DNA

Cellular Research Institute Ventures into Ancestry Testing with the Launch of CRI Genetics

I must admit I never heard of this company before until I received the following announcement:

Cellular Research Institute has recently introduced CRI Genetics, the organization’s Genetics division dedicated to helping individuals find out key information pertaining to their ancestry. Led by seasoned researcher Alexei Fedorov, CRI Genetics is now offering the most advanced DNA testing kit on the market.

March 25th, 2017 – Cellular Research Institute, a team of researchers dedicated to providing accurate information about research, medicine, and the environment, has recently introduced their Genetics division. Operating under the name CRI Genetics, this new division is now offering a DNA testing kit to help people find out their detailed family history based on Genealogy and Anthropology.

Genetic Communities™ Beta: New Innovation from AncestryDNA

The following announcement was written by AncestryDNA:

Today, we are pleased to share the roll-out of a new beta experience for AncestryDNA we call, Genetic Communities™. This new experience gives you a more detailed connection to the people, places, cultures, and stories that led to you.

Taking DNA testing to a whole new level

This new advancement is only possible through the millions of AncestryDNA members around the world who have chosen to participate in the Research Project as well as the massive collection of family trees, only available on Ancestry. The science behind this feature was recently published in one of the prominent scientific journals Nature Communications here).

At launch there will be over 300 Genetic Communities all around the world to go and explore, with many more on the horizon. We will compare you to all of them and list the ones you have a connection to based on your DNA. These Genetic Communities dot the globe and are often more specific than what’s possible to discover with an ethnicity estimate, providing a more recent connection to your past.

And, this is just the beginning. We are just scratching the surface of advancements in science and technology that will translate into faster, more insightful discoveries about who we are and where we come from. Genetic Communities is a very BIG and exciting step in this direction.

Watch this video to see why we are so excited about this new experience.

MyHeritage Genealogy and DNA Results Described on Fox News

Genealogy and especially using DNA in genealogy research received a lot of positive publicity on American television yesterday morning. The 3 hosts of the popular morning show, Fox & Friends, were presented with their DNA ethnicity results supplied by MyHeritage, augmented by genealogy research also performed by the company.

The three hosts’ experiences also may be seen in online videos that you can watch now:

How Your Ancestors’ Environment Determines the Shape of Your Nose

It may seem strange, but a recently-published study in the PLOS Genetics journal claims that whether your nose is long and narrow or short and wide, you may have your ancestors’ climate to thank.

Researchers from Ireland, Belgium and the U.S. used 3D facial imaging to collect nose measurements on nearly 500 participants of South Asian, East Asian, West African and Northern European descent. The researchers analyzed specific measures including nose height, nostril width, distance between nostrils, protrusion and total surface area of the nose and nostrils. Then, they compared these measurements with local temperatures and humidity in various geographical regions. The findings revealed that nostril width was strongly linked with climate. Wider nostrils were found in more hot and humid areas, and narrower noses were more common in cold and dry areas.

You can read more in the PLOS Genetics journal at http://bit.ly/2mNF2os as well as in dozens of media sites by starting at http://bit.ly/2mO6tOX.

Personally, I’m blaming my nose on Uncle Albert. I seem to have inherited his nose.

How Accurate are DNA Kits used for Testing Ancestry?

dnaMillions of people are purchasing and using home DNA kits to determine their ancestry. The television program Inside Edition enlisted the help of two sets of identical triplets and one set of identical quadruplets to investigate the accuracy of the at-home tests. The ancestry of each group should be absolutely identical since they all came from the same egg.

Test kits from 23andMe, FamilyTree DNA, and AncestryDNA were used.

The results are surprising.

DNA Testing: Seven Guidelines for Adoptees

Richard Hill is the author of two books on DNA testing. He has now written a shorter introduction that looks like a great introduction to the topic for any adoptee. DNA Testing: Seven Guidelines for Adoptees may be found on the MyHeritage Blog at: https://goo.gl/C5MZPV.

Family Tree DNA Now Accepts Family Finder Data Transfers from 23andMe© V4 and AncestryDNA™ V2 Files

In an email message to all of the company’s Project Administrators, Family Tree DNA announced that it is now accepting data transfers of autosomal information from the following:

23andMe© V3
23andMe© V4
AncestryDNA™ V1
AncestryDNA™ V2

After transferring your results, for free, you will receive a list of your autosomal matches from Family Tree DNA’s database and have access to the company’s Family Finder – Matrix. The Matrix feature allows you to select and compare the autosomal DNA relationship between up to ten of your matches at one time.

MyHeritage Appoints Prominent DNA Expert Dr. Yaniv Erlich as Chief Science Officer

The following announcement from MyHeritage was released today at the RootsTech conference in Salt Lake City. I would draw your attention to two different facts in the announcement: (1.) the credentials of Dr. Yaniv Erlich indicate that he is one of the leading DNA scientists of our time and (2.) the announcement of “MyHeritage DNA, the company’s newly established DNA service for family history and ethnicity.”

TEL AVIV, Israel & LEHI, Utah , February 9, 2017 – MyHeritage, the leading international family history and DNA company, announced today the appointment of Dr. Yaniv Erlich as its Chief Science Officer. Dr. Erlich, a DNA scientist of world renown, will lead scientific development and strategy for MyHeritage DNA, the company’s newly established DNA service for family history and ethnicity, and ensure that its products are built on a solid scientific foundation.

Dr. Erlich, nicknamed the Genome Hacker by Nature journal, brings to MyHeritage unparalleled experience in the field of genomics as Assistant Professor of Computer Science and Computational Biology at Columbia University and as a Core Member at the New York Genome Center. He is also the former principal investigator and a Whitehead Fellow at MIT’s Whitehead Institute, founder of DNA.LAND and the principal investigator of the Erlich DNA lab.

Ancestry Publishes New Genetic Research on U.S. Population Structures in Nature Communications

The following announcement was written by Ancestry:

DNA and genealogical information from more than 700,000 AncestryDNA users gives new insight into historical events in North America during the last several hundred years

ancestry-com-logoLEHI, Utah and SAN FRANCISCO, Feb. 07, 2017 — Today, Ancestry published a scientific article entitled “Clustering of 770 thousand genomes reveals post-colonial population structure of North America” in Nature Communications. The article shares new research using genetic data from over 700,000 individuals from North America to uncover a detailed picture of the subtle patterns of migration and settlement in post-colonial USA. Ancestry is the leader in family history and consumer genomics with 80 million family trees and more than three million people using AncestryDNA, a combination which powered the fine-grain historical insights that have previously been inaccessible from genetic studies.

This research was led by Ancestry’s Chief Scientific Officer Catherine Ball, Ph.D., her Ancestry colleagues and historian Erin Battat, Ph.D., from Harvard University.

“Ancestry is just scratching the surface of scientific discoveries that can be made when combining large amounts of genomic data with detailed pedigree information, and I’m incredibly proud of the work the team put into this research project as well as the fascinating results we’ve found,” said Ball. “It’s especially rewarding to gain insights that not only contribute significantly to genomic research, but provide a glimpse into our own personal histories and identities.”

Key highlights of the paper:

FREE Grandparent Inheritance Charts from Legacy Tree Genealogists, Inc.

Legacy Tree Genealogists, Inc., a firm of professional genealogists, has released FREE Grandparent Inheritance Charts. The charts are interesting because a grandchild can actually determine the exact percentage of DNA he/she shares with each grandparent – with only three total tests (him/herself, one paternal grandparent, one maternal grandparent).

5-5x8-5_dna_relationshipquickreferencechart

(The above chart is compressed significantly in order to fit the available space in this newsletter. The charts you create at https://www.legacytree.com/inheritance will be much larger and contain the data YOU supply.)

Here is the announcement written by Legacy Tree Genealogists:

MyHeritage DNA Matching Enhanced with New Features

myheritage_dna_matchingDNA Matching is one of the major features of MyHeritage’s DNA offering. Now that matching service has been enhanced with the following additions:

  • Extended information about shared ancestral surnames
  • Search by Ancestral Surnames
  • New Filtering Options
  • Add Notes to DNA Matches

Details are provided in the MyHeritage Blog at: https://goo.gl/7eUpsz.

Family Tree DNA Sale

logo_ftdnaDNA tests can help you find family, break through brick walls and trace your lineage through time. Family Tree DNA is a leading DNA testing company and is now offering a significant sale on many of its products:

Family Finder autosomal test will find Family Finder Matches and Ethnic Percentages: $59

Family Finder plus Y-chromosome for 37 markers (for males only): $188

Family Finder plus Y-chromosome for 67 markers (for males only): $278

Family Finder plus a Full Mitochondrial Sequence – for both males and females, an mtDNA test that traces your maternal line: $228

Hero Lost at Pearl Harbor Comes Home After Years in an Unknown Grave

Thanks to DNA, family members of a sailor who died nearly 75 years ago are getting closure.

John Charles England died in the attack on Pearl Harbor, on December 7, 1941. England had been on the U.S.S. Oklahoma, and he disappeared while returning to the sinking ship to save his fellow sailors.

His granddaughter, Bethany Glenn, had been researching England’s life to find out more about the man behind the heroic story. She talked to friends and visited his old school. She learned he loved to dance, so she decided to wear his portrait when she went to concerts. Yet one mystery remained—where was his body?

Update: More Information About the new Announcement of MyHeritage DNA

Following Monday’s launch of MyHeritage DNA (see the announcement at https://goo.gl/lpYyKh), many questions were asked about the new service. MyHeritage’s Founder and CEO, Gilad Japhet, has posted answers to these questions in the MyHeritage Blog.

You can read Gilad’s answers at http://blog.myheritage.com/2016/11/myheritage-dna-your-questions-answered.

While on the MyHeritage Blog, you also might want to read and watch This is what happens to your DNA at the lab at http://blog.myheritage.com/2016/11/watch-this-is-what-happens-to-your-dna-at-the-lab.

MyHeritage Launches Global DNA Testing Service for Uncovering Ethnic Origins and Making New Family Connections

The folks at MyHeritage have made a major new announcement this morning. As stated in the announcement, “…as MyHeritage DNA debuts an international mass-market home-testing kit that is simple, affordable and will offer some of the best ethnicity reports in the world.” I ordered my DNA kit immediately after reading about the new service.

The following is the official announcement from MyHeritage:

Unique Founder Population project conducted by the company expected to empower the highest resolution ethnicity analysis available on the market

TEL AVIV, Israel & LEHI, Utah, November 7, 2016 — MyHeritage, the leading international destination for discovering, preserving and sharing family history, announced today the launch of MyHeritage DNA, its global integrated genetic testing service. The move represents a major turning point for the DNA industry, as MyHeritage DNA debuts an international mass-market home-testing kit that is simple, affordable and will offer some of the best ethnicity reports in the world.

myheritagedna

With 85 million users worldwide, 2.1 billion family tree profiles, 7 billion historical records and availability in 42 languages, MyHeritage’s new DNA service further strengthens its position as a global leader in family history.

Family Tree DNA and 20th Century Fox Team Up for Historical Adventure

The following announcement was written by the folks at Family Tree DNA:

Genetic genealogy pioneers announce exciting partnership with the theatrical release of Assassin’s Creed.

Houston, Texas — October 25, 2016:

In association with the upcoming theatrical release of the epic adventure film ASSASSIN’S CREED, in theaters December 21, Family Tree DNA is pleased to announce a new partnership with 20th Century Fox and Findmypast, which features the Assassin’s Creed DNA Testing Bundle and Assassin’s Creed Sweepstakes.

assassins-creed

Loosely based on the popular video game franchise of the same name, and starring award-winning actors Michael Fassbender and Marion Cotillard, the movie’s main character Callum Lynch—through a revolutionary technology called the Animus—travels deep into the past to discover that his genetic ancestor, Aguilar, was part of a mysterious secret organization, the Assassin’s, in 15th Century Spain. The action-adventure follows Callum as he relives Aguilar’s memories in present day.

Living DNA Offers a ‘High Definition’ View of Your Family History

Living DNA is a tiny UK company that has just launched its own ancestry DNA testing service, one that offers a ‘high definition’ view of their family history, versus the ‘standard resolution’ provided by their larger competitors. The company is up against a number of high-powered and well-financed competitors, including 23andme, Family Tree DNA, Quest Diagnostics, and AncestryDNA. Founder David Nicholson is confident that his company can succeed because it offers a different service from the services offered by his competitors.

Fueled by TV shows, such as Who Do You Think You Are?, the market for personal DNA testing services is growing rapidly, and in the UK, is dominated by a handful of multi-national companies. The startup was launched using profits from DNA Worldwide Group, a company set up by Nicholas in 2004 to fund the development of the personalised DNA testing service. That process took two years and a team of over 100 experts around the world. Living DNA aims to be profitable within 18 months.

DNA Testing Links 300-Year-Old Remains of a Baby to a Colonial Maryland Governor

Much is known about the 6-month-old who died in Maryland 300 years ago and was buried in a small lead-covered coffin. Yet there is no record of the child’s death — or birth. No one knew for certain who the infant was. No one knew if the baby was a boy or girl.

Now, almost 26 years after the coffin was unearthed in St. Mary’s County, experts at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History have learned that the baby was a boy — and the offspring of an important colonial governor of Maryland, Philip Calvert. The discovery came about through new genetic testing done at Harvard Medical School at the request of the Smithsonian.

DNA’s new ‘Miracle’: How Adoptees are using Online Registries to Find Their Blood Relatives

The Washington Post has published an interesting article by Tara Bahrampour about adoptees using DNA to find their birth relatives, sometimes even their birth parents. The article states:

Most people who register with DNA databases are looking for information about their ethnic origins or exploring distant branches of the family tree. But the rapidly expanding databases have also had an unintended consequence: They are helping people find biological parents whose identities had long been mysteries.

DNA Detectives Volunteers Help Adoptees Find their Birth Parents

DNA Detectives is a Facebook group run by volunteers who call themselves “search angels” and who help adoptees, sperm donor kids, and others who are hunting for their biological relatives. With more than 24,000 members, DNA Detectives began in February 2015, said CeCe Moore, its founder, which she helps run from San Clemente, Calif. Moore calls herself a genetic genealogist. She consults on the PBS show “Finding Your Roots,” and her company The DNA Detectives works with with the media on stories related to DNA, promoting genetic genealogy education through conferences and seminars.

dna_detectives