting article from Catherine Wang, Assoc Professor of Health Sciences at Boston University, cautioning the use of DNA testing for finding out about genetic health risks.
Recreational ancestry DNA testing may reveal more than consumers bargained for
Amid the media frenzy about the “Golden State Killer” (Joseph DeAngelo) and issues about DNA privacy, which just seems to be muddying the waters and fueling dystopian paranoia, here is a clear and useful commentary about DNA, Gedmatch and security:
Genealogy and the Golden State Killer by Leah Larkin from her blog The DNA Geek.
Economically, it seems the best strategy to test with AncestryDNA first and then transfer your data over to Family Tree DNA and My Heritage for free.
However, this is not necessarily always the best approach, as shown in this blog post from Roberta Estes:
Good advice from an expert 🙂
It is most unfortunate to read a review of Family Tree DNA by a popular young American genealogy blogger, Heather Collins, that is full of misunderstandings about how to use DNA and how to use Family Tree DNA itself. The review criticises the absence of features that are actually available; for example, it is possible to download a spreadsheet of all segments from the chromosome browser. The reviewer criticises the functionality of the chromosome browser as a tool, but does not understand how to use it. It would seem that Heather also has very little understanding of the value of Y-DNA and mtDNA testing as important specialised tests, which she incorrectly suggests are ‘niche’, ‘nostalgic’ and ‘from back in the day when these tests were all the rage’. The comments on the admixture also show a considerable lack of understanding about the limitations of ethnicity results at any of the testing companies. Finally, the comment about using AncestryDNA simply because of the larger database ignores the motivations of the people who have tested with each of those two companies: quantity does not equate with quality.
Whilst I think that DNA has been a wonderful catalyst for encouraging younger people to become actively engaged in genealogy and family history, this kind of misinformation spread by a popular young blogger is very disappointing.
Family Tree DNA: My Review by Heather Collins, Young & Savvy Genealogists
There is a Father’s Day sale now on at Family Tree DNA, with all kits and bundles on sale. The basic Family Finder is now US$69, which is a saving of US$20. The sale ends on 18th June.
Family Tree DNA Father’s Day Sale
There is also a sale on at My Heritage, with their autosomal test available for US$69. However, please note that the My Heritage DNA database is still very small and I would not recommend it for first time test takers. I would suggest you test first with Family Tree DNA or AncestryDNA and then transfer your results over to My Heritage.
Medical research scientist and donor conceived Damian Adams
There was an interesting interview on ABC Nightlife about the ethical and scientific position of Australians who are donor conceived. You can listen to the interview with medical scientist Damian Adams and Associate Professor in Health Law, Dr Sonja Allen.
The legal and ethical complexities of sperm and egg donation
You can also read an article featuring Damian Adams and the issues surrounding donor conception here:
Q&A Damian Adams