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AncestryDNA Discusses the Future of Genetic Genealogy at RootsTech

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:

  • Later this year, AncestryDNA will be releasing a “more granular” ethnicity calculator. You may recall that they updated the calculator just last year.
  • AncestryDNA plans to release “new tools” this year, including improvements to cousin matching (which echoes comments made by Kenny Freestone earlier in the conference), and tools to “confirm family lines.” These two tools are AncestryDNA’s alternative to a chromosome browser. AncestryDNA has not yet provided a chromosome browser for several reasons including privacy.
  • Dr. Chahine also discussed, very briefly, the “not-too-distant future” of genetic genealogy:

– 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).

Blaine Bettinger

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

2 Comments

  1. So, Ancestry.com’s DNA is finally having something like a chromosome browser.
    Was there any word about if they plan on having a) an autosomal transfer like what Family Tree DNA has (where you can upload either Ancestry.com’s DNA and 23andme V3 results to them https://www.familytreedna.com/landing/atdna-landing.aspx) b) assistant collection kit options for persons that have trouble spitting like what 23andme has (https://customercare.23andme.com/entries/21232041-Can-I-use-the-saliva-collection-kit-for-infants-and-toddlers-), or c)availability outside the United States?

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