Razib Khan

Peculiarities in 23andMe’s ancestry assignments

Everyone knows that I think 23andme provides a great service. But I’ve had some criticisms in the past. Several years ago I thought it was rather strange of them to limit their chromosome painting feature to only a few ancestral components when it produced strange confusing results (e.g., many East Africans being mostly European in […]

The total information world

Happy Thanksgiving (if you are an American)! It’s been a busy few days in the world of personal genomics. By coincidence I have a coauthored comment in Genome Biology out, Rumors of the death of consumer genomics are greatly exaggerated (it was written and submitted a while back). If you haven’t, please read the FDA’s […]

The post The total information world appeared first on Gene Expression.

The FDA and 23andMe

First, download your 23andMe raw results now if you have them. If you don’t know what’s going on, the FDA has finally started to move aggressively against the firm. Unfortunately this is not surprising, as this was foreshadowed years ago. And, 23andMe has been moving aggressively to emphasize its medical, as opposed to genealogical, services […]

The post The FDA and 23andMe appeared first on Gene Expression.

The FDA and 23andMe

First, download your 23andMe raw results now if you have them. If you don’t know what’s going on, the FDA has finally started to move aggressively against the firm. Unfortunately this is not surprising, as this was foreshadowed years ago. And, 23andMe has been moving aggressively to emphasize its medical, as opposed to genealogical, services […]

The post The FDA and 23andMe appeared first on Gene Expression.

The future always advances

The last week has seen a lot of chatter about the slapping down of the diagnostic patent by Sequenom, Judge Invalidates Patent for a Down Syndrome Test: A federal judge has invalidated the central patent underlying a noninvasive method of detecting Down syndrome in fetuses without the risk of inducing a miscarriage. The ruling is […]

The post The future always advances appeared first on Gene Expression.

Anagram edition: “Ice Genus”

I was in the audience when Anne Morris, co-founder of GenePeeks, gave a presentation to outline the services that they are aiming to provide at the Consumer Genetics Conference. Honestly my biggest reaction was, “Oh, this is 2013 I suppose. And boy, Lee Silver has a long of energy” (he kept bouncing around the back [...]

The post Anagram edition: “Ice Genus” appeared first on Gene Expression.

Anagram edition: “Ice Genus”

I was in the audience when Anne Morris, co-founder of GenePeeks, gave a presentation to outline the services that they are aiming to provide at the Consumer Genetics Conference. Honestly my biggest reaction was, “Oh, this is 2013, I suppose. And boy, Lee Silver has a lot of energy” (he kept bouncing around the back […]

The post Anagram edition: “Ice Genus” appeared first on Gene Expression.

The era of genetic transparency is almost here

Matter has a very long feature by my friend Virginia Hughes, Uprooted, on how personal genomics is changing, and sometimes disrupting, family relationships. I sat in on one session at the Consumer Genetics Conference last week, and an audience member expressed worry about how genetic results might cause family disruption. This individual was actually a […]

The post The era of genetic transparency is almost here appeared first on Gene Expression.

Ancestry testing as a Rorschach test

The website The Root often has a Q & A with various African Americans, famous and not so famous, about their genealogy in relation to personal genomics. In most cases these tests tell you what you already know, but for African Americans there is often actually value-add in terms of greater specificity and precision, which [...]

The post Ancestry testing as a Rorschach test appeared first on Gene Expression.

Prince William may have little to no Indian ancestry

The British media is blowing up today about Prince William’s Indian ancestry. Here’s a representative headline: Hunt is on in Gujarat for a distant cousin who shares Prince William’s Indian blood. The science here is straightforward. Apparently some British researchers found third cousins of Lady Diana Spencer. These individuals, like Diana, are descended from a [...]

Please ignore mtDNA and Y chromosomal haplogroups

This is a public service announcement. If you are a user of direct-to-consumer personal genomics services, please do not pay any attention to your mtDNA and Y chromosomal haplogroups. Why? Because they hardly tell you anything about your individual ancestry. What do I mean by this? Your mtDNA comes down from your mother’s-mother’s-mother’s-mother… and similarly [...]

Pedigree + Personal Genomics = More Insight

Update: Feature was always there. Just hard to find. 23andMe did a site redesign. Most of it is user interface clean up, but there one particular cool function: if you have an individual’s pedigree up to grandparents you can see which allele they inherited. Just select “Family Traits” under “Family & Friends.” You then get [...]

Genes are not a mirror upon our souls

I have put 1 million markers (from a combination of Illumina SNP-chips) of mine online. I’m also going to put my sequence online when I get it done. Why? What do I gain from this? Hopefully I don’t gain anything from it. By this, I mean that the only major information that is actionable in [...]

On genetic privacy

Larry Moran has a post up, Who Owns Your Genome?, where he mentions me apropos of the HeLa genome disclosure: In my opinion, there is no excuse for publishing this genome sequence without consent. Razib Khan disagrees. He thinks that he can publish his genome sequence without obtaining consent from anyone else and I assume [...]

Henrietta Lacks’ genome, and familial consent

Rebecca Skloot has an op-ed in The New York Times, The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks, the Sequel. I’ve read it a few times now and I’ll be honest and say I’m not totally clear on some of the points she’s trying to make, so I didn’t have a strong reaction to it. This is [...]

Those genius Chinese babies

I’ve gotten several emails about the Vice interview of Geoffrey Miller on BGI’s Cognitive Genetics Project. It’s a sexy piece, and no surprise given Miller’s fascination with the future of China and science (something I share to a moderate extent). But for the love of God please watch this Steve Hsu video first before reading [...]

High likelihood that my daughter does not have an autosomal dominant condition

After my previous post my wife started doing research online. The autosomal dominant condition that I have is almost certainly localized to one particular chromosome (there is a large effect QTL there that is strongly associated with my condition). Additionally, I inherit this condition from my mother. My daughter has her whole pedigree genotyped, thanks [...]

Confidence in inference in phylogenetic data sets

A few weeks ago I put up a new data set into my repository. As is my usual practice now the populations can be found in the .fam file. But I’ve added more into this. I have to rewrite my ADMIXTURE tutorial soon, so I thought I would bring up an important issue when interpreting [...]

What is wrong with some ancestry testing

This is an example of the type of question I receive all the time: Here is some genetic analysis of Somalis from yours truly. I don’t necessarily blame the public here, as the marketing of Y and mtDNA lineages has really gotten out of control recently. The problem is that the fine print that Y [...]

The abuse of ancestry testing is bad for personal genomics

I have very little with which I can disagree with in this Mark Thomas piece, To claim someone has ‘Viking ancestors’ is no better than astrology. His conclusion: Exaggerated claims from the consumer ancestry industry can also undermine the results of serious research about human genetic history, which is cautiously and slowly building up a [...]

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