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What’s New With 23andMe?

Although they have not released any new big tools recently, 23andMe is constantly providing new ways for consumers to interact with the company and learn about genetics.

For example, over at Pinterest, 23andMe now has “What We’re Reading,” which is a great way to stay on top of the latest in the field of personal genomics. A number of my fellow genealogists have taken to using Pinterest both as a way to promote their business and as a way to share information or interests. Social media guru Thomas MacEntee has an article at Family Tree Magazine entitled “Using Pinterest for Genealogy Research,” and his own Presentations board, for example. Although I have a Pinterest presence, I haven’t yet used it for genealogy.

Another fun module offered by 23andMe is the DNA Facts Generator. For example, did you know that “12% of 23andMe customers say their … Click to read more!

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“Bumping” Your Genetic Relatives

The Future of Genetic GenealogyToday at Eastman’s Online Genealogy Newsletter, Dick Eastman writes in “Avoid Dating Your Cousin – There’s an App for That” about a smartphone app that allows users to “bump” their smartphones – gently bump them together – in order to determine if and how they are related.  The Islendiga-App has been around for some time, as other articles discussing the app appear as early as April 2013.
Not surprisingly, it was created in Iceland where genealogies are incredibly detailed and comprehensive. From Dick’s post:

To determine if a potential date is a possible cousin, Icelanders often check the Íslendingabók database. Now a smartphone app will do that for you quickly and easily. Three students from the University of Iceland created a smartphone app, The Islendiga-App, that allows you to bump your phone against another person’s phone, similar to how bump-to-push contact exchange features work, and immediately see your genealogical (if any) relation to the person in question. There is even an alarm feature that lets you know if you share a grandparent.

In 2012, in response to a call for papers for RootsTech 2013, I submitted the following proposal, which turns out to be very similar to the  Islendiga-App.  Unfortunately I never had time (or money!) to develop the app. The proposal wasn’t selected, probably because it was a little unusual, but I … Click to read more!