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Updates to 23andMe’s DNA Relatives Temporarily on Hold


Discover yourself at 23andMe
For the next week or so, 23andMe is pausing updates to the DNA Relatives feature.  This feature provides a list of genetic matches and estimates the range of relationship.

According to this week’s 23andMe update entitled “Release Notes: 7 June 2013,” (you must log in to view), “The computation time for DNA Relatives and Ancestry Composition has been growing.”

Going into greater detail at “DNA Relatives computations temporarily on hold,” 23andMe explains that due to the increased computational time, and in an effort to reduce the time it takes to generate DNA Relatives matches, updates are paused.  Accordingly, “[t]his means that you won’t be receiving new matches to your existing DNA Relatives list, and if you haven’t received your matches yet there may be some additional waiting time.”

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New Press Release from DNATraits Regarding the Supreme Court’s Holding in Myriad

DNATraits, a division of Houston-based genomics and genetics testing company Gene By Gene, Ltd., (parent company of Family Tree DNA) just announced a press release regarding today’s decision in Association for Molecular Pathology, et al. v. Myriad Genetics, Inc. patent case regarding the human BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes

From the press release:

 

Supreme Court Ruling Today Allows DNATraits to Offer Low Cost BRCA Breast and Ovarian Cancer Gene Testing in U.S.

In effort to increase access to potentially lifesaving BRCA1 and BRCA2 tests, DNATraits can now offer tests for $995, a fraction of the cost of similar tests prior to the court decision

HOUSTON — Jun. 13, 2013 – Thanks to today’s U.S. Supreme Court decision opening the door to greater access to genetic medicine by American patients and their health care providers, testing for genes specifically linked to breast, ovarian and other cancers will now be more widely available and at a lower cost than ever before.

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Family Tree DNA Announces Special Father’s Day Sale

On the heels of a special $49 Autosomal DNA Transfer sale, Family Tree DNA has announced a new FATHER’S DAY SALE! For a very limited time only, Y-DNA upgrades are available at a very reduced price.  From the announcement:

Since last summer’s upgrade sale was such huge success, we thought we’d repeat history! We are offering discounts to our Y-DNA upgrade products just in time for father’s day. So, please spread the word and we’ll make this year’s upgrade sale even bigger!

ALL ORDERS MUST BE PLACED AND PAID FOR BY 11:59pm, JUNE 19, 2013, TO RECEIVE THE SALE PRICE.

Reduced Prices

From June 12, 2013 through June 19, 2013,  the following sale prices are available:

Y-DNA 12 to 25  was $49                Now $35

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The Genetic Genealogist Named a Top Blog for 2013!

Internet GenealogyThanks to Miriam at AnceStories, I learned today that The Genetic Genealogist was named one of the 25 Top Genealogy Blogs by Internet Genealogy!  Congrats to Miriam as well, who was also named one of the 25 Top Genealogy Blogs.  Miriam has a list of the other 23 sites on her blog.

I haven’t been able to read the article yet, but according to the website here is the description:

Blogged: 25 Top Genealogy Blogs to Help Speed Your Research!  Tony Bandy highlights twenty-five blogs you can dig your teeth into.

I’m honored by this, and I think it reflects the increasing interest in DNA and Genetic Genealogy that genealogists continue to express.  We’re approaching a critical mass at which point DNA must be part of every genealogists’ toolbox, and at least a consideration in any serious genealogical search.

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Andy Page Fills New President Position at 23andMe


Discover yourself at 23andMe
According to an article posted today at AllThingsD (“23andMe Names Former Gilt Exec Andy Page as President“), personal genetics company 23andMe has created a new position within the company, that of President, and has filled the position with Andy Page.  Page is a former President and CFO of Gilt, an online retail enterprise.  He left that position earlier this year (see “Gilt’s President And Former CFO Andy Page To Leave The Company“).

From the article by Kara Swisher:

The reason for the addition, said CEO and co-founder Anne Wojcicki, is to push for more customer growth — 23andMe is trying to reach one million members by the end of the year — and the scaling of its operations.

Page, who will report to Wojcicki, will be in charge of a wide swath of 23andMe, including product and engineering, marketing, finance, business development, laboratory operations and legal and regulatory issues. He will also be tasked with helping develop business strategy.

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Family Tree DNA Announces Family Finder Transfer Sale – $49

For a limited time, Family Tree DNA is offering Family Finder Transfers for $49, reduced from the normal cost of $99.

The Family Finder Transfer program gives those who have taken an autosomal DNA test with Ancestry.com or 23andMe the ability to import their autosomal DNA results to Family Tree DNA.

According to the website, purchasers of the Family Finder Transfer program receive:

  • myFTDNA 2.0 account (personal page), if a new customer;
  • Autosomal DNA results uploaded to and stored on Family Tree DNA’s servers;
  • Matching to all autosomal Family Finder results in our matching database;
  • Ethnic origins results from our Population Finder program; and
  • All standard tools and pages associated with the autosomal Family Finder test and the Population Finder program.

The uploaded files are batched once a week then run through the conversion program, and results typically take between 6-10 weeks based on volume.  Customers are notified by e-mail when their results are available.

Why Transfer Your Results to FTDNA?

If you’ve already tested at Ancestry.com or 23andMe, you might wonder if there are any benefits to transferring your results to Family Tree DNA.

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The First DNA Day at the Southern California Genealogy Society Jamboree

So here I am, sitting at the airport waiting for my first flight on the long journey back to NY from the first ever Family History and DNA Day at the Southern California Genealogy Society Jamboree.

The event was an incredible success, with stellar speakers, inspiring and entertaining talks from Spencer Wells and Henry Louis Gates, Jr., and excellent organization and execution.

Below is just a brief summary of the highlights I believe are worth mentioning, but be sure to check out other posts that have or will come out soon, including this one from The Legal Genealogist, and this one from Dick Eastman.

(A side note: as I was sitting in the airport waiting for my flight from Newark to San Francisco, I looked up and saw a familiar face – Judy Russell from The Legal Genealogist! We shared the next two flights, although Judy was furiously dealing with an unfortunate hack attack on her website, which has since been resolved).

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Press Release From Family Tree DNA Describing the Recent Addition to the Y Chromosome Phylogenetic Tree

Press release from Family Tree DNA today:

Family Tree DNA’s Genomics Research Center Facilitates Discovery of Extremely Ancient Root to the Human Y Chromosome Phylogenetic Tree

— By Offering Low Cost DNA Test, Family Tree DNA Aims to Expand Reach of DNA Testing to Encourage Further Exciting Discoveries About Human Origins —

[26-March-2013]

HOUSTON, March 26, 2013 /PRNewswire/ — Gene By Gene, Ltd., the Houston-based genomics and genetics testing company, announced that a unique DNA sample submitted via National Geographic’s Genographic Project to its genetic genealogy subsidiary, Family Tree DNA, led to the discovery that the most recent common ancestor for the Y chromosome lineage tree is potentially as old as 338,000 years.  This new information indicates that the last common ancestor of all modern Y chromosomes is 70 percent older than previously thought.

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AncestryDNA Releases Raw Data

Earlier this week, Ancestry.com began releasing raw data to purchasers of the AncestryDNA autosomal DNA product.  Several others have written great articles on AncestryDNA’s new raw data, so I’ll point you to their articles instead of rehashing everything here:

Within the next few weeks and months, you’ll be able to use the AncestryDNA raw data at places like Family Tree DNA and Gedmatch.com.

But note an issue that I first brought up on a mailing list last Thursday when the announcement came out.  The following language is found on the page after you click on the final download link:

The raw data is subject to the AncestryDNA Terms and Conditions and AncestryDNA Privacy Statement. You must not use the raw data in whole, in part and/or in combination with any other database for any discriminatory, breach of privacy or otherwise illegal activity (for example, to re-identify any anonymous donor or to make insurance or employment decisions).

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