23 and me vs. ancestry- thoughts?

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bowtie
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23 and me vs. ancestry- thoughts?

Post by bowtie » Fri May 31, 2019 1:10 pm

I know that there are threads on this and was just perusing one from a year ago here.
I do have some reservations about using one's personal info/DNA 'out there' to 'belong' to a company etc., but am starting to consider it nevertheless out of curiosity as I have privacy minded friends who I was surprised had done it willingly and happily .....
But I do not know what the advantage is of 23 over ancestry. I noticed a discount on the 23's health plus ancestry data going on right now, so it's a 'carrot'. :happy

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Re: 23 and me vs. ancestry- thoughts?

Post by Jack FFR1846 » Fri May 31, 2019 1:16 pm

I don't know how someone identifies themself to 23 when sending a tube of spit. I would at a minimum send in a made up identity with zero accurate information. If in some future time, Hoss Cartright of PO box 12, Anonymous, USA is nabbed through DNA database searching....I guess tough luck for him.
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Re: 23 and me vs. ancestry- thoughts?

Post by runner3081 » Fri May 31, 2019 1:38 pm

The fact that they charge for this service to collect data that will net them a ton of money some day is, well, insane.

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Re: 23 and me vs. ancestry- thoughts?

Post by Whakamole » Fri May 31, 2019 1:44 pm

Why do you want to do this?

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Re: 23 and me vs. ancestry- thoughts?

Post by livesoft » Fri May 31, 2019 1:46 pm

The best use of these things is to find out that one's parent is not your biological parent.
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Re: 23 and me vs. ancestry- thoughts?

Post by TheOscarGuy » Fri May 31, 2019 1:52 pm

runner3081 wrote:
Fri May 31, 2019 1:38 pm
The fact that they charge for this service to collect data that will net them a ton of money some day is, well, insane.
:D
I agree.
I do not see the point in paying them for the privilege of using my data for whatever they wish -- sell to third party, monetize it..

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Re: 23 and me vs. ancestry- thoughts?

Post by samsoes » Fri May 31, 2019 1:57 pm

When one of these ancestry places goes out of business, and they're bought-out by an insurance company (or other data mining entity) just for the DNA data is when the fun begins.

Don't do it.
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bowtie
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Re: 23 and me vs. ancestry- thoughts?

Post by bowtie » Fri May 31, 2019 2:05 pm

I had (I thought) posted a response but maybe it got lost.
Basically it's that 3 friends have done it and were recommending it, but .... I had always been fairly uninterested and cautious but was thinking of giving it one more look after their recommendations, but ..... really the health stuff might just create unwanted data and I don't really care all that much about the ancestors etc.

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Re: 23 and me vs. ancestry- thoughts?

Post by welsie » Fri May 31, 2019 2:10 pm

bowtie wrote:
Fri May 31, 2019 1:10 pm
I know that there are threads on this and was just perusing one from a year ago here.
I do have some reservations about using one's personal info/DNA 'out there' to 'belong' to a company etc., but am starting to consider it nevertheless out of curiosity as I have privacy minded friends who I was surprised had done it willingly and happily .....
But I do not know what the advantage is of 23 over ancestry. I noticed a discount on the 23's health plus ancestry data going on right now, so it's a 'carrot'. :happy
Putting aside all the tin foil hats...

I have found 23 and me to have superior ancestry results (more specific) than ancestry.com. The health stuff can be somewhat interesting, but I found it of limited value. However, part of the limited value is the fact that I didn't have any increased risks, if I had that information I might have found it more valuable. On the plus side as they add new tests, your profile is updated, so you pay once but get on going benefits (the same is true to the ancestry stuff).

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Re: 23 and me vs. ancestry- thoughts?

Post by welsie » Fri May 31, 2019 2:15 pm

Also keep in mind that their health tests are not complete. They tell you this, but it is not a substitute for genetic testing for family planning purposes, or your general health. For example, 23 and me the Tay-Sachs detection doesn't pick up on the French Canadian variant. When we did genetic testing prior to having a baby, well it turns out I am a carrier for that. French Canadian isn't an ancestry group (too recent) they show you in your ancestry profile, so the only reason I know I have that background is from my own genealogy work. The long and the short being, take the health results with a grain of salt and don't view it as a substitute for more thorough genetic testing for your health. My wife is not a carrier for Tay-Sachs, but Tay-Sachs is pretty serious and had we been relying on 23 and me...just exercise caution.

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Re: 23 and me vs. ancestry- thoughts?

Post by Watty » Fri May 31, 2019 3:31 pm

I took a genealogy class a while back with the local genealogical society and as far as the genological part(not medical) my recolection what they said was;

1) It can be useful in trying to figure out things like which of three John Smiths in Memphis in 1880 was your ancestor.

2) As far as your regional ancestry they are pretty good at telling you which continent your ancestors were from, but most people pretty well know that. As far as identifying what country that was a lot less reliable and the companies oversell their ability to do that. The fundamental problem is that in the past people moved around a lot more than most people realize.

3) You are opening a Pandora's box so you need to be prepared for what you might find. Some things will also leave you without an answer since you may never know if the reason for an unexpected partentage was because of an affair, rape, sperm donation, adoption, or babies who were swapped at birth. Apparently sperm donation has been more common than you might think and often children are not told about the sperm donation.

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Re: 23 and me vs. ancestry- thoughts?

Post by camden » Fri May 31, 2019 3:53 pm

I do not wear a tin foil hat. I would never voluntarily surrender my DNA profile to a commercial entity; the possibility that it could be used in the future for purposes I never intended which might prove injurious to me in some way are too great.

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Re: 23 and me vs. ancestry- thoughts?

Post by PVW » Fri May 31, 2019 4:02 pm

runner3081 wrote:
Fri May 31, 2019 1:38 pm
The fact that they charge for this service to collect data that will net them a ton of money some day is, well, insane.
Some day was last year. https://www.wired.com/story/23andme-gla ... arma-deal/

Another concern - according to this article, healthcare companies are required to offer counseling when they diagnose some conditions, so the DNA companies just don't tell you. That's unethical.
https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/articl ... -deal.html

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Re: 23 and me vs. ancestry- thoughts?

Post by welsie » Fri May 31, 2019 4:10 pm

camden wrote:
Fri May 31, 2019 3:53 pm
I do not wear a tin foil hat. I would never voluntarily surrender my DNA profile to a commercial entity; the possibility that it could be used in the future for purposes I never intended which might prove injurious to me in some way are too great.
Ok, I will bite, how could it prove injurious?

There is already Federal law pre-empting the primary concern people had on this matter :https://ghr.nlm.nih.gov/primer/dtcgenet ... urancerisk

What 23 and me might be able to do to commercialize my DNA is unknown, but from what I glean a lot of it involves improving medical research, which I am an indirect beneficiary of. This is why they do tons of voluntary surveys, so they can do meta analysis of respondents DNA to further additional research.

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Re: 23 and me vs. ancestry- thoughts?

Post by gtd98765 » Fri May 31, 2019 4:13 pm

Here's a recent wirecutter review: https://thewirecutter.com/reviews/best-dna-test/

It also discusses privacy risks.

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Re: 23 and me vs. ancestry- thoughts?

Post by zxllxz » Fri May 31, 2019 5:06 pm


InMyDreams
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Re: 23 and me vs. ancestry- thoughts?

Post by InMyDreams » Fri May 31, 2019 5:22 pm

bowtie wrote:
Fri May 31, 2019 2:05 pm
I had (I thought) posted a response but maybe it got lost.
..... really the health stuff might just create unwanted data and I don't really care all that much about the ancestors etc.
So, one reason to test is to explore genetic "health risks" - but you said it's just unwanted data.
Another reason - to find genetic cousins and search for common ancestors - but you don't care much about the ancestors
Another reason - to look at "ethnicity" - presumably, that's the "etc"

Don't do it. You're really not interested, it's an unnecessary risk. Yes, if your parents are living and you want to find genetic cousins or understand more of your "ethnicity", test them.

When NPR did a report years ago, they pointed out that most of the info you get back in the health reports are not going to be treated except with "lifestyle" choices - which we should all be doing anyway. Save your $$ and just tweak your lifestyle :)

And yes, I do know people who have had the heartache of finding out their parents were not their genetic parents, or finding half sibs or nieces/nephews previously unknown. Also, the joy of finding genetic parents. Genetic testing at a genealogy site is not for the faint of heart.

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bowtie
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Re: 23 and me vs. ancestry- thoughts?

Post by bowtie » Fri May 31, 2019 9:12 pm

Thanks for all your responses.

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Re: 23 and me vs. ancestry- thoughts?

Post by Steelersfan » Fri May 31, 2019 9:14 pm

If you're doing it for ethnicity reasons (where did my ancestors come from?), 23 and Me generally gets the best marks.

But buyer beware - there are lots of examples where the results are +/- 20% wrong, i.e. they say 30% and it's really 10% or 50%.

Personally I'm not too concerned about privacy issues, but that's just me. I don't do them because I don't think they're all that useful. Better to do it the old fashioned way - genealogy research based on records.

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Re: 23 and me vs. ancestry- thoughts?

Post by regularguy455 » Fri May 31, 2019 9:31 pm

To everyone concerned about privacy, take a deep breath. Your data is still protected by HIPAA. When it is sold, it is de-identified so it cannot be legally merged back to you. In most cases it is used for epidemiology or data mining a disease population. These databases are also sold to Pharma as a way to offer the hope we will one day find people who have genetic resistance to diseases or who have a bad mutation (I.e. cystic fibrosis) but do not express the symptoms. Most of the companies will not voluntarily turn over your data to the police without a warrant.

Your bigger concern should be about applications like GEDmatch. They compiled a comprehensive, open source database that can be used to narrow down anyone’s DNA profile to a short list of possible relatives. This is how the Golden State killer was caught. The main problem is all of this occurs without a warrant and there is nothing to prevent it from occurring with any crime (or non-crime) that has DNA.

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Re: 23 and me vs. ancestry- thoughts?

Post by montanagirl » Fri May 31, 2019 9:37 pm

23andme gives you a lot more info like haplogroup and even a raw dna data file. I found it all fascinating, esp in light of recent books by David Reich, Cochran and Harpending, etc.

Ancestry seems kinda Mickey mouse in comparison. I wouldn't waste time with that one.

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Re: 23 and me vs. ancestry- thoughts?

Post by AlphaLess » Fri May 31, 2019 9:51 pm

Neither.

There are limited number of DNA processors.

Nearly all of them will automatically give your DNA to law enforcement.
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Re: 23 and me vs. ancestry- thoughts?

Post by InMyDreams » Fri May 31, 2019 11:05 pm

regularguy455 wrote:
Fri May 31, 2019 9:31 pm
Your data is still protected by HIPAA.
Not sure that HIPAA applies, except, maybe, with 23andme? These are not healthcare providers. GINA would apply, but it doesn't protect against all situations - for instance, life insurance.

Gedmatch now allows for members to take kits out of matching with law enforcement kits.

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Re: 23 and me vs. ancestry- thoughts?

Post by kramer » Sat Jun 01, 2019 12:16 am

Only a couple of people in my extended family have done genetic testing, of which I am aware, one on each side. There was a serendipitous outcome. It turns out that my Grandmother's Aunt and her husband-to-be had a child very young that they gave up for adoption -- it wasn't a total secret, a few family members knew about this. The daughter of this child had desperately been trying to get in touch with our branch of the family for years, doing some extensive research. The test of my family member was the spark that led to the final discovery. It's been a very happy family reunion all around. My family member got the 23 and me test on a total whim, she had no plans or concept of being the bridge to unknown family members.

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Re: 23 and me vs. ancestry- thoughts?

Post by nisiprius » Sat Jun 01, 2019 4:45 am

samsoes wrote:
Fri May 31, 2019 1:57 pm
When one of these ancestry places goes out of business, and they're bought-out by an insurance company (or other data mining entity) just for the DNA data is when the fun begins.

Don't do it.
This. I don't know if Samsoes has the eToys story in mind but it bears repeating. eToys was an early retailing dot-com--before Amazon started to sell everything, the pattern was companies that sold one kind of thing. Amazon sold books, period. eToys sold toys, period. And it was by far the leading toy sales site, and generally a familiar name. And they had a really admirable privacy policy. It was a single sentence, and it was somethng like "etoys never shares any of your information with any third parties." And they made a point of that policy, with a "TRUSTe" verification "seal" on their home page indicating that TRUSTe had audited and verified that they followed their stated policy.

And when they went bankrupt, that all went out the window. The personal information they had on their customers became one of the company's valuable assets, which their creditors wanted liquidated and sold the highest bidder. Apparently eToys' privacy policy was not at all binding on anybody buying that data.

So, the privacy risks are real.

And for the life of me I don't see the benefit.
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Re: 23 and me vs. ancestry- thoughts?

Post by fru-gal » Sat Jun 01, 2019 7:34 am

Steelersfan wrote:
Fri May 31, 2019 9:14 pm
If you're doing it for ethnicity reasons (where did my ancestors come from?), 23 and Me generally gets the best marks.

But buyer beware - there are lots of examples where the results are +/- 20% wrong, i.e. they say 30% and it's really 10% or 50%.

Personally I'm not too concerned about privacy issues, but that's just me. I don't do them because I don't think they're all that useful. Better to do it the old fashioned way - genealogy research based on records.
I've heard that MyHeritage is much better then Ancestry in terms of ethnicity results. I tend to believe that. Originally both reflected what I know about my ethnicity, mostly Scandinavian and German. Then Ancestry redid its stuff a month or two ago and decided I was mostly British. Now I know the Vikings were scattering their genes around in that area, but the Ancestry recent results are just a Fail as far as I'm concerned.

"Genealogy research based on records" does not, of course, find the cuckoos in the nest.

I've found some second cousins through DNA that I had not found through records. Once it gets to 3rd or other cousins found through DNA, in my experience it is impossible to determine how one is actually related.

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Re: 23 and me vs. ancestry- thoughts?

Post by GMCZ71 » Sat Jun 01, 2019 8:16 am

If you wish to see inside the lab and a walk thru --
https://youtu.be/U3EEmVfbKNs

(Behind the scenes at the 23andMe Lab) - Smarter Every Day
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Re: 23 and me vs. ancestry- thoughts?

Post by Dottie57 » Sat Jun 01, 2019 8:33 am

23 and me is the most interesting. It appears my father’s family definitely got around.

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Re: 23 and me vs. ancestry- thoughts?

Post by lthenderson » Sat Jun 01, 2019 10:01 am

montanagirl wrote:
Fri May 31, 2019 9:37 pm
23andme gives you a lot more info like haplogroup and even a raw dna data file.

Ancestry seems kinda Mickey mouse in comparison. I wouldn't waste time with that one.
Ancestry does both those things as well.

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Re: 23 and me vs. ancestry- thoughts?

Post by VictoriaF » Sat Jun 01, 2019 10:06 am

I was ignoring these sites. UNTIL:

Recently I''ve learned that the data generated by 23andMe can be used in other sites that provide detailed genetic information that can be used for genetic-based personalized treatments such as nutrigenomics and pharmacogenomics. And so I did the 23andMe test and then ran the raw data through Promethease, https://promethease.com/ ($12), and Rhonda Patrick's tool, https://www.foundmyfitness.com/genetics ($10).

The results are highly illuminating. While I am happy not to have the scariest genes for Alzheimer's or breast cancer, there are many other things that I can tweak for better health and longevity. In essence, these tools enabled me to engage in self-guided personalized medicine.

Victoria
Last edited by VictoriaF on Sat Jun 01, 2019 10:29 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: 23 and me vs. ancestry- thoughts?

Post by dm200 » Sat Jun 01, 2019 10:29 am

I enrolled in 23andme several years ago. I find it interesting and it matches my understanding of my own ancestry. However, I found no known or identifiable relatives - except my niece who enrolled recently. The health and medical information, to me, is just interesting at best. It tells me a lot of things I know already - like the type of earwax I have, or my "likely" eye color.

Later, I enrolled in ancestry.com. My brother is also enrolled. With ancestry.com I (sometimes with the help of my brother) identified known relatives from both sides of the family. The initial country origins from ancestry we quite general and did not seem to be as specific as I understood from my own family understanding. Later, there was quite a revision - and now the countries of origin (even part of one country) very closely match my family understanding.

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Re: 23 and me vs. ancestry- thoughts?

Post by Whakamole » Sat Jun 01, 2019 10:33 am

VictoriaF wrote:
Sat Jun 01, 2019 10:06 am
I was ignoring these sites. UNTIL:

Recently I''ve learned that the data generated by 23andMe can be used in other sites that provide detailed genetic information that can be used for genetic-based personalized treatments such as nutrigenomics and pharmacogenomics. And so I did the 23andMe test and then ran the raw data through Promethease, https://promethease.com/ ($12), and Rhonda Patrick's tool, https://www.foundmyfitness.com/genetics ($10).

The results are highly illuminating. While I am happy not to have the scariest genes for Alzheimer's or breast cancer, there are many other things that I can tweak for better health and longevity. In essence, these tools enabled me to engage in self-guided personalized medicine.

Victoria
I think the interesting question, then, is how to get that data while retaining some level of anonymity. Imagine trying to buy LTCM when you have two ApoE4 markers (which are the "scary genes" for Alzheimer's.) While there are laws about how data is handled, people also break the law.

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Re: 23 and me vs. ancestry- thoughts?

Post by VictoriaF » Sun Jun 02, 2019 7:32 pm

Whakamole wrote:
Sat Jun 01, 2019 10:33 am
VictoriaF wrote:
Sat Jun 01, 2019 10:06 am
I was ignoring these sites. UNTIL:

Recently I''ve learned that the data generated by 23andMe can be used in other sites that provide detailed genetic information that can be used for genetic-based personalized treatments such as nutrigenomics and pharmacogenomics. And so I did the 23andMe test and then ran the raw data through Promethease, https://promethease.com/ ($12), and Rhonda Patrick's tool, https://www.foundmyfitness.com/genetics ($10).

The results are highly illuminating. While I am happy not to have the scariest genes for Alzheimer's or breast cancer, there are many other things that I can tweak for better health and longevity. In essence, these tools enabled me to engage in self-guided personalized medicine.

Victoria
I think the interesting question, then, is how to get that data while retaining some level of anonymity. Imagine trying to buy LTCM when you have two ApoE4 markers (which are the "scary genes" for Alzheimer's.) While there are laws about how data is handled, people also break the law.
You can give these sites a throw-away email address and withhold identifying information. I was more cautious with 23andMe. But after I saw my results, which were quite good, I was less concerned about privacy on the Premethease and Ronda's sites.

Speaking of the Alzheimer's, there is a web site https://www.alzu.org/ at Weill Cornell Medicine & NewYork-Presbyterian, dedicated to the AD prevention. The site has a lot of educational information. I have created an account and took a series of 12 lessons. While I don't have any APOE4s, I still found it informative.

Victoria
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Re: 23 and me vs. ancestry- thoughts?

Post by Elric » Mon Jun 03, 2019 9:39 am

From a few years back, but folks wanting to do anonymous testing should find this useful: https://venturebeat.com/2013/09/20/how- ... c-privacy/

Note that the article says some insurance companies and others require you to disclose known genetic information. I guess sometimes ignorance may not be bliss, but could save you a bundle.
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Re: 23 and me vs. ancestry- thoughts?

Post by FI4LIFE » Mon Jun 03, 2019 10:04 am

livesoft wrote:
Fri May 31, 2019 1:46 pm
The best use of these things is to find out that one's parent is not your biological parent.
Or to find out that you are not Irish and have mistakenly gotten a shamrock tattooed on your arm.

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Re: 23 and me vs. ancestry- thoughts?

Post by dm200 » Mon Jun 03, 2019 10:11 am

FI4LIFE wrote:
Mon Jun 03, 2019 10:04 am
livesoft wrote:
Fri May 31, 2019 1:46 pm
The best use of these things is to find out that one's parent is not your biological parent.
Or to find out that you are not Irish and have mistakenly gotten a shamrock tattooed on your arm.
Yes :)

On Youtube (and probably some other sites) - there are a lot of DNA "surprises" - some good and some bad.

My brother told me of a "surprise" that friends of his encountered. This married couple have several children. However, before they were married - they had a child - and, because they were unmarried, gave the child up for adoption. When the parents did one of these DNA tests, their biological child had done so as well - and they made contact with him/her. Turned out just fine. Not always the case, though.

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Re: 23 and me vs. ancestry- thoughts?

Post by yeahman » Mon Jun 03, 2019 4:35 pm

I've done both. 23andme provides superior ancestry info. I didn't bother to buy the health results. Instead, I uploaded both raw data files to promethease.com to get health results. FYI, there's always a Black Friday sale for 23andme and Ancestry.

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Re: 23 and me vs. ancestry- thoughts?

Post by SchruteB&B » Mon Jun 03, 2019 5:03 pm

regularguy455 wrote:
Fri May 31, 2019 9:31 pm

Your bigger concern should be about applications like GEDmatch. They compiled a comprehensive, open source database that can be used to narrow down anyone’s DNA profile to a short list of possible relatives. This is how the Golden State killer was caught. The main problem is all of this occurs without a warrant and there is nothing to prevent it from occurring with any crime (or non-crime) that has DNA.
Yep. There have been several cold cases solved recently using genealogical research and NONE of the suspects had donated; it was their Great Aunt Mildred or whatnot. An expert believes 60% of European descendants are in some way identifiable from current databases and that it will get to. 100% in a matter of a few years.
https://www.npr.org/sections/health-sho ... y-concerns

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Re: 23 and me vs. ancestry- thoughts?

Post by fingerboard » Mon Jun 03, 2019 9:54 pm

I've used both services, and each has its advantages.
I did the DNA test with Ancestry at my wife's urging since she felt I should find out who my bio-dad is, and where he came from.
I didn't know my Dad was not my bio-dad until I was about 27. My aunt accidentally told me - as she thought I knew; I didn't. My Dad knew I was not his, but he didn't want my Mom to tell me - so it was a big secret growing up.
After I found out, I asked my Mom, and she said she wanted to tell me, but was afraid to.
She said she didn't actually know my Dad that well, as he was an American soldier when she met him.
She was a young German girl, and had lived in about 7 foster homes growing up during the war.

Her father was opposed to the Nazi's early on, and after Hitler was elected Chancellor, the Brown Shirts rounded up the enemies, and 're-educated' them. They apprehended my Grandfather in 1933, and took him to Dachau - my grandmother didn't know where they had taken him - or if he would be coming back. Fortunately, someone from the neighborhood (a frenemy) asked to have him to work under the Major, who ridiculed him until he was able to convince the powers that be, that my Grandfather was no big threat. So after about 9 months, they let him go back home. However, since he was not in the Nazi party, he was blacklisted, and couldn't get a decent job - other than as a night watchman or street sweeper.

The German government wanted to promote work based education, so the kids were sent to farms, or various businesses to learn a trade.
Thus, my mother and her sisters were sent to different locations away from home. My Mom said some places were good, and others were not; generally, she said she had a terrible childhood and she didn't like remembering it.

My Mom told me my bio-dad's name was 'Mac'; so I thought he might be Irish or Scottish American. (my Aunt said my Mom was a wild child, and she was probably dreaming).

Since my wife had done her genealogy - the old fashion way, she discovered the easier way of using the on-line DNA testing; so I sent in my sample.

Surprisingly, I had very little Irish or Scottish. Even more surprising was that I had a lot of Italian. Since my Mom was from southern Germany - and the City was established by the Romans in 15 BC (lots of Roman Statues throughout the City), I thought it was because of that Roman influence.

Next, my wife suggested trying 23&Me as they could trace the male haplo group (and it went waayyy back).
After about a year, both Ancestry, and 23&Me both updated everyone's DNA match - and I found I had a lot of Italian like 47% to 52%.

My Mom was in a Nursing Home for the last 6 months of her life, but she said she would help me find my bio-dad. So I collected a DNA sample from her, and sent it into Ancestry. Surprisingly, she had NO Italian; she was mostly northern European with a little Scandinavian thrown in. Also a surprise, some of her early ancestors emigrated to the US in the 1800's - which gives me more to look at.

I've never been too worried about sharing my DNA info as I'm more of a science geek having gotten my MA in Science. Besides there are lots of controls within each of these services to restrict what you share with anyone, and they also let you delete your info too if you want.
I've been fortunate to find a number of DNA matches (each service has different people subscribe - so you may not see the same names).
Although I still haven't found my Bio-Dad, I've had very good luck with matches - and their friends trying to help me find my ancestry.
So, I'd encourage everyone to try it out; it's amazing to find out where you came from, and brings into focus of the struggles of your ancestors to get you where you are now.

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