Ancestry.com has established a new blog, located at blogs.ancestry.com.Â Let me just say that they have excellent taste in WordPress themes (it’s the same as mine)!
1.You got those big blue eyes from your grandmother, but chances are you inherited less desirable genes as well.We inherit our DNA from our parents, who inherited it from their parents.Since we all possess genes that can cause or contribute to disease, knowing oneâ€™s DNA and family medical history can be a great resource for someone who learns they have a genetic disorder.
2.Full genome sequencing is right around the corner!The X-prize quest for the $1000 genome will lead to efficient and affordable whole-genome sequencing.As commercial companies crop up and compete for customerâ€™s business, leading to even lower prices.
3.Your grandmotherâ€™s DNA contains clues to her ancestry.X-chromosome, mtDNA, and autosomal genealogy tests contain clues to a personâ€™s ancestry, both recent and ancient.
I first saw mention of Mike Elgan’s story, “Coming Soon: The Mother of All Genealogy Databases” at Jasia’s Creative Gene (The Google Family Tree?), and then I saw it at the Genealogue (NothingWill Save Us From Boredom).
In the article, Mr. Elgan imagines an enormous future database that combines traditional genealogical records and DNA to link everyone together.Â Two individuals could then, for instance, search the database to find their closest relationship to each other.Â My first thought, of course, is of privacy issues and plain old bad genealogical data (of which the internet is full).
I’ve spoken before about the enormous effect that affordable SNP and whole-genome sequencing will have on genetic genealogy. In that previous article, I mentioned a study using SNP analysis to identify a person’s ancestry based on autosomal DNA (all the nuclear non-sex DNA). Another study, released today in PLoS Genetics, used SNP chips to identify SNP markers that are characteristic of a certain ancestral origins. According to the authors:
“We have developed a novel algorithm to identify a subset of SNP markers that capture major axes of genetic variation in a genotypic dataset without use of any prior information about individual ancestry or membership in a population.”
To accomplish this, the researchers:
“…studied here 274 individuals from 12 populations (20 Mbuti, 20 Mende, 22 Burunge, 42 African Americans, 42 Caucasians, 20 Spanish, 11 Mala, 20 East Asians, 20
In todayâ€™s Washington Post thereâ€™s a story about The Boy in the Iron Coffin.This coffin was accidentally discovered by a construction crew in
â€œThe boy was extremely well preserved and clad in white cotton clothing that included a pleated shirt and vest with cloth-covered buttons, flared trousers, darned socks and ankle-length underdrawers.â€
According to the article, the body â€œhad been buried in a cemetery that probably belonged to Columbian College, the precursor to
On the heels of last week’s announcement that Sorenson Molecular Genealogy Foundation (SMGF) will be collecting DNA samples in Mongolia comes new information that the company will be conducting a similar project in Panama.
According to the announcement, SMGF has partnered with the Gorgas Memorial Institute (Instituto Conmemorativo Gorgas de Estudios de la Salud
“We are honored to join with Gorgas Memorial Institute,
Commercially available genetic genealogy isn’t just for Americans and Europeans anymore. Eastern Biotech & Life Sciences, centered in Dubai, recently sent me an email announcing their new venture into the field of genetic genealogy testing.
Although it wasn’t apparent from the email that I received, Eastern Biotech & Life Sciences has partnered with Family Tree DNA to offer genetic genealogy testing. The following sentence comes from a press release at i-newswire: “Eastern Biotech & Life Sciences is proud to be associated with Family Tree DNA to create a database for the Middle Eastern population.”
From the Email:
Dr. Wilmot James, head of the African Genome Project and honorary professor of human genetics at the
The African Genome Project is supported by the South African genealogy website Ancestry24.com (although I was not able to find any information there).One of the goals of the project is to create a public genetic database to examine â€œhow the country became populated over thousands of yearsâ€ by filling in the gap in current DNA databases.
- Misha Angrist wrote about the implications of personal genome sequencing in â€œWarts and all.â€
- I think most everyone would agree that affordable whole-genome sequencing will be around long before we understand the information it reveals.I asked another member of The DNA Network, The Gene Sherpa his opinion on the matter.Genome Technology Online also thought it was an interesting discussion.And by the way, the Genome Technology Onlineâ€™s daily newsletter is a great way to stay up-to-date.
- DNA Consulting is launching an online forum called DNA Ancestor Communities (from Family Tree Magazine).
- At Venturebeat: lifesciences, David Hamilton wrote a great post about genome sequencing and insurance â€“ â€œPersonal genomics and the end of insurance.â€It received a lot of attention this week, including a mention in Dick Eastmanâ€™s Online Genealogy Newsletter.
- EyeonDNA has a clip of Craig Venter from the Charlie Rose show in 2000, back before Venter was able to browse his entire genomic sequence.
- Jay Flatley of Illumina revealed more information about future products being offered by 23andMe.Naturally, it received a lot of attention (be sure to read the comments as well):
oI wrote about it here at The Genetic Genealogist;
oVentureBeat: lifesciences wrote an article, and ended with: â€œRumors of yet a third, still stealthy, personal-genomics startup are also swirling around the Valley.â€Any ideas?
oAnother early mention came from Meganâ€™s Roots World, who, like me, picked up on the fact that 23andMe is initially focusing on ancestry.
obusiness|bytes|genes|molecules wrote an interesting post.
oGigaOM has a very brief mention.
oGenome Technology Online links back to the Forbes article as well.
23andMe has been the subject of much discussion in the biotech and personalized medicine circles of the blogosphere (See here, here, here, here, here, here, here, and here for plenty of information/speculation/discussion).
In August, 23andMe announced (â€œ23andMe and Illumina Forge Consumer Genomics Goliathâ€) that they have partnered together to offer â€œconsumer genotypingâ€ – more about that in a minute.Illumina produces â€œSNP chipsâ€, chips that can test a genome for thousands of SNPs (single nucleotide polymorphisms) at a time.For example, the company has one chip that tests one million SNPs for as little as $600, and another chip that tests 550,000 SNPs (the HumanHap550) for only $300-$450.Interestingly, Illumina is also able to custom build chips to add specific SNPs if the customer so desires.Additionally, as the announcement touted, Illumina is also exploring the world of inexpensive whole-genome sequencing, suggesting that this partnership with 23andMe could transition from cheap SNP testing to cheap whole-genome sequencing at some point in the future.