Thursday, September 13, 2018

New ways to look at your old DNA test results

Two announcements yesterday each give many of us something new to look at with some of our old DNA results. Both AncestryDNA and MyHeritage made important blog posts:

Transfers to MyHeritage:

MyHeritage tweeted that the company can now accept additional raw data transfers. However, note that there may be a real advantage in doing it before December 1st: 
We're excited to announce that we now support the upload of 23andMe v5 and Living DNA data files! Upload your DNA data now to receive DNA Matches and ethnicity estimates on MyHeritage for free. Read more:
The 23andMe v5 chip is the one the company has been using since the summer of 2017. This new conversion ability of MyHeritage will allow me to transfer kits of several of my family members who tested at 23andMe in the last two years. Previously, these kits could only be compared with other non-23andMe kits in the separate Genesis database at GEDmatch. 

Note that other newer entries to the DNA testing arena such as Living DNA also use this same chip and can be uploaded to use the diagnostic tools and matching database of MyHeritage that have become increasingly useful in the past year.

"Ancestry Unveils More Detailed and Precise Ethnicity Estimates"

The long anticipated update of the ethnicity estimates, at least for US customers were rolled out yesterday. This will give those of us who have tested at Ancestry something to ponder about. Chief Scientific officer Dr. Catherine Ball blogged:

Today, we announce that Ancestry will deliver ethnicity estimates with increased precision to its customers, through a new algorithm that analyzes longer segments of genetic information, marking an important evolution in the way we interpret DNA data. Having built and expanded our DNA reference panel, we have a better understanding of genetic signatures globally, can break down geographic ethnicity estimates with greater specificity and give you a more detailed picture of your origins.
Whether or not you agree that your new estimates more accurately describe your family's migration, they will give us much to discuss. Below is a summary of changes for my own estimates:

However, this summary does not tell me that some previous ethnicities dropped off completely in this upgrade. For me these were Caucasus 4%, Africa North 2% and Native American 1%. In neither version did Ancestry pick up on my known Finish ancestry which MyHeritage pegged at 2%. Sweden and Norway have not been called out in any of my other tests  They At least this gives me things to ponder.

What do you think about your new results?