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Ancestry’s DNA Health Screening Will Require a Doctor’s Order from PWNHealth, an Independent Network of Board-Certified Physicians and Genetic Counselors

Ancestry said Tuesday that its new consumer health tests (described in an earlier article in this newsletter at https://tinyurl.com/eogn191017) will require authorization by a physician.

As mentioned in the original announcement: “Ancestry has partnered with PWNHealth, an independent network of board-certified physicians and genetic counselors, to offer these services, which are included in both AncestryHealth Core and AncestryHealth Plus.”

Ancestry Chief Executive Officer Margo Georgiadis says the company wanted to focus on providing ways for its tests to integrate easily into the care patients receive from their regular doctors.

Your Comments are Requested Concerning an Interim Policy Concerning Forensic Genetic Genealogical DNA Analysis and Searching

The following is an IAJGS Public Records Access Alert:

I would encourage those who are interested in forensic genetic genealogy and law enforcement access to submit comments to forensicgenealogy@fbi.gov before November 1, when their interim policy becomes effective.

To read the interim policy go to:

U.S. Department of Justice, Interim Policy on Forensic Genetic Genealogical DNA Analysis and Searching (2019); https://www.justice.gov/olp/page/file/1204386/download

23andMe’s New VIP Service Includes a One-On-One Chat to Explain your DNA

23andMe just added a third purchasing option for those who want a little bit more.

The new VIP Health + Ancestry Service delivers more options for customers, including concierge-like services. The VIP service bundles together one 23andMe Health + Ancestry Service kit, with a companion kit, overnight shipping, and priority lab processing.

Ant and Dec’s DNA Journey is Coming Soon to ITV

Ant McPartlin and Declan Donnelly are two British Academy of Film and Television Arts award winning TV presenters who are taking part in a new programme called Ant and Dec’s DNA Journey. The show will focus on using DNA to aid in researching the family tree of each TV presenter. They will be are joined by genealogists and historians as they follow their maternal and paternal bloodlines into the past.

Ant McPartlin and Declan Donnelly

Of the two, one will discover that their great-grandfather was a celebrated war hero while the other will find out that their cousin is a former US female wrestling promoter. The stories of Ant and Dec’s ancestors will be peppered with the duo’s trademark warm sense of humour, as the documentary treats viewers to a rare and personal glimpse into their remarkable friendship and close bond.

The Messy Consequences of DNA and the Golden State Killer Case

From an article by Sarah Zhang in the highly-respected The Atlantic web site:

“Tools meant to reunite families are now being used essentially to get families to put their members in jail.”

While few of us anticipated the intersection of genealogical DNA databases and police cases, many of us were intrigued when the combined efforts of law enforcement and a genealogist resulted in the identification of the suspected Golden State Killer last year. Now that precedent has opened the field to other cases, questions arise surrounding the ethical and legal aspects of these unforeseen applications.

Here are a few other quotes from the same article:

“Police officers were uploading crime-scene DNA to genealogical databases without any formal oversight, and prominent genealogists disagreed bitterly on how far they should be let in. The debate became so toxic that genealogy groups on Facebook banned any discussion of law enforcement. Decades-old accusations—unrelated to genealogy—were dragged up to discredit vocal members. People were blocked. Friendships ended. At a genealogy conference in June, the different sides ignored each other from opposite ends of the bar.”

MyHeritage DNA Uncover Rugby Legends Origins

The following announcement was written by MyHeritage:

As the biggest rugby event of the year gets underway in Japan, we wanted to share an exciting project we’ve been working on. In the run-up to the tournament, we brought together 4 rugby legends to see if they share more in common than a love of rugby and to find out if their DNA comes from places other than the countries they represented for so many years.

Rugby DNA website

Each of the players took a MyHeritage DNA test, and we brought them together to reveal their ethnicity breakdown, information about their DNA Matches, and share some family history research that we uncovered, including historical records and photos of their ancestors.

4 RUGBY LEGENDS UNCOVER THEIR ORIGINS WITH MYHERITAGE DNA

As Made-To-Order DNA Gets Cheaper, Keeping It Out Of The Wrong Hands Gets Harder

Researching one’s DNA ancestry is a fascinating project. Studying your own DNA or the DNA of your close relatives can be life-saving. However, MODIFYING the DNA of anyone or anything is a very scary topic! Even though it sounds like science fiction, DNA modifications are already being done and undoubtedly this field of science is going to expand.

Details may be found in an article by Nell Greenfield-Byce in the NPR web site at: https://tinyurl.com/eogn190924a.

Utah Adds More Privacy to Family Information Submitted to Online Genealogy and DNA Web Sites

Utah is now a safe haven for digital privacy and a model for the rest of the country to emulate. In March, Utah Governor Gary Herbert signed into law a first of its kind privacy bill, HB 57, which prevents law enforcement officials from obtaining user data from third-party providers such as genealogy sites, Google, or Facebook just by asking.

The new law says anyone who sends personal electronic information through a remote computing service — like the “cloud” — has a reasonable expectation of privacy. In order to access that data, the government must obtain a warrant.

DNAtix Launches Free Anonymous Genetic Vault

The following is a press release written by Digital DNAtix Ltd.:

Digital DNAtix Ltd., the Israeli cyber genetics startup, has announced the first free anonymous genetic vault service. DNAtix developed the Cyber Genetics Smart Platform for Digital Genetics. Lack of privacy is currently a barrier for so many people who want to have their DNA tested but are afraid to give their genetic data away. As of today anyone can anonymously upload their raw file from 23&Me and Ancestry.com onto the DNAtix platform.

Tel Aviv, Israel, September 17, 2019Digital DNAtix Ltd., the Israeli cyber genetics startup, has announced the first free anonymous genetic vault service.

Lack of privacy is currently a barrier for so many people who want to have their DNA tested but are afraid to give their genetic data away. As of today anyone can anonymously upload their raw file from 23&Me and Ancestry.com onto the DNAtix platform and receive the following benefits:

Africa’s Largest Ancestry DNA Unveiling Takes Place in Ghana as 250 Americans Retrace 400-Year Slave Route

From the GhanaWeb site:

“Some 250 African-Americans gathered at the Cape Coast Castle, Ghana, to mark the 400th anniversary of the arrival of the first ship of enslaved Africans to English North America in 1619.

“While this was ongoing, tens and thousands of African-Americans had assembled at the Chesapeake Bay in Hampton, Virginia, to also commemorate the same activity.

“At an emotional ceremony at the Cape Coast Castle, one of about forty slave castles built in the Gold Coast (Ghana), over 70 families discovered their ancestry during the African Ancestry DNA reveal which is arguably the largest ever in the continent.

Illinois Governor Signs Initiative to Protect Personal DNA Data

Illinois residents’ genetic testing results will now be protected under a new state law passed by state Senator Rachelle Crowe (D-Glen Carbon) and signed by Gov. J.B. Pritzker on Friday.

“As technology advances, we have to update our laws to reflect ways it can be improperly used, and the personal data of private citizens is being used inappropriately every day,” Crowe said. “Keeping genetic information confidential is crucial to protecting a person’s right to privacy.”

The Genetic Genealogist Answers 9 Common Questions about DNA Testing

If you are unsure about all the facts surrounding DNA testing to prove the origins of your family tree, you need to read Sunny Morton’s interview of DNA expert Diahan Southard published in the LDS Living web site at: http://bit.ly/2Z8k0Uk.

It will be time well spent.

One comment: Read carefully section #2: How accurate are those ethnicity results?

“Ethnicity results are the most popular feature of DNA testing. However, they’re also the weakest part of the test, scientifically speaking. The good news is that ethnicity results are gradually getting more accurate and more specific. These changes sometimes cause confusion, though.”

MyHeritage Expands to Health; Launches New DNA Test Offering Powerful and Personalized Health Insights for Consumers

MyHeritage today announced the MyHeritage DNA Health + Ancestry test, a major expansion of its DNA product line. The following is the announcement:

The new MyHeritage DNA Health + Ancestry test provides comprehensive health reports for conditions affected by genetics including heart disease, breast cancer, type 2 diabetes, and Alzheimer’s disease

Tel Aviv, Israel & Lehi, Utah — MyHeritage, the leading global service for family history and DNA testing, announced today a major expansion of its DNA product line with the launch of the MyHeritage DNA Health + Ancestry test. The test provides a new dimension of genetic insight with comprehensive health reports that can empower future health and lifestyle choices. It is a superset of the current MyHeritage DNA Ancestry-Only test, and includes its pillar features: a percentage breakdown of ethnic origins and matching to relatives through shared DNA. MyHeritage is now the only global consumer DNA company to offer an extensive health and ancestry product in over 40 languages.

The launch of the Health + Ancestry product distinguishes MyHeritage as the only major service that bridges consumers’ past, present, and future: MyHeritage’s integrated suite of products enable users to discover their family history and ethnic origins, find new relatives, and receive valuable insights to help manage choices regarding their health that may impact their future well-being.

23andMe Moves into Researching in Medical Data, not just DNA

According to an article by Christina Farr that has been published in the CNBC web site:

DNA-testing start-up 23andMe is experimenting with a new way to collect a lot more health data from millions of its users than just their DNA.

The company is now asking a subset of customers if they’d be willing to incorporate their lab results, prescription information and medical history, after they’ve received the results from the genetic test. 23andMe, which has sold about 10 million at-home DNA testing kits, will be able to access that data if users let the company connect outside medical providers using a third-party medical data network called Human API.

16 Gigabytes of Wikipedia Saved onto DNA Strands to Demonstrate New Storage Tech

From an article by Stephen Shankland in the C|Net web site:

“Computer storage technology has moved from wires with magnets to hard disks to 3D stacks of memory chips. But the next storage technology might use an approach as old as life on earth: DNA. Startup Catalog announced Friday it’s crammed all of the text of Wikipedia’s English-language version onto the same genetic molecules our own bodies use.

“It accomplished the feat with its first DNA writer, a machine that would fit easily in your house if you first got rid of your refrigerator, oven and some counter space. And although it’s not likely to push aside your phone’s flash memory chips anytime soon, the company believes it’s useful already to some customers who need to archive data.”

Beware of the Websites Selling Fake DNA Kits

An “epidemic” of counterfeit products being sold online is duping millions, according to the Better Business Bureau.

One woman thought she was buying a real AncestryDNA kit online, a gift for her parents and her 100-year-old grandmother in Puerto Rico. She found the DNA-testing kits on a website called ZoooDeals.com. After she paid $200 on her debit card, her relatives actually received authentic-looking kits. They followed instructions, filling vials with saliva and mailing them. But when she called the company to check on results, Ancestry told her the vial numbers were already used to test someone else’s DNA.

MyHeritage DNA Kits Now on Sale in Costco in the UK and in Iceland

MyHeritage’s simple to use, at-home DNA tests to uncover ethnic origins and discover new relatives — are now on sale in 30 different Costco stores across the UK and Iceland. The kits are being offered in special new packaging designed specifically for Costco stores.You can read more in the MyHeritage Blog at: http://bit.ly/2ZCIaqd.

How 23andMe Will Mine its Giant DNA Database for Health and Wealth

Since the launch of DNA testing service 23andMe, around 10 million people have spit a half-teaspoon of saliva into a 23andMe plastic tube and mailed it in to get their ancestry or health-risk results. Nearly 5 million customers did so last year alone, generating an estimated $475 million in revenue for the company, which has yet to turn a profit. It’s also made CEO Anne Wojcicki (No. 33 on this year’s list of Richest Self-Made Women) worth an estimated $690 million, almost entirely from her roughly 30% stake in 23andMe, which is valued at $2.5 billion by investors.

While it might make interesting cocktail conversation to reveal that you are 5% Scandinavian and have a genetic disposition to sneeze in the sun, 23andMe’s ambitions are much grander.

National Geographic Society’s Genographic DNA Project to Shut Down

The National Geographic Society’s Genographic Project is shutting down. The project’s web site at https://genographic.nationalgeographic.com/ states:

Genographic Project Update

The Genographic Project was launched in 2005 as a research project in collaboration with scientists and universities around the world with a goal of revealing patterns of human migration. Since then, nearly 1 million people have participated in The Genographic Project through National Geographic’s “Geno” DNA Ancestry kits. The public participation phase of this research project is ending and, as a result, effective May 31, 2019, Geno 2.0 DNA Ancestry kits are no longer available for purchase. If you have already purchased a kit, you may still send it in for processing in accordance with the Terms and Conditions of sale.

Struggling Care Worker Becomes Lord of $60 Million English Estate After DNA Test Proves He’s an Heir

Did you ever wish to inherit a fortune from a rich uncle who had recently passed away? That happened to Jordan Adlard-Rogers. He received a roughly $60 million inheritance from an uncle that previously Adlard-Rogers was not certain was his relative.

Adlard-Rogers — who reportedly grew up in a council house and suffered long periods of financial hardship — has now quit his job and moved into the estate. The 1,536-acre Penrose Estate is said to be where King Arthur was mortally wounded and died.

You can read a lot more in an article by Phil Boucher in the People web site at: http://bit.ly/2JEZyq3.