GENEALOGY-DNA-L Archives

Archiver > GENEALOGY-DNA > 2005-06 > 1120048172


From: "Ian Kennedy" <>
Subject: Independent article on genetic genealogy
Date: Wed, 29 Jun 2005 12:29:32 +0000


There is a two page spread on genetic genealogy in the printed edition of
the Independent today, but it doesn't seem to be published in the online
edition. This is a precis as I'm probably not allowed to put the whole
article up and its too long to type anyway.

"The missing link?

Oprah Winfrey says she has Zulu blood. She's not alone. Thousands of people
now pay for DNA tests to uncover their roots. But is it really possible to
pinpoint your ancestry? by Steve Connor."

some third party quotes from inside the article

'Britain's watchdog on genetics, the Human Genetics Commission, says some
claims made in the name of 'genetic genealogy' can be misleading. "The
scientific information that genealogy tests could provide might not be as
precise as some of the companies suggest, and this was an area in which
people should be aware of the reality of what they are being offered", the
commission says.'

The problem, says Professor Mark Jobling of Leicester University, who
studies the genetics of the Y-chromosome, is that although tests may
indicate a degree of relatedness, they do not provide accurate information
about how far back the common ancestor lived. "Dating is limited. Saying
that two men share recent patrilinear ancestors is possible, but showing
when they shared that ancestor is more problematic."

As well as coverage of Y and mtDNA testing there is also some analysis of
the BBC programme Motherland where a woman was matched up with the
inhabitants of the island of Bioko off Cameroon as they were the only people
in the world who matched her mtDNA - only for more to turn up later in
Mozambique, after she'd gone to Bioko for a tearful 'genetic reunion'.


Ian Kennedy

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