Friday, May 26, 2017

Testing, Testing: My DNA Results from National Geographic's Geneographic Project

There weren't any surprises when I looked at the results from my Geno 2.0 Next Generation test: 99% European divided into 40% Northwestern Europe, 32% Southwestern Europe and 26% Eastern Europe. Their regions are larger and less well defined than those in my other tests but overall the results track with what I already knew based on my known pedigree and had confirmed by AncestryDNA and 23andMe. (Oh, and I'm 1.5% Neanderthal according to this test, less than predicted by 23andMe but still higher than the average of this test's 834,322 participants.*)

Through what they're calling "Genius Matches" I'm informed that I share direct maternal ancestors with the Italian renaissance poet Petrarch (perhaps as recently as 25,000 years ago) and Abraham Lincoln (maybe as far as 65,000 years back). What value does this information have to me? If it's intended to make me feel a closer connection to these two historic figures, it's not working.**

[Portrait of Francesco Petrarca from Wikimedia Commons]

Because I participated in Nat Geo's earlier mitochondrial DNA test I already knew that my maternal haplogroup is J1C2. Those of you who have still to find out their own*** may find the section explaining the development of the various haplogroups useful.

The major problem I have with this test is illustrated in this quote from the Project's FAQ in response to a query about the availability of the raw data:
For Geno 2.0 Next Gen Participants (but not Geno 2.0 Next Gen Helix co-branded kits) the raw analytical output from your DNA sample is available for purchase through our partner, Family Tree DNA. Go to My Profile, select the My Results tab and scroll down till you see Transfer my Results on the right hand side. 
For Geno 2.0 Next Gen Helix co-branded kit Participants, we are currently exploring options to be able to make this available to you.
As someone who used the Helix-branded kit not only can't I see my raw data now, it's clear from the first sentence above that if/when it will be available, I would have to pay extra for it.

In retrospect I'm not sure what I was expecting from this DNA test when I sent my little tube across town (literally, as Helix is a San Diego based company) but I'm underwhelmed by the results and looking around on the internet I see that I'm not alone.

*According to the website that's the number to date.
**I'm not sure whether I'm more irked than amused by these matches.
***To discover your haplogroup might be the only reason I would recommend this product to anyone.

© 2017 Copyright, Christine Manczuk, All Rights Reserved.

1 comment:

  1. I would expect more from NG. I guess with the rising popularity of genealogy all of these companies see $$$$ coming their way. Unfortunate.