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?
In “60 Minutes on DNA: Deja Vu All Over Again“, Megan Smolenyak looks at Sunday’s 60 Minutes segment about genetic genealogy. It’s a brilliant post, especially with the following sentence:
Did you catch the genetic genealogy segment on 60 Minutes last night? I was not able to watch it, unfortunately, but I’ve been following some online reactions. For instance, at Megan’s Roots World (written when the segment was being made), Anglo-Celtic Connections and DNA for Everyone. There’s a great discussion at the DNA-NEWBIE Yahoo Group, and at the GENEALOGY-DNA Rootsweb list.
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.
Megan Smolenyak of Roots Television (have you checked it out yet?) and Megan’s Roots World recently wrote a piece for the BBC’s Family History website, in association with their wildly popular Who Do You Think You Are? series.Â “Genetic Genealogy – What Can If Offer?” is a great article for anyone who might be interested in learning about the opportunities and limitations associated with genetic genealogy.
And, you might see a familiar blog mentioned in the “Find Out More” section!
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€
Would you like your genome sequenced in a matter of hours for under $100?
An article from GenomeWeb last week, â€œComplete Genomics, BioNanomatrix to Use $8.8M NIST Grant to Develop ‘$100 Genome’ Platform,â€ reveals that BioNanomatrix and Complete Genomics have partnered together to share an $8.8 million grant from the U.S. National Institute of Standards and Technology to â€œdevelop technology that will be able to sequence a human genome in eight hours for less than $100.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.
Megan Smolenyak at Megan’s Roots World has some great links to recent news about genetic genealogy.Â The first post is “Genealogical Round Up“, and the second is “More Genetic Genealogy.”Â If you’re interested in GG, stop by.
I also saw a recent story in the IndyStar called “Unearthing Their Roots“, about African Americans using DNA in an attempt to identify their ancestral origin.Â Although this exact topic has been very popular in the press this year, this article is more balanced than some.
By the way, I would like to remind everyone that Roots Television is a great resource for anyone who might be interested in genetic genealogy, or genealogy in general.Â I especially enjoy seeing interviews and presentations from conferences that I am unable to attend.Â It’s a wonderful resource.
A lot of people write me to ask me questions about genetic genealogy, and a few have asked if there are any books on the subject that might help them learn more about it.Â I thought I should provide a list of great reading material to help someone who might not have time to ask (but keep the questions coming!).
Great beginner books which are specifically about genealogy and DNA:
Trace Your Roots with DNA: Use Your DNA to Complete Your Family Tree by Megan Smolenyak and Ann Turner (Published October 7, 2004):
The Seven Daughters of Eve: The Science That Reveals Our Genetic Ancestry by Bryan Sykes (Published July 9, 2001):
How to Interpret Your DNA Test Results for Family History & Ancestry: Scientists Speak Out on Genealogy Joining Genetics by Anne Hart (Published December 2002):