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October 26, 2007

Who's your daddy? 'Website tracks ancestry using DNA'


Above, the headline over Chris Nuttall's October 17, 2007 Financial Times (FT) story about "the launch of a website that uses DNA testing to help users find family members through the ages."

Note to Google — here's the next big thing, right up your alley:

1) Accept DNA samples submitted anonymously (free, of course)

2) Digitize the results and throw them into a(n ever-growing) registry

3) When a possible match appears, inform both parties, with the option for anonymous contact

4) Only if both accept is information exchanged

You think Facebook is big?

Just wait till iGene launches....

Here's the FT article.

    Website tracks ancestry using DNA

    Social networking will take on a new dimension on Wednesday with the launch of a website that uses DNA testing to help users find family members through the ages.

    Some 15m members of Ancestry.com, a genealogy site linked to MyFamily.com, a social networking service, will be able to swab the inside of their cheeks and send samples for analysis. They will receive an online report showing the DNA haplogroup they belong to, defined by genetic markers.

    Many people in the UK belong to the R1b haplogroup, a race that arrived in Europe from west Asia 40,000 years ago and was one of the first to practise cave art and use stone tools.

    Ancestry.com is creating networking groups that will allow haplogroups to share their common interests. Those with a common surname could also form a group and pool their DNA resources to work out how they are related.

    The DNA test details up to 46 individual genetic markers, which are compared with Ancestry’s database of DNA results. The site then shows the closest matches it has found with other members — revealing distant cousins that could not be found using Ancestry’s standard databases of births, marriages and deaths records and census results.

    “DNA testing in family history is reaching critical mass,” says Megan Smolenyak, Ancestry’s chief family historian. “For people with common surnames like Smith and Jones, they can use this to help eliminate possibilities and to tell them they are on the right track.”


My crack research team points out that Ancestry.com announced its venture into DNA testing back in June of this year, saying then that the capability would go live "by the end of the summer."

Australian summer is what they were referring to, no doubt.

And talk about the rich getting richer — that's all Google needs, a bookofjoe MoneyMaker™.

October 26, 2007 at 04:01 PM | Permalink


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only a couple of small points.... what happens to the data collected & the swabs? will it be given to the government to check against unsolved crimes,or
used for other unspecified things.......

Posted by: ron angel | Oct 27, 2007 8:44:23 AM

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