DNA Direct, a direct-to-consumer genetic testing company, has just announced the addition of Ancestry and Ethnicity DNA testing to their suite of products.
One of the best things about this offering is the FIND tool. FIND is a way to identify the type of DNA test that best suits the customer’s need(s). Through a series of very simple questions that guide the user step-by-step, the tool helps him or her decide between ethnicity tests, Y-DNA tests, or mtDNA tests. I had fun just playing around with it.
An article appearing Sunday at Bloomberg.com, “Cheap, Detailed Genetic Testing Might Soon Be Ready for Market“, highlights some of the recent developments in DNA sequencing. The article is a response to three studies published yesterday at Nature Methods (available here, here, and here) which reportedly “explore cheap technologies to decipher and analyze individual patients’ DNA by allowing researchers to quickly find the small portions of the human genome that make protein and describe them, while discarding irrelevant data.”
According to the author of the Bloomberg article, “complete” DNA sequencing for as little as $300 could be ready within months. Although it is unclear what the author means by “complete”, it is entirely foreseeable that SNP testing will soon be available for a reasonable price.
I was being completely serious yesterday. I can barely keep up with all the genetic genealogy in the news, so here’s yet another round-up of the all the latest:
Sorenson Genomics is everywhere in the news. For example, a recent article in the Daily Herald discusses Scott Woodward’s love of genetics. Woodward is the Director and Chief Scientific Officer of the Sorenson Molecular Genealogy Foundation. Megan Smolenyak wrote about this article at Megan’s Roots World. Sorenson also announced that it will merge the Identigene and GeneTree DNA testing units (HT: Genome Technology Online).
Jasia at Creative Gene discusses some of the financial costs associated with genetic genealogy. It appears that this will be a series of posts, and I’m very interested to see how the costs compare to traditional genealogical research. Note that Creative Gene is a member of The Genealogists, a Feedburner Network of some of today’s best genealogical blogs.
There is so much information about genetic genealogy in the news right now that I am having a hard time keeping up. That, of course, is good news. So here is a round-up of some of the best from the web:
“Seeking Columbus’s Origins, With a Swab” is an article in today’s New York Times (HT: Liz). Scientists and genetic genealogists hope to use Y-DNA to compare DNA that might be Columbus’s to modern-day people with a related surname.
“Genetic Genealogy Mildly Hot” is a post by Hsien at Eye On DNA that explains why “family tree dna” was one of the top 100 searches at Google Trends yesterday. Got a guess?
For those who missed the segment last night, HERE is the full report, with a video and transcript. Note that the journalists interviewed Hank Greely, a law professor at Stanford who I’ve mentioned here before, and who has a great chapter in an upcoming book – Revisiting Race in a Genomic Age, (forthcoming) edited by Barbara Koenig, Sandra Soo-Jin Lee, and Sarah Richardson. Rutgers University Press, 2007.
The Scientist is attempting to compile the list of the most popular science blogs:
“We at The Scientist are asking you to help compile the first list of the best life science blogs. Tell us what your favorite life science blogs are and why by clicking the button and leaving a comment, and we will publish a list of the most popular choices across the different areas of life sciences. With your help we hope to provide a list of who is currently hot in the science blogosphere, and why you should be reading them.”
It’s not a popularity contest (oh wait, it is!), but if you think of any great science-related blogs (ahem), stop by and let them know!
And if you don’t feel like nominating anyone, just scroll through the list and click on some links!Â It’s a great way to discover new science blogs.
The field of personal genomics is just beginning.With recent advances in sequencing, whole genome sequencing (or whole genome SNP analysis) has become increasingly affordable.While the Human Genome Project cost $3 billion for one genome, Watsonâ€™s genome was sequenced for $1 to 2 million just a few years later.
In addition to the oft-discussed start-up company 23andMe, a least one other personal genomics company has announced its intention to offer sequencing and analysis to consumers.Navigenetics, based in Redwood Shores, California, describes itself as:
â€œ[A] privately held company offering personalized, genetics-based consumer health and wellness services to our members. Our founders and advisors include leading genetic scientists, physicians, genetic counselors, bioethicists, patient advocates, health policy and technology experts and a management team that has launched some of the most successful online health and information resources of our time.â€
From the article (donâ€™t worry, I have no idea how these technologies really work either):
â€œThe proposed sequencing platform will use Complete Genomicsâ€™ sequencing chemistry and BioNanomatrixâ€™ nanofluidic technology. The companies said they plan to adapt DNA sequencing chemistry with â€œlinearized nanoscale DNA imagingâ€to create a system that can read DNA sequences longer than 100,000 bases quickly and with accuracy â€œexceeding the current industry standard.â€â€
The DNA Ancestry Blog has a new post about needs and concerns regarding Ancestry.com’s DNA project. If you have something insightful or valuable to share, the post lists an email address.
There’s a relatively new Genetic Genealogy blog called Haplogroup I which has some interesting information and news about the field. Welcome to the blogosphere, and I hope to learn more about you and about Haplogroup I!
The big news (ok, not really) in Genetic Genealogy this week is that Ben Affleck is joining the Genographic Project. The Boston Globe has a story here. My favorite part was the ending:
As with any other test, the project did lead to some bragging rights. Ramiro Torres, who hosts a morning show on radio station Jam’n 94.5, was pleased to learn his enterprising relatives trekked across all of Asia before crossing the ice bridge and populating North and South America.