Dancing Genes

I was prowling through the 23andMe site while I’m waiting for results, and noticed that the results will include a whole bunch of information in an area that isn’t my top priority, but which is interesting nonetheless.

23andMe: Ancestry: https://www.23andme.com/ancestry/

Dancing Matt takes a Journey with 23andMe

A friend of mine has gotten this test. Her whole family did, which turns out to really help a lot in deciphering results and figuring out what’s what. They’ve been kind of perplexed because they also hit the wall of “well, genomics just doesn’t know that much yet.” Their family was told they have genetics from a certain tribe of Indians in South America, when they know from their family history that they belong to a different tribe in a nearby area. When asked, the genetic scan company told them, “Well, we don’t have any genetic data from that tribe, and this is as close as we can get.” My friend’s family was offended that the report explicitly mentioned one tribe in particular without substantial supporting evidence. They wanted the gray areas to be overtly noted as gray areas. In some ways, it seems like the genetic reports, by pretending to be more clear than they really can be, are building up a reputation for hype. Hmmm.

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