Tuesday, June 19, 2007

New Opportunity for DNA Research?

A recent posting by Dick Eastman reported that Ancestry.com was partnering with Sorenson Genomics, a DNA research firm, to be able to provide DNA testing and somehow link that data to Ancestry's existing family information. This is big news, but how is it going to work? As with many of the announcements of other genealogical collaborations last month, there will be questions without answers and it will be a while before all the ramifications are known. Dick posted yesterday's press release with more details on the partnership.

An article in the Salt Lake Tribune makes the outlandish claim that "In less than three weeks, people will be able to find distant relatives by clicking a mouse. And they can be sure that their supposed family members are related to them because instead of using old documents, people will locate their relatives through DNA tests."

DNA replace documents? I suppose that could happen, but not likely in the near future. Find relatives with the click of a mouse? According to 'The Generations Network' and other database providers, we can do that now. The implication is that DNA testing will make it so. It will only happen if you and your relatives have been tested. It'll take years of collecting and testing DNA samples. The state of current DNA testing and its use for genealogical research is limited. Not enough people have had DNA tests done, most cannot afford it. Hopefully this partnership will make testing more affordable so more people can have it done, and if that happens it may make it easier to make the connections to unknown relatives. Only time will tell. I'm certainly looking forward to the time that I can find my relatives with just the click of a mouse!

For more information on this partnership and DNA testing check out these posts:

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