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Genetic Genealogy in the Observer

The Observer has an article, “The genes that build America” which is a summary of every popular genetic genealogy new story to appear in the past year. From the story header:

“From the discovery that presidential hopeful Barack Obama is descended from white slave owners to the realisation that the majority of black Americans have European ancestors, a boom in ‘recreational genetics’ is forcing America to redefine its roots. Paul Harris pieces together the DNA jigsaw of what it really means to be born in the USA.”

Thanks to Hsien at EyeonDNA.

Blaine Bettinger

Intellectual property attorney, genealogist, and author of The Genetic Genealogist since 2007

3 Comments

  1. This is a terrible article that propagates myths based on the misuse and misinterpretation of DNAprint tests.

    The overwhelming majority of white Americans have no significant non-white admixture.

    Stay away from DNAprint. Their tests are mostly useless for white Americans (who I assume constitute the bulk of DNAprint’s clientele). In the past, DNAprint has actively misled consumers about the power of its tests. Currently, their website is slightly better about acknowledging these tests’ shortcomings; but DNAprint apparently continue to lie by omission to journalists about the meaningfulness of their test results and allow this sort of misinformation to spread.

    If you want to take an autosomal admixture test, wait a few years. Costs for DNA sequencing and SNP typing will continue to drop. Databases will grow. And hopefully an honest company or two will enter this arena.

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