Both 23andMe and deCODEme (using my 23andMe data) have interpreted my SNP results to indicate that I have a greatly increased genetic risk for Type 2 Diabetes.Â This post interprets the information from both companies and applies some of the primary research that the companies relied upon to predict my risk.Â Hopefully, this information will be useful to me as I strive to more completely understand my own risk factors, and will be useful to others as an example of using SNP data to potentially understand more about your health.
I. The Genetics
My 23andMe analysis makes it clear that I have an elevated risk for type 2 diabetes:
And, upon clicking upon the link, I receive the following additional information:
deCODEme, which used my 23andMe data, provides a similar interpretation:
I’ve been playing with 23andMe’s Relative Finder this week, since it’s now in open beta. It’s been interesting hearing from 6th to 10th cousins from around the world, and we’re working to find ancestors in common. I’m looking forward to identifying – for the first time – a piece of autosomal DNA that came from a specific ancestor.
While in the beta period, the number of relatives is limited to 1000 (I currently have 173 with only 5 in the 3rd to 7th cousin range), and you can only contact other people who have opted in for the beta test. So if you have a 23andMe account, please opt in to the beta test via the following instructions (kind provided by Ann Turner):
1. Open the page https://www.23andme.com/user/profile/ and check the checkbox near “Name:” and click on the blue “Save Changes” button.
2. Open the page https://www.23andme.com/user/edit/privacy/ and UNcheck the checkbox near “I do not want to receive sharing invitations from anyone.”
3. Open the page https://www.23andme.com/you/relfinder/ and check the checkbox near “Highlight my profile in Relative Finder to show that I’m interested in making connections with potential relatives.”
Megan Smolenyak has been very busy the past couple of weeks sharing her research of Michelle Obama’s genealogy. Genealogy Insider posted this video of Megan on the CBS Early Show on October 8th. The YouTube video is described as: “The New York Times traced Michelle Obama’s five generation path from slavery to the White House. Harry Smith spoke to Megan Smoleyak the genealogist who uncovered the first lady’s family tree.”
A much more in-depth video is available from the always interesting RootsTelevision at “Michelle Obama’s Roots.”
In the May 2010 issue of Family Tree Magazine, the editors will name the 40 Best Genealogy Blogs.Â Last month many of my readers nominated this blog for the list, which I appreciate greatly!
As of today you can vote to narrow down the top 130 nominated blogs to about 80 blogs, which the editors will then reduce to 40.Â The blogs have been placed into 10 different categories.Â There is more information about the categories and blogs here.
If you have a moment, please feel free to vote for The Genetic Genealogist in the genetic genealogy category!Â Voting takes place from October 5th through November 5th, and you can vote as often as you like.Â Thank you!
23andMe has been beta testing a new tool for comparing autosomal DNA results called â€œRelative Finder.â€ Although I was not one of the beta testers, it seems that this new tool will be of great use to genealogists. Roberta Estes has posted a nice summary of the Relative Finder tool at the â€œSearching for the Lost Colony DNA Blog.â€
90% of Customers Likely to Find a Match!
Relative Finder compares your autosomal SNP results to the results of others in the 23andMe database to determine matches. While developing the tool, 23andMe discovered that in their dataset of â€œmore than 5000 individuals with European ancestry,â€ 90% of individuals had at least one distant relative between 2nd and 8th degree cousins!
Last week my Google alert for “genetic genealogy” went crazy, and it took me a few days to realize that Ancestry Magazine recently made all their archives available for free online.Â Although I’m not sure how far back their archives go, there appears to be hundreds of genealogy articles on the site.
A quick search of “DNA” at the site, for instance, reveals MANY articles relating to genetic ancestry testing. This is a great resource for anyone interested in genetic genealogy.
I see that Schelly at Tracing the Tribe had the same Google alerts frenzy last week. As she notes, some of the articles are rather old, so be sure to check the dates before you read them; the information might require some updating!
The first rumblings about DNA and the Book of Mormon came about 10 years ago, according to Perego, a senior researcher at Sorenson Molecular Genealogy Foundation.Critics cobbled together data from a variety of early DNA studies and came to the unsurprising conclusion that the studies indicated an Asian origin for Native Americans.
This, the critics argued, proved that the Book of Mormon was false. They claimed that the book says the continent was empty and if it was empty, then all Native Americans should have Lehi’s Israelite DNA, not Asian DNA.
Ugo Perego, well-known in genetic genealogy circles, talks with the journalist about the compatibility of our current understanding of Native American origins and the Book of Mormon.Â According to Perego, there are possibilities solutions to this apparent conundrum:
“I must admit that I have always been a bit embarrassed to admit that I cannot prove the origins of my own surname. I have been researching my family tree for more than thirty years and have found most of my ancestors back into the 1700s with quite a few families traced even further back. Yet there has always been one glaring exception: the origins of my EASTMAN ancestors.”
So begins this interesting article by Dick Eastman (of Eastman’s Online Genealogy Newsletter fame). Dick had researched the brick wall in his paternal line for years without much luck, but recently peered through the brick wall with the help of genetic genealogy.Â The answer to his mystery was hiding in every cell of his body.
After learning of Dick’s brick wall, Katherine Hope Borges of ISOGG volunteered to start the Eastman DNA Project to help him and others learn more about the surname. Through that project, Dick learned that he is related to “the others who are known descendants of Roger Eastman, the 1638 immigrant.” Although the exact line of descent is unclear, he is now able to focus his research to save both time and money.