Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Trouble for DNA Testing

Several people have written to me about the fiasco that 23andMe is facing.  The latest reports are that the company has stopped marketing its DNA kits under pressure from the FDA.

Today is the three year anniversary of my first purchase from 23andMe.  I tested myself and then other family members.

The squabble is over the medical or health testing services and not our genetic genealogy.  The genealogy component of DNA testing is wonderful and I don't think that the genealogy world has fully embraced its power yet.  It would be a shame for this situation to set back genetic genealogy when it is just picking up speed.

Through 23andMe I identified two close maternal cousins.  A close paternal cousin appeared in the results over a month ago.  He has not responded, which is a common problem among the matches at 23andMe.  Because I tested other family members, I know which branch he comes from.  I can tell him the name of one of his great grandfathers- the ancestor we have in common.  Unless there were additional children I am aware of, I can also tell him his grandfather's name.  That is how good and valuable this DNA testing is for genealogy purposes.

The latest close cousin awaiting discovery.  This mystery cousins matches my paternal uncle 3.09%
I predict that the relation is second cousin.  Let's hope this man comes forward to confirm.

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