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September 3, 2002

Gauging your Octoroonity

Just read this on my Lithuanian genealogy list: DNAPrint has announced that they will be providing a service in which they'll analyze a sample of your DNA, compare certain markers against a database of ethnic groups around the world, and tell you where your ancestors came from. For $20, you can buy their kit to capture your DNA. No mention of how much the analysis would cost.

"In addition to forensics, Dr. Shriver will help ANCESTRY penetrate a recreational consumer genomics market. For example, the test could be attractive for adoptees who desire to learn about their heritage, or for genealogists who desire to learn more about ambiguous regions of their family tree. By allowing for the inference of precise ancestral mixture, ANCESTRY could help dispel the entire notion of "race" as we know it today and force governing bodies to re-think policies based on the classification of individuals into rigidly defined racial groups."

So, I wonder how fine-tuned the results would be. As far as I know, I'm 50% Irish and 50% Lithuanian. But there's talk on the Irish side of way-back links to Denmark and Cornwall. And as for Lithuania, with centuries of Poles and Germans and Russians trooping through, there are bound to extra deposits in the gene pool. Do I get a report that breaks it down into percentages of 5 or 6 subflavors of that chewy Bernie Dodge goodness?

"Recreational consumer genomics". Remember, you probably heard it here first.