Genealogy for fun and profit

The blogs are buzzing over new home tests to access your gene profile.
Biology in a Digital World and the Women’s Bioethics Blog are talking about the $999 test.

However, the genealogy lists are doing testing for family lines (the tests are sold by the website) instead of the old way of talking and searching church records. See the groups of families who are following the heredity of the men by surname and markers on their Y chromosomes (passed only from men to their sons, since girls don’t have a Y chromosome) and both men and women by their mitochondrial DNA (passed from mother to all her children in the oocyte cytoplasm) at Ancestry.com DNA, where you can buy your own test and join your free family group list serve or message board at RootsWeb.

I do wonder about the consequences of some of the tests, that are bound to reveal that some one fell off the family tree.

And I worry more about all the false positives for genetic abnormalities that will show up. The last I heard (in a conference, so no link), there were lots of “abnormalities” that we find on our tests – but we don’t know the significance of most of them. In other words there are variations in genes that we have not tied to diseases.

But I did see one great post, a man who said that he would never test his children – they are his children, no matter what the DNA. I wish I could find it again, because the man’s my hero.

About bnuckols

Conservative Christian Family Doctor, promoting conservative news and views. (Hot Air under the right wing!)


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