Interested in learning about the unique inheritance of the X chromosome through the use of some cool visual charts? Look no further:
And be sure to check out Debbie Parker Wayne’s great charts at “X-DNA Inheritance Charts“!
Interested in learning about the unique inheritance of the X chromosome through the use of some cool visual charts? Look no further:
And be sure to check out Debbie Parker Wayne’s great charts at “X-DNA Inheritance Charts“!
I know I say this every year, but 2014 is shaping up to be the year of Genetic Genealogy. There are many incredible opportunities this year for anyone interested in genetic genealogy to learn more and interact with others.
For example, just last month RootsTech 2014 featured numerous DNA sessions. This coming June, there will be an entire day of DNA at the 2014 SCGS Jamboree, where I and many other speakers will cover numerous topics related to DNA (see my coverage here and here). Among my presentations at Jamboree will be a completely new lecture that I’m really excited about – “DNA and the Genealogical Proof Standard,” which will be the first presentation completely devoted to the topic, and which I hope will spur some important conversation!
And in July 2014, Debbie Parker Wayne, CeCe Moore, and I will be teaching “Practical Genetic Genealogy” at the Genealogical Research Institute of Pittsburgh (GRIP). This will be the very first week-long course dedicated solely to genetic genealogy anywhere in the world.
The 2014 International Genetic Genealogy Conference
To wrap up this incredible year of genetic genealogy is what promises to be the biggest single gathering of genetic genealogy experts, lecturers, and bloggers in the world – the 2014 International Genetic Genealogy Conference (“I4GG Conference”). The I4GG conference will be August 15th-17th at the National 4-H Conference Center in Chevy Chase, Maryland.
More than 23 different genetic genealogy experts, lecturers, and bloggers (see “Conference speakers”) will speak at the event covering every conceivable genetic genealogy topic ranging from the X chromosome to Native American ancestry to adoptee methods to phasing. You can see the entire line-up at Conference Schedule . Undoubtedly, the hardest part will be deciding which of the dual track presentations to attend at each time slot!
I’m presenting at 8:15 PM on Saturday, August 16th on “Using Free Third-Party Tools to Analyze Your Autosomal DNA.” Since it’s the last lecture of the day, and late in the evening, I’m already thinking about ways I can keep people motivated to attend! Stay tuned for a surprise or two!
In addition to 23 of the world’s leading experts on genetic genealogy, there are expected to be representatives from each of the major genetic genealogy testing companies, including 23andMe, Family Tree DNA, AncestryDNA, and National Genographic.
Registration is now open for this event, and the attendance fee is only $85 (meals and lodging separate).
Here’s a summary of the speakers who will be at the I4GG Conference this August:
I hope to see you at the I4GG Conference this August!
A word of advice: beware anyone who tells you to avoid AncestryDNA.
Many genetic genealogists, myself included, have had incredible success using AncestryDNA’s autosomal DNA test. Personally, several of my own major DNA discoveries have occurred though the service. Unfortunately, it has become popular among some genetic genealogists to deride AncestryDNA’s autosomal DNA test, and some recommend avoiding the service altogether.
While AncestryDNA certainly does have limitations, avoiding the service is missing out on a major opportunity and one of the largest autosomal DNA databases in the world. This is especially true for adoptees; anyone that tells an adoptee not to test with AncestryDNA (or not to test with any one of the three major testing companies) should not be assisting adoptees.
Indeed, AncestryDNA arguably has the largest autosomal DNA database of solely genealogists. Further, many of the people in AncestryDNA’s database are people who would not typically test at other companies, since Ancestry has so aggressively advertised the product to genealogists of all levels of experience.
Here are some of the major complaints about AncestryDNA, and my comment on those complaints:
There’s no Segment Data (Chromosome Browser). It’s unfortunately true that AncestryDNA does not share segment data, and that data should be available for those of us who would use it. Indeed, I want that data. Ancestry already has the necessary data, and it would take only a tiny bit of code to present it to users. But the undeniable fact is that the vast majority of users would not – and perhaps more importantly could not – use segment data.
Those of us who are immersed in genetic genealogy on a daily basis often forget that most test-takers are novices, and would not use segment data or a chromosome browser even if it were offered. Indeed, most test-takers would have no idea what to do with segment data. (For example, I would love to see statistics on what % of customers at FTDNA actually use the chromosome browser or download segment data to any real extent – I guarantee it’s a very small percentage). While this is not meant to be an excuse, it explains in part why AncestryDNA does not focus on a chromosome browser.
This may not be a very popular view, but I believe AncestryDNA’s alternative to segment data, triangulation, will be much more useful to the average user than segment data, especially in the long-term future (thinking years ahead when the database reaches critical mass – see my post “The Science Fiction Future of Genetic Genealogy” for a better picture). Many of the things that we use segment data for – chromosome mapping and confirming matches – will be done automatically for the novice using advanced triangulation.
But again, I am not saying I don’t want segment data, I in fact do. Professional genetic genealogists need this data for some of the work they do.
The Trees are Wrong (and thus the hints are wrong). Yes, of course some of the trees are wrong. We were all newbie genealogists once, and we all created terrible, undocumented trees (we just weren’t able to put them online). And I have personally created “quickie trees,” trees for adoptees or other clients that I need for quick comparisons or for “fishing,” but that I don’t have time to completely document.
If you’re relying only on a tree you found online without doing your own research, then there are more serious flaws in your research than the DNA tree hints.
Indeed, even the most documented and sourced tree is likely wrong, although genealogists are loathe to admit this. NPEs (non-paternal events) happen, and many were either never publicized or were lost through time. Further, there are simply errors in most family trees that result from inaccurate source documents, or other sources. Ironically, it will eventually be the DNA that reveals the errors in our trees, even without documentation.
Of course, take all tree hints with a serious grain of salt, but don’t throw the baby out with the bath water. A professional genealogist knows to question all records, no matter how official or ordained, and tree hints are no different.
The Biogeographical Calculation is Wrong. This one frustrates me the most, and even experienced genetic genealogists fall prey to it. It’s not specific to AncestryDNA, but applies to all three companies.
Many people complain because their biogeographical estimate – their “ethnicity” – is not what they “expected” based on, typically, their known genealogy. However, except for the rarest of circumstances, there is no such thing as “expected ethnicity.” No one, not even the most experienced genealogist with the most documented family tree, can completely predict their genetic biogeographical estimate without some previous DNA testing (parents, self, other relatives). (The only caveat here is the family that has roots in only one tiny biogeographical region, which will be exceedingly rare).
As an exercise many years before autosomal DNA testing was available, I performed my own biogeographical estimate using the known birthplace of each of my ancestors. I suspect many people do this, either on paper or mentally, and believe that the biogeographical estimate they receive from a testing company should bear some resemblance to this number. Unfortunately, these people are wrong.
At each generation, only 50% of a person’s DNA is passed to their children. That 50% is almost completely random. Further, at about 5-9 generations, ancestors start to completely fall off your Genetic Family Tree. This means that your Genetic Family Tree is a small subset of your Genealogical Family Tree, and without DNA testing you have no idea what subset that is. You cannot predict your biogeographical estimate. You can make a rough approximation, but you cannot reject a reasonable biogeographical estimate based solely on what you think it should be.
Now, for several reasons, please don’t leave a comment below saying, “well XXXX test found 5% Southeast Asian, and I have a documented family tree of my family in England for 1,200 years.” First, no one has a completely documented tree, and no one knows every instance of our ancestors’ lives. Second, I’m certainly not saying that any company’s biogeographical estimates are perfect, or even correct. There is incredible room for improvement. What I am saying, however, is that you can’t discredit it because it’s not what you “expected.” That’s inaccurate, and very bad science. Discredit it for other, more accurate reasons: the parents and children don’t align properly, it’s based on too few samples to be accurate, etc.
So, in conclusion, beware anyone who tells you to avoid AncestryDNA for any of the reasons above. You’ll be missing out on one of the largest autosomal DNA databases, and all the discoveries that could come from that. I look forward to your comments below.
This morning at the RootsTech keynote session, Dr. Ken Chahine of Ancestry.com introduced the second speaker. He gave a very short introduction to AncestryDNA and provided a few tidbits for this year and beyond:
- Results will be used to analyze the “migration patterns” of our ancestors, including “down to towns.”
- Results will be used to tell you that your “sixth great-grandfather” had “high cheekbones and blue eyes.”
Dr. Chahine concluded by saying that although this sound like “science fiction” it’s the future of genetic genealogy.
I wrote about all these possibilities in a post with a very similar title, “The Science Fiction Future of Genetic Genealogy“. While the things I discuss there all sound like science fiction, it is only a matter of months or years until all these are routine.
In fact, I suspect that AncestryDNA’s alternative to the chromosome browser may rely (either now or in the future) on mapping to particular ancestors (and, of course, triangulation).
EDIT 2/8/2014 - I am happy to report that the group originally organized by CeCe Moore is still planning to work on standards, guidelines, and certification for Genetic Genealogists, and thus I will continue to work with that group. Thank you to everyone that expressed support, and I will try to contact you soon.
Below, I’m taking the unenviable position of disagreeing, at least in part, with an editorial by Melinde Lutz Byrne and Thomas W. Jones in National Genealogical Society Quarterly entitled “DNA Standards.” (1) I’m writing to share my viewpoint and my thoughts about moving forward, and to provide a venue for continued discussion on the subject.
This is also the first post in a series of posts about “DNA and the Genealogical Proof Standard,” culminating with a presentation with the same title at SCGS Jamboree 2014 (on Friday June 7, 2014 at 2:30 PM).
There have been several very good discussions of DNA and GPS (see a future blog post for a bibliography), including a recent article (2) by Judy Russell, The Legal Genealogist, and perhaps the very first publication, an article by Helen F. M. Leary entitled “Evidence Revisited — DNA, POE, and GPS.” (3) However, I think there’s a continued need for discussion, as the NGS Quarterly editorial demonstrates.
The NGS Editorial – DNA Standards
In the editorial, Byrne and Jones note that genealogists missed “the opportunity and responsibility to set standards—not for laboratory procedures, but for acceptable linkages to individual documentation, ethics, and interpretations.” Accordingly, they conclude:
“With no established standards, editors face a conundrum when considering articles from DNA-test participants. Do they publish results that might affect relatives who have not released rights? When a DNA profile becomes as easily recognizable as a cursive signature, who has what rights?”
Additionally, they assert, the “real DNA-test quagmire is ethical,” and “[g]enealogists have no voice in the discussion of ethical uses of DNA test results.”
The editorial is, unfortunately, necessary. The authors are correct that genealogists have failed to step up to establish standards for the analysis, interpretation, and dissemination of DNA ancestry test results. In genealogists’ defense DNA is a moving target, unlike almost all other types of records. New and expanded tests are regularly offered, and it is a challenge to stay up-to-date on what is offered and how it can be used for research. It’s challenging, but certainly not impossible.
We need these standards, and the sooner the better. More on that below.
My major concern with the editorial is that it operates on an assumption of “DNA exceptionalism,” the belief that genetic information is special and should be treated differently from other types of information. In other words, that DNA ancestry test results are inherently different from traditional genealogical records, and thus must be treated differently.
Indeed, if DNA ancestry test results are not inherently different from traditional genealogical records, then the answer to the question of whether to “publish results that might affect relatives who have not released rights” would the same for DNA as it is for census records, land records, tax records, and other genealogical records
If DNA ancestry test results are somehow different, then the editors are correct in their argument that we need standards for test results that we don’t necessarily need for other types of records.
My concern, however, is that the editors fail to set forth an argument as to why DNA test results should be treated differently from other genealogical records. This is not a foregone conclusion. Just as a DNA test can reveal a non-parental event (i.e., some break between a supposed parent and child), so can census records, wills, and numerous other types of records. Indeed, genealogists have been revealing hidden family secrets since long before DNA testing was available. Although DNA test results may add an extra degree of authority or finality to the reveal, it is not alone in being able to uncover truths. The biggest secret in my own family was revealed not through DNA, but through traditional genealogical research.
Genealogists Do Have a Voice
I’m happy to note that, in fact, genealogists have indeed had a voice in the discussion of ethical issues surrounding DNA ancestry testing. For example, I have blogged in response to the several papers published on the topic by the American Society of Human Genetics (“ASHG”) (see here and here), and just last fall I and several other genealogists were invited to attend an DNA ancestry testing roundtable meeting organized by the ASHG.
We have a voice, but it is not nearly loud enough.
The Way Forward – A Standards and Certification Organization
Although I do not share the editor’s concerns to the same degree, I do agree with their overall conclusion that genealogists need to “choose the standards and applications” for DNA ancestry testing, or others will.
Genealogists have discussed the possibility of a genetic genealogy certification process for DNA testing for some time, but unfortunately none of these discussions have gone anywhere. Having a standards and certification body will allow genealogists to promulgate standards, best practices, and applications for DNA ancestry testing, in addition to providing certification to those who wish to pursue it.
Accordingly, I am going to take a more prominent role in establishing and coordinating a formal group whose mission is to establish and promulgate Standards for DNA Ancestry Testing, and for certifying individuals as a Certified Genetic Genealogist. While I do not now or will I ever believe that certification is a necessary step for any genealogist, it can be a valuable tool for sharing knowledge and aiding the community.
If you’re interested in being an active part of this group, please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org or via social media. Over the next 2-3 months, we will discuss and draft an initial set of standards which we will share with the genealogical community for comment. Once we finalize a set of standards, we will design and implement a certification process that utilizes those standards, with the goal to have a completed certification process in place later this year.
I hope to hear from you!
1. Melinde Lutz Byrne and Thomas W. Jones, “DNA Standards,” National Genealogical Society Quarterly 101 (December 2013): 243.
2. Judy Russell, “DNA and the Reasonably Exhaustive Search,” OnBoard: Newsletter of the Board for Certification of Genealogists 20 (January 2014):1-2, 7.
3. Helen F. M. Leary, “Evidence Revisited —DNA, POE, and GPS,” OnBoard: Newsletter of the Board for Certification of Genealogists 4 (January 1998): 1–2.
From the back cover of the book:
Genetic Genealogy: The Basics and Beyond provides genealogists, both budding and experienced, with the knowledge and confidence to use DNA testing for their family research. The book guides genealogists through the introductory level of understanding various tests to a more advance level of determining what DNA segments came from which ancestor.
As I wrote previously, the Southern California Genealogical Society has officially announced the 45th Annual Southern California Genealogy Jamboree (June 6-8, 2014), which will again be preceded by Family History and DNA: Genetic Genealogy in 2014.
In addition to many presentations on DNA Day (Thursday), there are DNA-related presentations planned throughout Jamboree (Friday through Saturday).
Browsing through the schedule (links at top of page here), these are the presentations I found either directed to DNA or explicitly utilizing DNA:
My Other Presentations
I’m especially excited about presenting “DNA and the Genealogical Proof Standard.” This topic has not received nearly enough coverage by the genealogy community, and I think it’s very important. I will absolutely be asking for input from others, so feel free to share your thoughts below (or on a future post I’m planning). Here’s the short summary of the presentation:
And here’s the summary for my other non-DNA Day presentation:
The Future of Genetic Genealogy
I’m also very excited about Bennett Greenspan’s presentation on “The Future of Genetic Genealogy” because this is a topic that I’m particularly interested in, and which I lecture on (see my presentations page). I’ve even shared my thoughts on “The Science Fiction Future of Genetic Genealogy,” which was the first such published comprehensive prediction.
Here’s the summary of Bennett’s presentation:
Hope to see you all at Jamboree this year! Be sure to say hello!
The Southern California Genealogical Society has officially announced the 45th Annual Southern California Genealogy Jamboree (June 6-8, 2014), which will again be preceded by Family History and DNA: Genetic Genealogy in 2014.
Last year’s “Family History and DNA: Genetic Genealogy in 2013″ was the first of its kind and was a huge success As a result, the Jamboree organizers have organized a second DNA Day, which will held all day on Thursday, June 5, 2014, which is the day before Jamboree begins.
The FULL schedule for DNA Day 2014 is HERE (Thursday Schedule).
Keynote Speaker Dr. Maurice Gleeson
The keynote speaker at Family History and DNA: Genetic Genealogy in 2014 will be Dr. Maurice Gleeson, a popular speaker and the organizer of Genetic Genealogy Ireland 2013, Ireland’s first conference on genetic genealogy. I had the opportunity to speak with Dr. Gleeson at last year’s event (including about his interesting iCARA project), and he’s both engaging and extremely active in the genetic genealogy field. I have no doubt his presentations and keynote will be fascinating.
I will again be presenting at DNA Day, a lecture entitled ”Using Autosomal DNA to Explore Your Ancestry,” sort of the basics of using Autosomal DNA. I’m not crazy about the 2:15 time spot, however, as I’ll be competing with Judy Russell, CeCe Moore, and Bennett Greenspan!
A Terrific Line-Up of Speakers!
In addition to my presentation, DNA Day at the SCGS Jamboree will feature the following speakers:
I’ll also be giving two other presentations, both related to DNA, at the regular Jamboree:
Here’s the full line-up of speakers for the 45th Jamboree, and it’s quite a list! I hope to see you there!
Following a trend inspired by discussions at the recent Conference for Family Tree DNA Group Administrators, Family Tree DNA has released a new set of updates. This week’s update includes the ability to change the location for your most distant known maternal or paternal ancestors, and the ability to determine which of your Family Finder matches actually match each other. Although this functionality was previously available, it was cumbersome and was not accompanied by any visualization.
From Family Tree DNA:
Matches Maps Locations Clear Button
Some users have requested the ability to clear their stored map coordinates for their most distant known maternal or paternal ancestors. We have added a Remove Location button to Step 3 of the Update Most Distant Ancestor’s Location wizard.
Family Tree DNA myFTDNA BETA Family Finder – Matrix
Today, we are happy to release our new BETA Family Finder – Matrix page. The Matrix tool can tell you if two or more of your matches match each other. This is most useful when you discover matches with wholly or partly overlapping DNA segments on the Family Finder – Chromosome Browser page.
Due to privacy concerns, the suggested relationship of your two matches (if related) is not revealed. However, we can tell you whether they are related according to our Family Finder program. To use it, you select up to 10 names from the Match list on the left side of the page and add them to the Selected Matches list on the right side of the page. A grid will populate below the lists. It will indicate whether there is a match (a blue check mark) or there is not a match (an empty white tile).
You access the BETA Family Finder – Matrix page through the Family Finder menu in your myFTDNA account.
The page starts out with two list areas: Matches and Selected Matches. You add Matches to the Selected Matches list by clicking on a name and then on the Add button.
Here is a screenshot of the BETA Family Finder – Matches page with a few matches added to the Selected Matches list.
You can change the order of names in the matrix by clicking on a name and then either the Move Up or the Move Down button.
To remove someone from the Selected Matches list, click on their name and then the Remove button.
Yesterday, 23andMe provided an update on its blog (see “23andMe Provides An Update Regarding FDA’s Review”) about how it will respond to the FDA’s recent warning letter. In a nutshell, the company will continue to sell the same Personal Genome Service (“PGS”) kits, but new customers will only have access to ancestry-related genetic information and tools, and to their raw data. No health-related information will be provided, for now. Existing customers will continue to have access to all tools, including health-related information.
I’ll note that this is exactly what I predicted would happen in my blog post about the FDA warning letter (see “The FDA Orders 23andMe to Stop Marketing Medical Tests”). You heard it here first! It’s really the most logical approach while 23andMe communicates with the FDA.
The blog post spells out the breakdown:
Because the actual testing procedure remains unchanged, new customers will not have to undergo additional testing if the issue with the FDA is resolved and 23andMe can again offer health-related information. At that point, 23andMe will be able to simply activate these tools using the customer’s existing data.
Will 23andMe Survive?
Some are already predicting the demise of 23andMe. I disagree, and caution you to beware the naysayers. With the exception of the new lawsuit, costs for which are currently minimal, 23andMe’s expenses aren’t increasing drastically as a result of the FDA warning letter.
However, sales will certainly go down as a result of not being able to offer health-related information for now (I believe they’ve experienced a significant sales jump in the last few weeks, but that will probably be temporary). That being said, 23andMe has never made much money from the sale of each PGS kit, and based on the cost of SNP chips, kit processing, and general overhead, they probably lose money per kit.
Further, based on 23andMe’s known funding milestones (available at Cruchbase), they likely have a deep reservoir of capital reserves, as well as the inherent value of their database, which is currently 500,000 kits strong.
Accordingly, it is my opinion that reports of 23andMe’s death are greatly exaggerated (ht: Mark Twain). As long as 23andMe and the FDA are able to eventually work out these issues and allow health-related information in some form, I’m predicting that 23andMe will weather this storm just fine.
A Boon for Genetic Genealogists?
It’s possible that this latest course of events may even prove to be a boon for genetic genealogists. With no access to health-related information for new customers in the foreseeable future, 23andMe may feel market pressure to boost the quality and quantity of ancestry-related information provided to customers. Instead of focusing on health, 23andMe can focus on new developments in ancestry to entice new customers.
Here are a few other articles about 23andMe’s latest response:
The following appear to be written by people who obviously are blissfully unaware of the entire field of genetic genealogy:
Ironically, these journalists have no idea that the ancestry-related information provided by 23andMe is far more informative and actionable than the health-related information!
But the award for the worst article goes to the following, which is just plain incorrect:
So by now you’ve no doubt heard that on November 22, 2013, the Direct-to-Consumer genetics testing company 23andMe received a uncharacteristically biting letter from the Food and Drug Administration (“FDA”), a federal agency that protects public health by monitoring and regulating various products such as food, medicine, and supplements.
In the letter, the FDA expresses its belief that the 23andMe Personal Genome Service (“PGS”) is a medical product because “it is intended for use in the diagnosis of disease or other conditions or in the cure, mitigation, treatment, or prevention of disease, or is intended to affect the structure or function of the body.” Accordingly, the FDA concludes, the PGS requires “premarket approval or de novo classification” by the FDA.
Most surprisingly, however, the FDA indicates that although there has been “more than 14 face-to-face and teleconference meetings, hundreds of email exchanges, and dozens of written communications,” the FDA has not heard from 23andMe since May, 2013, six months ago.
The FDA ended the letter ordering 23andMe to stop marketing the PGS until it receives FDA authorization, and 23andMe has 15 days to notify the FDA in writing of the steps it has taken to remedy the issues in the letter.
23andMe’s Response – So Far
23andMe responded first with a statement, and then with a blog post at the Spittoon (“An Update Regarding The FDA’s Letter to 23andMe”). In these responses, 23andMe indicated that it believes working with the FDA is important, and that they will continue to do so.
Medical – NOT Genealogical
This applies ONLY to the medical aspects of the 23andMe PGS, and NOT to the genealogical aspect. Any regulation of DTC genetic genealogy tests (which the ASHG and other entities have stated they are no longer interested in doing) would have to come from new legislation or some other federal entity, as the FDA would have no jurisdiction over purely genealogical testing.
It’s possible that 23andMe may split the PGS into medical and genealogical aspects, or temporarily block access to the medical information, at least until the FDA is appeased. In any event, there’s every reason in the world for 23andMe to keep at least its genealogical tools available and for sale, and that’s what I’m predicting they will do.
I don’t know. This is the question everyone is asking. Regardless of whether you believe 23andMe’s PGS should be regulated, the lack of communication with the FDA is frustrating. I note that we’ve only heard one side of the story here, and it’s possible there’s some explanation for a 6-month delay. For example, 23andMe’s General Counsel Ashley Gould left the company in July 2013 (see her LinkedIn profile, for example), which could have delayed a response. It’s also possible, although unlikely, that this is an intentional tactic to force a confrontational resolution to the issue.
It won’t (at least not the genealogical data). This letter from the FDA does not signal the end for 23andMe, as some have predicted. As I said above, I doubt that 23andMe will block access to their genealogical tools for current customers, and I predict that they will continue to market the PGS in some form while they work with the FDA, even if it’s purely a genealogical test (maybe including the “traits” which are arguably not medical). It wouldn’t change the test in any way, all the same SNPs will still be tested and available for download, and they could “reactivate” the medical side interpretations depending on how the FDA issues are resolved.
My Prediction: If you’re only interested in the genealogical tools, you likely won’t be affected by the FDA’s letter, other than a slowing in new matches if it negatively impacts sales. On the flip side, sometimes even negative publicity turns out to be good publicity.
Maybe, a little. To the extent that the FDA wants to ensure that the SNPs and interpretations are accurate and provided to customers in an understandable way, I’m fine with limited regulation. While consumers have proven to be valuable self-regulators of 23andMe, pointing out errors and bugs, there could be future snake oil companies that are less than reputable and not as open as 23andMe has been. Regulations would help ensure that testing is done only in reputable labs, and interpretations are accurate and robust.
However, to the extent the FDA wants to set up any barrier between me and my genetic information, I am vehemently opposed. I have a fundamental human right to my genetic information and the interpretation of that information, and setting up any paywall – including a physician or geneticist – is an unethical violation of that right. Although genetic information has proven to be far less predictive and actionable than almost everyone expected, it has the potential to benefit thousands or millions of people. Overreaching regulation by the FDA would only delay that benefit.
For More Information
If nothing good comes out of this situation, at least it has sparked a great deal of debate and discussion. Here are links to other geneablogger articles on the issue:
And here is an extensive round-up of some of the best links discussing the FDA’s letter, both pro and con, in no particular order (these articles provide some insight rather than just re-hashing the letter and 23andMe’s response):
What About You?
I want to know what you think. Leave a comment below!