More 23andMe in the News

image Earlier today I posted about the recent updates to the 23andMe service, including an enhanced Gene Journal section and the new Paternal Ancestry.

To get a much more thorough analysis of these new additions, read David P. Hamilton’s “23andMe makes genomics personal — and slick” at VentureBeat: lifesciences. Hamilton’s articles are always insightful and well-written, and I would highly recommend this one, especially if you are considering a personal genomics service.

Interestingly, Hamilton gives 23andMe’s website high marks over deCODEme’s similar service. Hsien-Hsien Lei at Eye on DNA recently highlighted (in a post entitled “Ann Turner on Personal Genomics Companies 23andMe vs deCODEme“) an article written by genetic genealogist Ann Turner for the GENEALOGY-DNA mailing list in which she compared the services offered by the two companies. Genetic Future picked up Eye on DNA’s post and wrote “Ann Turner compares 23andMe and deCODEme.”

Of special interest to genetic genealogists, I’ve begun to hear rumblings on the DNA mailing lists of people collecting and studying the SNP results from 23andMe and/or deCODEme to identify new genealogically-relevant SNPs. While people should only share their genetic information with extreme and thought-out caution about the potential ramifications of doing so, this is undoubtedly the next step for genetic genealogists. Raw Y-chromosome and then even autosomal information from tens, then hundreds, and then thousands of people will be used to identify new genetic genealogy markers. One of the most important steps in this process will be to collect diverse data, of course. It will be interesting to see what these types of analyses reveal.

Blaine Bettinger

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