Saturday, December 08, 2007

The DNA Genealogy Scam

 
CBC News has a show on television called Marketplace. It often covers scams and commercial frauds that Canadians need to be wary of. Last week they ran a segment on home DNA testing kits and the claims of those who sell them to the general public. You can watch the entire segment on their website [Who's Your Grand Daddy?].

I don't think there's any doubt that some of these companies are making exaggerated claims. That counts as a scam in my book. You'll have to watch the show to see how the private companies avoid being interviewed by Wendy Mesley. It's a hoot watching Wendy run her own scam on the streets.

I'm disturbed by the fact that we have a number of prominent bloggers pushing DNA testing. You'd think they would be all over this story. You'd think that they would be in the front lines in the attack on unscrupulous private companies who are overselling the idea of tracing your ancestors through your DNA.

If you thought that you'd be wrong. Some of these bloggers are even denying there's a problem. Fore example, here's what Blaine Bettinger on The Genetic Genealogist says about accusations of scam [Another Questionable Article About Genetic Genealogy].
First - a scam artist is by definition a person who engages in a “fraudulent business scheme.” Although genetic genealogy can be controversial, I’ve never heard a single customer accuse a company of running a scam. To the best of my knowledge, these testing companies are using the best science available to test DNA and compare results to their databases. Are physicians running a scam if they use open-heart surgery to fix a heart, rather than a simple pill that will be invented in 5 years? All technology is based on the best developed science right now. A company might have a limited database or only test a limited number of markers, but this does not qualify them as running a “scam.”
I think Blaine is letting his enthusiasm for DNA testing get the better of him. I suggest he look at the CBC show and tell us where they are going wrong if he thinks that all of the private companies are totally honest.

I don't think Hsien-Hsien Lei at Eye on DNA has made any comment either about the scams. Why?

UPDATE: The Genetic Genealogist responds to the CBC segment. His answer? Caveat emptor. Consumers should learn more about genetic genealogy before buying.


82 comments:

  1. Dr. Moran – I want you to know that I do think that more can be done to educate consumers, we just differ on the degree. I’ve expanded on the subject a little on my blog.

    I will say, however, thank you for the "prominent blogger" part! I'll take a little fame wherever I can get it!

    ReplyDelete
  2. It's "genealogy". You misspelled it in several places, including the title bar.

    ReplyDelete
  3. In related news, this is somewhat amusing (irrespective of the validity of the claims):

    JAMES WATSON, the DNA pioneer who claimed Africans are less intelligent than whites, has been found to have 16 times more genes of black origin than the average white European.

    An analysis of his genome shows that 16% of his genes are likely to have come from a black ancestor of African descent. By contrast, most people of European descent would have no more than 1%.

    The study was made possible when he allowed his genome - the map of all his genes - to be published on the internet in the interests of science.

    “This level is what you would expect in someone who had a great-grandparent who was African,” said Kari Stefansson of deCODE Genetics, whose company carried out the analysis. “It was very surprising to get this result for Jim.”


    http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/uk/science/article3022190.ece

    ReplyDelete
  4. Thanks, pedanticphil. It's quite a handicap writing a blog when you can't spell. :-)

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  5. Ok for the experts here:

    here is a post at Athropology.net that does deal with this; the author claims that the criticism is just plain wrong.

    He writes:

    But that’s really not the case, cause she has clearly shown, she doesn’t fully understand DNA testing. Blain Bettinger, the Genetic Genealogist, points this out to us. Here’s an example, where she sides with the opinions of Jonathan Marks,

    “But, [anthropologist Jonathan] Marks points out, these companies are preying on the public because they simply don’t have enough comparative information to pinpoint a gene on a world map.”

    Marks and Small, these genetic ancestry tests don’t isolate specific genes in populations. Instead, these tests mostly focus identifying haplotypes in the mitochondrial DNA which we inherit from our maternal lineage and, if we are male, our Y chromosomal DNA. Haplotypes are the unique composition of single nucleotide polymorphisms that we inherit as large fragments from our parents. They help classify us into our haploygroups. Once again, haplotypes are inherited as blocks. For example you can see how your segments of mtDNA matches up with other people who have similar haplotypes. If a population has a similar set of haplotypes, they are grouped in a haplogroup. This is how population genetics helps trace ancestry.

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  6. ollie, you know how it works and so do I. That's not the point.

    This is being sold to people who do not understand it at all. Do you really think they would spend $119 if they knew that all they were getting is some vague indication of which continent their great grandmother is from?

    Go to the Genetic Gealology site and see if you think this is a scam. Do you agree with the following statement on that site?

    With a simple swab of your mouth, you can be compared with Marie Antoinette and discover your relation to her. You will be able to trace your heritage back to times of grandeur, to times of kings and queens and royal balls, and possibly even to Marie Antoinette.

    ReplyDelete
  7. Ugggh. No I didn't go to the website and see what you quoted.

    This kind of reminds me of a Dilbert cartoon (where Marketing is always making outlandish claims)

    Sigh...there is some aphorism about "a fool and his money..." :-)

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  8. I am embarrassed to say that I purchased this service from DNA Tribes as a Christmas present for my mother who has had an interest in genealogy. I used myself for the samples.

    Now that I think I undertand their methodology I just cannot see how this analysis has anything to do tracing ancestry. It seems to look for a match of my particular set of DNA markers in a database of world populations. Like most Americans, my grandparents each migrated from Europe. My mother has traced her line to Donegal, Ireland back at least four generations with birth records. My paternal grandmother to Abbruzi, Italy.
    My DNA Tribes analysis showed no liklihood of any European heritage at all. Moroccan and Australian were the best matches.
    Now I am wondering how matching my particular mix of markers could ever indicate Irish origin since that population would be unlikely to have any of my Italian genes.
    So it seems that matching could only provide useful information if one was directly descended from a population. Not real likely for Americans and not what most looking for DNA ancestry expect.
    These web sites are scams.

    ReplyDelete
  9. I found this because I am trying to educate my self further. I never stop. Some people do.

    I do not see how you can say this is a scam. I have found tons of links to my surname. But that is really all it is good for. You can not trace anything else really. It will tell you your mom's DNA group and that would be her mom and her mom, etc. It will tell you your male lineage very well. But you will have to look it all up on various DNA sites and put it together. The admins on the various sites are basically doing nothing, just looking for their own links.

    So if you think you are going to find your whole tree, think again.

    I imagine that all the newer deeper tests could reveal more info. But it is not going to be from them, it will be from your own research.

    It will in fact tell you if your MtDna is the same group as (or NOT) as Marie Antoinette. If it is the same, they are related at some point in history. That means 1000's of years possibly. They are not going to tell you how they are related. It is not saying they will tell you your tree.

    How is it that every time something comes out, there is always a bunch of people who misunderstand or just don't understand, then say it is a rip off.

    It is up to you to read and educate your self. Not to be handed an answer based on speculation of your questions.

    The real ripoff is that most of these companies let someone be the administrator. And if that person does nothing to help connect people, it is useless. Then you can not start your own group if there is already a group. There is no way to contact your matches unless the admin does it. If everyone posted on Ysearch and the other DB's, it would all work better.

    Some of you seem to maybe want some big central company doing it all for you. Probably the same people who like to claim a copyright on their tree. I also see a bunch of "genealogists" who are mad that they can't charge 1000's for looking around. We can do it ourselves now.

    If any Marshall surnames are out there, you have to SHARE and look in order to connect it all.

    ReplyDelete
  10. Hello to ALL
    I just received my results from DNA tribes and I am confused.
    I have mixed ancestry from my father Hawaiian, Pilipino, Portuguese, and Chinese. Mom is English, German, Filipino and Spanish. The results indicate my ancestral roots come from East Timor and that the dominant tribe index. I am concerned because none of the other known ancestral indexes surfaced for example; Hawaiian, Portuguese, Spanish, English, and German. I am concerned that this data is not correct, how could it not indicate the other tribes? Both of my parents are quite mixed evenly with their ethnic groups, I pray that DNA Tribes has not ripped me off or I will call BB and get this charge removed because of inaccurate data.
    Further As commented the admin does not answer my questions in detail as I have asked him this is really frustrating me as I am not getting any answers. Is DNA tribes a known ripped off? Is there testing authentic? Why am I only getting (1) dominant tribes and not a true mixed tribes of which I really am? This confuses me. Anybody please comment--aloha!

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  11. People complaining on here obviously have little knowedge of pre-history,a north african or austronesian or indian result is common for europeans as those are some of the founder 'caucasian' groups.

    If you want to know the past 600 years don't get any of these tests they go far deeper.Also you should have tested your mother,people in the same family get widely different results both on autosomal tests and standard tests.

    ReplyDelete
  12. Just got my DNA Tribes profiles back. This is a SCAM Operation!!!
    It showed that I am from Italy, Greece, Turkey, Oman, and Iran. My father's people are from Ireland and go back a long time. My mother's people are from Lithuania and also go way back. There is no evidence at all that we have any Italian, Greek, Turkish blood. My family is tall, thin, blond, green/blue eyed, and fair skinned. My 5 siblings LOOK like they belong in Lithuania. I have sent them emails demanding that my credit card be reimbursed and not to bother contacting to explain why I might be Italian, Greek, Turkish when that is so out of the universe of probability. DNATRIBES IS A SCAM!!! DON'T WASTE YOUR MONEY!!! SHARON

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Not so... If you understand how the Irish arrived in Ireland.
      For instance read the Scottish Declaration of Independence-Declaration of Arbroath 1320 which declares, "Thence they came, twelve hundred years after the PEOPLE OF ISRAEL crossed the Red Sea, TO THEIR HOME IN THE WEST where they still live today".

      http://www.constitution.org/scot/arbroath.htm

      Please notice the Scottish give a route,from whence they came, "Red Sea and Israel"... Please also notice the Scottish raise the Standard of the Lion of Judah, the same lion of Judah raised by the the English standard of arms, the same Lion of the Irish. The same Lion which can be found in Israel today.

      If we do a little more research we find the Welsh who still speak Welsh, speak an ancient form of Hebrew.

      If we read our Bibles, it tells us the Northern Kingdom of Israel was driven amoungst the nations. To one day be gathered again to a land of their own one more. Meanwhile Isaiah writes about "The People" who "glorify the Lord upon Isles of the sea. Isaiah 24:15 kjv ... Isaiah 11:11 declares: In that day the Lord will reach out his hand a second time to reclaim the remnant that is left of his people from Assyria, from Lower Egypt, from Upper Egypt, from Cush, from Elam, from Babylonia, from Hamath and from the ISLANDS OF THE SEA.

      To sum up. In Hebrew, Bryt means Covenant. Ish means people belonging to. British means "people belonging to the covenant".

      So don't be so dang sure of your genealogy. Because I know mine. I'm English,French,Scottish, and 2 part Iroquois Indian. Which incidentally the Iroquois and Cherokee have been tied to Jewish DNA research whose markers originate out of the Egyptian-Lebanon area.

      Yea and that's not supposed to be either... But it's true.
      Just as the Bat Creek Hebrew Stone found in Tennessee also has been proven a factual find. See:
      http://www.ampetrographic.com/files/BatCreekStone.pdf



      Delete
    2. @ Anonymous
      DNA Tribes have a lot of paperwork explaining how to interpret your results. Maybe you missed these...

      @ James Brian Marshall
      Looks like you may have your wires crossed in a number of places and have over generalised [just] a few unsubstantiated claims.

      It's better to do some in-depth research rather than clutch at the straws of stories told from ages past.
      The Declaration was written by Catholics as a submission to Pope John XXII so it would naturally mention a connection to Israel. This is hardly grounds to state, scientifically, that Scots descend from Israelites.

      Welsh is an ancient form of Hebrew? Now I've heard it all....much be a good batch that you're smoking there...

      Regarding your Hebrew-British claims....well we could be here all day...in summary what you stated is total nonsense.

      As for Iroquois and Cherokee ties to Jewish DNA....this is unsubstantiated as scientists have not been able to rule out mixing with people of Ashkenazi heritage.

      The 'Bat Creek Inscription' has been found to be a hoax.

      If we do a little more research....we find that everything you have stated has no basis in fact.

      Delete
    3. Thank you Gyp so.

      In addition, DNA evidence marks the Irish and Scottish populations as coming from Portugal millenia before the advent of Judiasm.

      Delete
  13. SharonAnn/Anon
    Middle eastern farmers introduced agriculture to Europe and the british isles I don’t even blink when I see the 30-40% of europeans that get oman/arab results on dnatribes.Oman is a frequent result for french people on there.No shock whatsoever considering civilization/writing as we know has it's oldest origins in the middle east.

    It’s also often merely indicative of some jewish ancestry somewhere.You really think outsiders never got into lithuania???or ireland? hilarious. I was just reading abt the history of the jews in Lithuania last month :-)

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  14. How smart you are Kate.

    I am most aware of the history of Ireland and Lithuania including the slave trades, the trade routes, the religious conquests, and so on that introduced the Mongol/Tarter/Turks (Jewish Turks) into Lithuania, the Vikings/French/Spanish into Ireland, etc. I am also well aware of my Lithvak (Lithuanian Jewish) blood and know that Lithuania had about 230,000 people pre-WWII of Jewish blood. What surprised me was the fact that Northwestern Europe was at the very bottom and the rest of the odd stuff was at the top. Just odd to see Berber Egypt/North India/Oman/Iran/Southern Italy, Greece/etc when I look like a Lithuanian. And yes, Kate, there IS most certainly a "look".

    You must work for DNATribes Kate. You and the butthead who insinuated I was a bigot because I did NOT like being Southern European. Whatever I "am" is fine, just get it right.

    Piss poor explanations of how the linkages might work, how the tests are accomplished, how far back the DNA study goes, and so forth.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hey there ease up! Read this and maybe this helps...

      The Declaration of Arbroath 1320 — English Translation
      Written to "His Holiness" Catholic Church.

      Most Holy Father and Lord, we know and from the chronicles and books of the ancients we find that among other famous nations our own, the Scots, has been graced with widespread renown. They journeyed from Greater Scythia by way of the Tyrrhenian Sea and the Pillars of Hercules, and dwelt for a long course of time in Spain among the most savage tribes, but nowhere could they be subdued by any race, however barbarous. Thence they came, twelve hundred years after the PEOPLE OF ISRAEL CROSSED THE RED SEA, to THEIR HOME IN THE WEST where they still live today.

      http://www.constitution.org/scot/arbroath.htm


      THE BIBLE DECLARES OF ISAIAH 11:11

      11 And it shall come to pass in that day, that the Lord shall set his hand again the second time to recover the remnant of his people, which shall be left, from Assyria, and from Egypt, and from Pathros, and from Cush, and from Elam, and from Shinar, and from Hamath, and from the ISLANDS OF THE SEA.

      Jeremiah 25:22
      King James Version (KJV)
      22 And all the kings of Tyrus, and all the kings of Zidon, and the kings of the ISLES which are BEYOND the SEA,

      Delete
  15. It's one small fragment of your ancestry not at all representive of your entire ancestry.It's a mere 21 markers.More importantly the markers they test do NOT code for anything certainly not for your appearence.

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  16. Hi!
    I thought I was all Swedish, German, Irish, and my Ancestral DNA test came back from National Geographic Genographic Project as being J1 subclade of J haplogroup (Arab Jewish Cohanim gene area of the world).

    IF they didn't mix up my test with someone else's then the explanation might be that TYREE,
    (my mitochondrial dna female line)which I thought was totally an Irish-Scottish-Welsh name, is ORIGINALLY from the area of Lebanon and Israel on the coast of Lebanon and Israel area in the Old Testament Bible maps, see TYREE.

    Anyway, what I was wondering was, what is a TYPICAL Hawaiian DNA type, because if Keanu Reeves gets a DNA paternity test, WHAT haplogroup might we expect if he is Hawaiian Y chromosome dna?

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  17. It's all about expectations. DNA tests are going to tell us about blood lines, so when the outcome is graphed geographically, the best result that can be reached by anyone, I would expect, would be a match to places where the greatest number of people with matching blood markers lived. Obviously, individuals may have lived elsewhere, but the tests would not tell where their own families definitely lived but where most of the people related to them lived at one time. Depending on the percentage of a particular ethnic match (that might be sort of like positioning a marker on a graph) they might be able to figure out how long ago relatives lived in those areas before dispersing to other areas. Everyone didn't necessarily follow the same straight line, some might have diverted off the line. More likely, though, marriage brought together people whose lines came from different directions. So, I would imagine that the DNA ancestry would look somewhat different than ancestry done through birth certificates, particularly for people who moved from country to country with their families due to work, military service, or other reasons...such as my mother's family. Every generation moved to another country, but I imagine the DNA markers might show something very different. I am curious, but can't yet afford it. When I do this, I think I will get my youngest brother to do it for all of us and we'll all pay for him to get the full shebang so that we can find out everything there is to find out all at once. I wish they had a family package deal that would give each of us a certificate and information with the one person doing the swabbing. Obviously, only one guy in the family has to do the swabbing for all of the siblings to benefit.

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  18. I was shocked to find my top 20 matches had no Lithuanian ties. My dad's parents were Lithuanian immigrants and considered themselves as Lithuanians. Yet I cannot trace back much farther in my grandmothher's side, and not at all past my grandfather except for names his parents' names.

    My mom's family is mostly German and Polish, and my mom has a long history in Alsace (Germany then, France now).

    My top spot was Bucharest,Romania
    #2 Northern Dobruja, Romania
    #3 Old Believers (Suwalki, Poland)
    #4 Georgia
    #5 Estonia
    #6 Southern Russia
    #7 Belarus
    #8 Serbia and Montenegro
    #9 Slovenia
    #10 Belarus
    #11 Roma (Baranya, Hungary)
    #12 Bavaria, Germany
    #13 Czech Republic
    #14 Republic of Serbia
    #15 Klimovichi, Belarus
    #16 Republic of Macedonia
    #17 Bosnia-Herzegovina
    #18 Bosnia
    #19 Moldavia, Romania
    #20 Belarus

    I am totally stumped on the Romanian ties, but the Belarus makes much sense since Lithuania used to be a larger kingdom and Belarus surrounds Lithuania and once was part of Lithuania.

    I still am not sure what to believe except I look very Slavic (and I expected that was from my Lithuanian side until I found out they don't consider themselves as Slavs).

    I also have a hard time believing that the modern borders we have today in countries sustained all the people there. We assume there was no migration patterns, but it would be naive to think people did not get new populations of migrators or conquering people.

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    Replies
    1. White people originate from Persia and Georgia.
      The Caucus Mountains in Georgia (I think)are where Caucasians come from.

      Delete
  19. Customers should educate themselves about dna tests and what they can show you about yourself.

    If you were buying shoes you wouldn't just walk into the shoe shop and pick any shoe any size, buy it and walk out of the store. Come on, use your nous.

    Haplogroups are good to know, but those haplogroups are in most cases, thousands of years old. Seriously, do you know all your ancestors going back 10,000 years? I doubt it.

    DNATribes uses CODIS, used by Police Forces and forensics to identify people, get some idea of their race, appearance and so on. It is not foolproof and depends on statistics to work as most races and ethnic groups overlap in their results.

    Get real. No dna test is going to identity all your ancestors, just give you indications of possible origin and a timeline.

    ReplyDelete
  20. Ponto says,

    Customers should educate themselves about dna tests and what they can show you about yourself.

    Exactly. I'm trying to help with that education by pointing out the problems.

    I'd like them to realize that there are many unscrupulous people out there who are more than willing to separate suckers from their money.

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  21. I think the criticism of DNA Tribes was not fair, and I can assure you I don't work for them. I had the test done with my eyes open, because unlike the critics I understand their limitations. If for example, you are of pure Chinese descent or pure East Russian descent it will usually show you as such, even if it gets the region wrong.
    If however, you are half Chinese and half Russian it may show your ancestry as being on the Steppes of Russia where the people are roughly half and half, indicating that you have most in common with these people genetically, even if you have no ancestry from that area.
    It is a matter of knowing how to interpret the results and accepting that the science is in its infancy and they could be wrong.
    The tests are useful circumstantial evidence to link with paper trails.
    My test was useful to the extent that it showed in the roughly correct proportion that I have a touch of a particular non-Caucasian race, which I was already aware of.
    But, given that my mainly Caucasian ancestry is from all over the place I did not expect accuracy in that area and I was not surprised to find it was not, although it introduced some possibilities.
    As I have said, the whole science is in its infancy and if people do not know anything about it they should not get the tests done.

    ReplyDelete
  22. Hello. I am trying to choose a DNA testing company to figure out whether we have any American Indian blood. I see several negative comments about DNA tribes.com. What about the National Geographic Genographic project?

    ReplyDelete
  23. DNA Tribes is not a scam in the sense that they give you data which is wrong (those are indeed your markers) but it does mislead people into believing that it can give them something it doesn't. It gives each person a breakdown of a tiny amount of markers (which by the way are unique to each individual - hence used by the police to identify criminals) and then compares them with its population statistics - how good are these population statistics - well if you have a separate entry for London, England (one of the most multi-cultural cities in the world) or a Sicily, Italy and a Sicilia, Italy (with different chances to 'originate' from these 'different' places) it says everything. As practically all Caucasian groups have similar DNA depending on the mix you inherited it could statistically look like any of these groups i.e. North African, Aegean, Finnish etc and you could belong to none of them! The best way to find out about your real origin is to carry out research into your family tree - if you have roots in Italy going back 200 years most likely you are Italian and if a DNA Tribe test comes back saying you are Finnish it means nothing. The most that I could get out of the test was that I was Caucasian and not African but then I didn't need to do the test to find that out.

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  24. I have used DNA tribes...I think the results were unexpected but correct. Just because I call myself Australian and I was born in Australia does not mean I have a drop of Australian blood. Just because your grandparents were from Ireland or even their parents does not mean they were Irish!! The trouble here is people's closed minds looking at the small picture and not the big one. DNA Tribes picked up the Spanish that was rumoured to be in my family and the the other results explain a lot. Only get this test if you are open minded, and realise the genealogy you have been doing for years is only a drop in the ocean of your DNA!!!

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    Replies
    1. I agree with you. DNA Tribes indicated that I have a good bit of North African and Spanish blood, and I was sure it did not come from my mother. For me, it pretty much confirmed that the legend about the Moorish origin of my surname is true. My mother's known ancestry is so concentrated in Northern and Eastern Europe that my father's origins seem to stand out in stark relief. On the other hand, I've read there is a strange genetic connection between Finns and Berbers. Therefore, the great amount of Finnic blood DNA Tribes says I have may belong to both my parents! The point is, the testing company gives us results; however, it is up to us to interpret those results. In order to do that, we have to educate ourselves about the movements of ancient populations--which is not easy. That I happened across the Finnic-Berber connection was a fluke. I will probably never know how much of each ethnicity comes from which parent, but that is not the fault of DNA Tribes.

      Delete
  25. I tried going with dna tribes and found out i was mostly polynesian. when i did both my parents neither were polynesian at all. Trust me, this company is a scam.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Maybe you were adopted.I'm being serious.

      Delete
  26. My Mother's dna tribes result indicated she was at least half southeast asian (bali,thailand & Malaysia). Well my Mom is as white as they come (Irish) and so were her Parents & Grandparents. This technology is in it's mere infancy. Don't beleive them.

    ReplyDelete
  27. The main problem with DNA Tribes is evidenced in the email below:

    "I have used DNA tribes...I think the results were unexpected but correct. Just because I call myself Australian and I was born in Australia does not mean I have a drop of Australian blood. Just because your grandparents were from Ireland or even their parents does not mean they were Irish!! The trouble here is people's closed minds looking at the small picture and not the big one. DNA Tribes picked up the Spanish that was rumoured to be in my family and the the other results explain a lot. Only get this test if you are open minded, and realise the genealogy you have been doing for years is only a drop in the ocean of your DNA!!!"

    Any person can rationalise the results they receive and if you have a preconceived belief i.e. that you have Spanish roots and by chance Spain appears in the top 20 list - you accept the results.

    The problem is the strength of their data. Any moron can review their list of 'populations' and understand that it is nonsense. Multiple listings for the same country / group and the inclusion of multi-ethnic cities indicates that their data is incorrect.

    Oh and clearly anyone who cannot differentiate between a country like Australia (a British colony) and Ireland (a country with very limited immigration into it until very recently) is probably not very bright.

    ReplyDelete
  28. DNA Tribes is a scam! I carried out the test - on my mothers side I can go back about 400 years in England to small villages and on my fathers side it is the same other than one ancestor who came from Finland to England in the 1920s and who I know little about.

    My top results for native population indicated that I am was either from Karamuja Uganda (I don't even know what that is), Southern Tunisia (I wonder why not North?) and Maghrebi. My global population match results were Rio de Janeiro, Brazil (before doing the test I stupidly thought Rio would not have one population seeing as it is one of the most multi-ethnic cities in the world), Toscana, Italy and Costa Rica.

    While I would like to believe that my Ugandan ancestors migrated to Toscana 1000 years ago and then moved to Brazil before settling in Belton, Norfolk 400 years ago as rural farmers it is probably not the case.

    Oh and I tested my MtDna with Family Tree and it came back as T1 - by chance I came across a person with identical markers from another small village next to the one my ancestors on my maternal line came from and we managed to trace our common ancestor who was born in 1638! Amazing! It was a shame I became carried away and wasted my money on the autosomal test.....

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  29. At this stage there is no way of tracing your distant ancestry other than through mitochondrial and Y DNA tests, which are hardly worth it considering they only trace your direct male and female line, which becomes very diluted after a while.
    The autosomal tests such as DNA Tribes and 23andme, etc, which try to give you a complete picture, are almost worthless.
    I have had autosomal tests from the latter two companies and several other companies and they were definitely inaccurate.
    As to tracing your ancestral paper trail, it is worth doing so only to grandparents, as you can see them physically or through a photo to see if they are your real grandparents as you can often compare their features with yours.
    Past that adoption and cuckoldry make birth and marriage certificates very unreliable.
    My mate, who is only 30, has a fake birth certificate given to him by the Australian government after he was adopted.
    Had his step parents not told him he was adopted he would never have known.
    This sort of thing went on very frequently in the 19th century, and prior to that records often did not exist.
    Eventually autosomal DNA ancestry tests may be worth getting, but until then don't waste your money on DNA Tribes, 23andme or any of the other companies that want to part you with your money.

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  30. Ha!I would never believe these crooks who rob people of their money with their phony tests. In crime cases I do trust the tests and for paternity I do trust them, but for genealogy I do not because we live in a racist world.
    Who knows who is out there testing.
    It is a scam a robbery and it should be stopped. There ought to be a law against it.
    I have never had myself tested and will not simply because I do not trust them.
    With all the lairs and racists and crooks out there it would be a miracle if one test came back with the truth on it.
    I for one will not take a chance with these scam artists.
    I think the best way to know where you came from is simply go by what you look like and what things you like. Your identity is revealed in what you do and how you look!

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  31. Scam is a fairly harsh word. I accept that these companies genuinely believe they can provide insights about your ancestry and your health from Autosomal SNPs, and Autosomal STRs and whatever bits of dna they use in their tests.

    DNATribes uses CODIS Autosomal STRs and statistics to work out your supposed ancestral origins. Judging by the whinging about the results produced by this company, the results do not meet the expectations of the people tested as to their putative ancestry. I took their test just as a lark, a bit of fun and curiosity. I think I got my money's worth. The results were quite weird, but I didn't expect the results to be accurate and conform with my paper ancestry, and what has come down to me from my predecessors about my ancestry.

    23andMe and deCODEme are more accurate, but I do know my ancestry better than most. However, both companies need to improve their presentation of the ancestry section and do some research on their own and include many more ethnic groups from all over the world. Both companies are Eurocentric, North European centric and too focused on one market. 23andMe is too American, and too Jewish. It is time they learned there is a much larger world than America, and I don't mean Canada or Mexico.

    The health sections of 23andMe and deCODEme are rudimentary, and in my humble opinion, based on a few studies and cohorts, and probably won't be applicable in other studies or cohorts. Treat that section with a lot of skepticism. However, what they did mention for me, was quite true. My medical history is quite well known to me as I am over 50 and what weaknesses I have, I know about already.

    Rather than running off sans tete, and exhibiting pure paranoia, it is better to be skeptical but have an open mind. And folks, do some homework on your ancestry. That Cherokee Princess or Norwegian grandfather might be just a bunch of hooey.

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  32. Hello.... I'm trying to do research on DNA testing for my husband who, by all accounts, has no idea what any of his ancestry might be b/c he is adopted and can't find any information on his birth parents. The more I read these reviews, the more I see that it's helpful to already know your ancestral background. I'm wondering which tests in your opinion show the most promise in both the ancestral and health fields and if they would be helpful to someone like him or if I should just wait until I can save a bunch of money to do genetic testing.

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  33. Ok, so I've read all of the comments on this page and I would like a little advice.

    Both of my parents are adopted and the adoptions were closed. We have absolutely NO CLUE as to what ethnic origin either of them are. As the only child (female) and of both of their blood I am clueless as to my ethnic origin. There is NO WAY to trace any family tree or relatives. My family tree, as far as blood goes, consists of Dad, Mom, and me, that's it! And my last name means nothing as it is an adopted name. I have quite enjoyed being a "blank slate" ethnically as I cannot be prejudice against any group because I just might be that. However, I am getting older and have children of my own now. I would like to tell them something other than "Mutt" for my side of the family.

    I have considered doing the testing you were discussing but I don't know if it is worth it. I realize I'm not going to get perfect results, I am only looking for something...Any advice? In my rather unusual circumstance would this testing benefit me or not?

    I would love to hear your opinions as you seem to be experts on the subject and I am most certainly not.

    Thanks!

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  34. I'm a DNA Tribes customer-when I first got the results I thought it was incorrect however with some research I found that Berber tribes remained in England since Roman times and that Roma often changed their names to assimilate into Europe and that Roma/ gyspies came into England and settled there. I still don't understand the Oman connection-and I would like to use another company to compare.

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  35. I should have googled DNA Tribes first before sending them my money. They are a SCAM. My mother is Chinese. My father Dutch. The DNA analysis that came back said I my genetic profile was 82.60 Bosnian Mountan Villages. Throw in Iceland, Serbia, and Budapest. NO asian genetic markers at all. WTF.

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  36. Wow. Harsh words from some folks. I think lack of understanding of how these tests operate is a big reason why. Another is that we are told by our parents, at an early age, what our background is, and we so tightly cling to that identity -- whether correct or not -- that when we learn our deep ancestral roots are actually in another part of the world, we have a tendency to go ballistic, especially after we've spent big $$$ trying to confirm what we already think we know.

    As for me, I had no preconceptions going in. I tested with DNA Tribes because I was adopted at an early age -- something I had known all through my childhood, and had no stigma about -- and wanted to know where in the world my ancestors really came from. My parents always told me I was "German, English, Irish, Scottish and French." However, my DNA says otherwise: my highest matches are in Finland, Poland, Eastern Slovakia, Serbia and Pakistan. What's this indicate? Nothing more than my ancestors came from all over Eastern Europe, with a healthy dose of Romani ("Gypsy") blood thrown in. What do I look like? Like someone you'd see in Prague, or Zagreb, or Gdansk. Or Los Angeles, for that matter.

    Chill out, people. It's not a scam. It's science. Embrace it.

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  37. DNA tribes is definitely not a scam! i have a feeling that some of the posts were written by people from other dna testing companies to make up lies about other rival companies. Anyway I did mine, sent my results from Australia. I'm ethnically Taiwanese, both parents are from there and our ancestors supposedly came from china around 400 years ago, but my family don't look chinese much, so I decided to do a test with DNA tribes, and my highest results came out as Southeast Asian, Altaic, and Malay, Taiwanese only came in at #68. I am very sure DNA Tribes is correct, eventhough I'm supposedly Han Chinese, in actual fact I look more uyghur and thai, and have been mistaken as Eurasian, or southeast Asian. Don't listen to the posts on top, those people are just very narrow-minded.

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    Replies
    1. Wow, one correct in how many? What's the odds they had at least one lucky guess??

      Glad you're happy, wonder if they're determining your 'DNA results' by your Last name and current location!!

      Delete
  38. You need to know that any Science is only as good as it's control group. If a DNA company does not have many of your ethnic or race of people in their system, than they cannot match you correctly.

    Also, the company "Familytreedna" claims that they can match Jewishness. What they have done is taken certain people labled them Jewish, and than based on that control, you are Jewish if you match their control group,and you are not Jewish if you do not match that control group. For example,I can take the DNA of a cat and call it unicorn DNA. And than test cats and conclude that all cats descended from unicorns. Is it a scam, or manipulation of science and facts?

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  39. DNA Tribes is a SCAM - keep away from it. Unless you are completely deluded as the weird guy from Taiwan you will be paying significant dough to receive a list of random countries you have no link with. I'm English with roots going back to the 1650s on both parents side and my top result was Berber. I promise you I have no Berber roots! My brother also did the test and he came back Hungarian.... better to throw darts at a world map - its more fun!

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  40. Well sir, can you tell me where your ancestors came from BEFORE the 1650's? Where did they come from 2000+ years ago? Do you know? Because THAT is the information the DNA testing provides- not "what is my family line within the past 1000 years?" So chances are, your ancestors were Berbers who migrated and eventually ended up in England.

    I had a test through another company and found the results to be accurate but not "detailed". I was told by my parents that I was "German/Irish/Dutch/Native American"- and my maternal came back matching 40% of Europeans- while my paternal side came back matching 40% Scandinavians. My last name is German, but that doesn't mean my male ancestors didn't migrate from Scandinavia to Germany 1000 years ago or more.
    Before you whine about what you DIDN'T get- each site is pretty specific about what you WILL get- and just because it doesn't match your preconceived expectations, doesn't mean it is 'wrong'.
    In fact, my test didn't match with Native American OR any ties to Ireland. But you have to understand that X and Y genetic tracing goes back to the last known mutation- and it is at that point your 'ancestry' is determined. X and Y, particularly the Y, doesn't change much over time- which is why they can determine your ancestry so far back.

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    Replies
    1. I agree....we all came from somewhere else...and the names of those places have changed over time...live with it.

      Delete
    2. I agree. We all began somewhere else a long time ago...the names of those places have changed over time and unless you have a paper trail a thousand years over you can't actually be sure of anything...maybe an aunt raised a nephew as her own because she couldn't conceive and the nephew married a cousin and no one ever told anyone about the concubine that daddy used to have. If you look Slavic you must be Slavic...I know I'm German, but that is saying a whole lot because Germans are made up of a whole lot of different peoples...when people came here from somewhere else, the peops at Ellis Island wrote down what they could undertand or couldn't to be more specific. Names were changed so they could leave work on time...just because you think you are one thing doesn't mean your ancestors didn't migrate to China hundreds of years before...none of that makes sense, right...neither do some of your posts...dna is a long string of life before we were ever even thought of...I don't look like anything but me...and my DNA tribes results prove I am a descendent of a whole lotta other mutts...yay!!!!

      Delete
  41. Consumers use many high tech products that they barely understand.

    How many people know what their cars are capable of doing and not doing? Or the defrosting on their microwave, refrigerator or washing machine?

    So it is with DNA testing. To understand the data in a test of Mt-DNA (passed in the female line) or Y-DNA (male line) a person would have to be able to read and understand at least 10 scientific papers.

    I have some experience running gene comparisons of different species using bioinformatics software. Also I have 15 years study of cultural geography, evolution.

    Still, it took me about 3 months research to explore the data from my own Mt-DNA and Y-DNA test results.

    The results confirmed that my recent direct male and female ancestors originated in the present Celtic areas of Britain, which I had known from genealogical data going back to my great-great grandparents from Ireland and Cornwall.

    Like most people, I have 16 grandparents, but the Mt-DNA and Y-DNA can tell me about only TWO of them, and where people with their Mt-DNA and Y-DNA are prevalent TODAY. So even the actual origins of those two great-great-grandparents is uncertain.

    Where did the other 14 come from? Well I did find some of them (10) through genealogy,using mostly the Censuses of Canada and data held by the Mormons.

    One of my 8 great-great grandmothers was the daughter of a Scots Highlander who fought on the side of the British in the conquest of Canada. She was born in Quebec, an Algonquin.

    My great-great grandfather (her husband) was descended from the Acadians with a name so common in Quebec that he cannot be traced. Other information leads me to believe he was Mohawk on his mother's side.

    So while the DNA testing is interesting--and fun--you really need to pair it with genealogical research, which is also fun.

    In my opinion, genetic and genealogical data and study can lead us to recognize that most people are products of mixed marriages between and among the races. We might even learn a little history and discover how difficult life really was for most people back then, especially ethnic minorities.

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    Replies
    1. I agree,
      With American Indian tribes (and any other tribal culture), they tended to get their wives by capturing them from other tribes, and if they defeated another tribe, they took their women as wives and younger children to raise them in their culture. It should be obvious that they understood the problems with breeding within too small a group. After the Europeans came to the Americas, the indigenous population was decimated by the new Eurasian diseases. They knew they needed the "seed" from the Europeans for the tribes survival and had them sleep with their (probably slave) women. The Vikings brought back slaves from where ever they traveled. Wherever an army conquers another group, it spreads it's seed. Alexander the great, the Russians, the Huns, the Romans, the Moors, and countless others did this throughout history. There is no such thing as a pure race. We are all related in some way. A recent author (Conquered into Freedom) made the statement that all French Canadians are related. By my calculations, probably no more than 10th or 12th cousins.

      Delete
    2. I agree. Nicely done...purebreds don't really exist in my humble O.

      Delete
  42. Hello everyone:

    Please read the following DNA Tribes explanation on the genetic profile they have provided.

    "TribeScores can be higher in populations and regions that are less differentiated (due to less mixture, geographical isolation, etc.).

    For your own updated results, your DNA profile is found in an Omani population and Armenian population from Sason at similar frequency. The TribeScore is higher in the Omani sample, which can be due to greater genetic differentiation of Armenians (due to geographical isolation) as compared to Oman (possibly due to more mixture in Omani populations)."

    Now, if you did not understand what is going on in the quoted passage, read it again. After having understood all the contradictions, tell me if this company is NOT a scam. They should be sued!!!

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  43. A better grasp of multivariate analysis would be beneficial to all the skeptics - and that includes you Larry. This statistical regression application has recognized strengths and weaknesses. It was developed to account for categories of systematic variance as they relate to populations of interest. It addresses probabilities within confidence limits. It cannot provide simple yes/no answers. Yet when such factors are taken into account, the tool demonstrates great utility in a range of applications from likelihood of success in graduate school to likelihood of failure in aviation training. When used to make predictions, such as group or “tribe” membership, it is recognized (by its practitioners) that Type I and Type II errors (false positives and false negatives) will occur. The goal is to tune the equation(s) to maximize the measurement of systematic variance and minimize the error. But don’t take my word for it. Consult your local inferential statistician.

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  44. @Bin Yunger,

    I think you missed the point.

    Imagine that your coportate, for-profit, database says that haplotype X is associated with increased risk for disease Y. Let's assume that this is wrong and there actually is no association in spite of what the scientific papers say.

    How will multivariate analysis stop the private company from telling a client that they are at risk for disease Y?

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  45. Well, I just paid for a test kit and shall see what happens. I will come back and report my findings. :)

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  46. I am a DNA tribes customer and expected:English, Irish, French, Swiss-German, Scottish, Welsh from my geneological research. I got Berber (Bouhria) # 1, and Oman # 2. Also, surprising were Romania, Greek, Italian, Crotian, and Roma. Although if you get the extended results the expected ethnicites appeared further down (in the 20-100 range). I researched it and found Moors in Virgina in colonial days, and the Atlas Mountains of Morocco could have been a refuge during the last ice age (11,500 years ago)or it could be that some Irish/English founded a colony there. With DNA tribes you have to realize that genes could go both ways-for example Roma results could just mean both Roma and Germans have some deep Greek/ Turkish origin

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  47. (cont')I also found that during the Inquisition in Spain-many Jews converted or they hid their Jewish ancestry in order to survive. There was migration between Spain and Ireland-which could account for some of the anomolies.
    The same with gypsies and mixed German-gypsies (zieguener-mischling) in Germany and France, some realized that changing their name and ethnicity would help them to survive. They told people they were Egyptian in some cases, who knows maybe it is true. It does sound strange that so many people came up with Oman results, unless that was a very deep ancestry. The linguistic analysis of Gallic (Irish), Welsh etc. shows it is a Hametic language which most likely came from Northern Africa. This matches up with folklore of Ireland founders coming from Tea Tephi (a line of Israel)who arrived in Ireland after a sojourn in Egypt and Spain. I would like to try another company besides DNA Tribes though to test my MT DNA, any suggestions?

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    1. My daughter got extremely strange results from DNA Tribes. From her former Family Tree DNA results (which agreed with the rest of the family members who have been tested) she is 51.25% Northeast European, 16% Native American, and 32.75% Middle Eastern. This makes sense since her Mexican mother would be part European, Moorish, and Native American. Her father is 100% European (Irish and English). Good old DNA Tribes gave her main origin as Bangladesh with the rest in Malaysia. She had 0% (that is ZERO) Native American and the small amount of European was from the Urals. Nothing could have been farther from the truth. DNA Tribes may not be a scam but it is totally worthless in my opinion. If you want to do autosomal testing I would recommend Family Tree DNA. I have had ten family members tested and everything seems to be in agreement.

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    2. I guess that is the ultimate test of validity when two separate tests come up with two completely different resuts.

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    3. I too was confused when I received my DNA Tribes report,but the more I knew about the process ,I was put at ease. Take for instance,if you have Native American genes but not listed with a specific tribe.Look on part D of DNA Tribes report and see if you can find mestizo. That is the Native American aspect of your chart. If it's within the top 10 of your chart within part D,then that's a high margin/ percentage.And proof of your Native American roots.
      catmandu------------

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  48. I truly believe DNA Tribes is a scam. I can trace my ancestry back to Norway, Germany, the British Isles, Denmark and a few French strays from the German French border town of Spicheren. Also my 4th great grandmother is American Indian. I've traced all the lines back about 300+ years.

    DNA tribes showed my main origin as Brazil, Portugal and North Africa. None of the top 50 counties my supposed DNA comes from is any of my known countries of origin. Plus I have had other DNA testing done which puts me in northern Europe. I have contacted them and they will run the test again if I pay for it. They gave me a lot of double talk which made no sense in the test results. For the amount of money I paid I have reported them to the Better Business Bureau.

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    Replies
    1. I agree completely. I had my DNA tested to try to add to the picture from our family's genealogy (was great, great grandma Jewish?). Instead of what I know to be a collection of Northern European and perhaps Levantine alleles, my DNAtribes results are nearly 100% southern Indian?!? I suspect these are the exact results of whoever handled my sample.

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  49. I'm sure some people think 1+1=2 is a SCAM :-)

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  50. My Great Grandmother was Creek Indian whos name is not known in English. My DNA TRIBES test came back saying we are from Belarus. I did a little poking around and found out that most American Native Tribes are from that area and migrated across the land bridge to Alaska some 30 Thousand years ago.I have a Grandmother whos name is on the final Dawes report for the Choctaw so I already know about the bloodline. Had I known the DNA TRIBES were going to find out which Continent we came from I wouldnt have wasted my money.

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  51. I TESTED WITH FTDNA BECAUSE I SELECTED THEM AS THE BEST WITH LARGEST DATA BASE AND COMPARED TO THE OTHERS A LARGE COMPANY. WRONG! IT IS A RIP OFF. I AM AN ADOPTEE AND THAT RIPE PLUM OF FINALLY FINDING MY PARENTAL SURNAME WAS WHAT WON ME. ALL THOSE STORIED OF FOLKS WHO HAD A MATCH. SO I WENT FOR IT AL THE WAY AND PAID OUT WELL OVER A THOUSAND BUCKS FOR THE RIP OFF SCHEME. THEN THE TESTS FINALLY CAME BACK WITH MANY MATCHES ALL AT ONLY 12 MARKERS. NO OTHERS. WHEN I TRIED TO CONTACT THE HUNDREDS OF MATCHES THE FEW REPLYS I GOT LOOKED AT ME LIKE THE FOOL I AM. A FOOL TO THINK FTDNA COULD END THAT OVER 60 YEARS BRICK WALL AS AN ADOPTEE. THEN I STILL HUNG ON AFTER ENORMOUS INVESTMENT. JOINED THE PROJECTS....AND AS SOON AS I JOIN EACH PROJECT THEY DEMAND MORE MONEY FOR MORE TESTING TO MAKE FTDNA RICHER. AND WHAT FOR TO PUT MORE NUMBERS ON MORE PAPER THAT GET ME NOT ONE INCH CLOSER TO THAT ELUSIVE SURNAME THAT IS MINE I WILL DIE NOT KNOWING. THE TECHNOLOGY IS NOT THERE TO DO THIS......AND THIS COMPANY, FTDNA PREYS UPON FOLKS LIKE ME WHO ARE DESPARATE TO END THAT YEARS OF BRICK WALL WANTING THEIR SURNAME. DO NOT BE A FOOL LIKE ME. DO NOT PAY THEM THE MONEY.......DO NOT THINK YOU WILL FIND A MATCH WHICH WILL END THE ADOPTEE DELIMA..........YOU ARE A FOOL TO LISTEN TO THEIR PITCH. RIPPPED OFF BY FAMILY TREE DNA. AND AS SOON AS THEY REALIZE YOU ARE A DISSATISFIED CUSTOMER THEY BAN YOU FROM THEIR BLOG...... THEY WILL TOLERATE NO CRITICISM.

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  52. I think the problem is with the DNA testing companies with the way the product is marketed and presented on the website. There is rarely any background on how the test works on the companies site in full view.

    For mtDNA and Y-Paternal 23andme does a *Halpogroup* which is not a *Halpotype." They do not test the Chromosome in large to call it a halpotype. The company is not going to ward off anyone getting too complicated but they should explain the basis of the test is actually quite limited.

    It's not that the DNA test is wrong or the company is a scam, but I feel these tests are being misrepresented and are subject to change with added/or minus population references. DNAtribes, they are producing results based on their population data. The more populations added the less credible the result. Everyone wants every milk and craney but this causes confusion in the population results. For ancestry, it is all comparative testing based on statistical data for common alleles in populations. This is why 23andme and DeCodeme uses only African, European and Asian.

    23andMe and DeCodeme use the International Hapmap or samples.
    http://hapmap.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/ethicalconcerns.html

    "The individual DNA samples used in the Project are identified as coming from a male or a female, from one of the four populations participating in the study, and, in the case of the parent-child trios, from either one of the parents or the child. The samples are anonymous with regard to individual identity. Samples cannot be connected to individuals, and no personal information is linked to any sample. As an additional safeguard, more samples were collected from each population than were used, so no one knows whether any particular person's DNA is included in the study. No medical or phenotypic information was obtained from the donors."

    How do they arrive what is common for Europeans, Africans,Asians and Native Americans? Say for example you have 100 Native American test subjects, 70% test with the frequency pattern (AIM's) A-B-C and the remaining 30% test D-E-F. Now, if A-B-C is found most common with the Native American test sujbects and less common in Africans and Europeans, than A-B-C will be used as a marker for statistical data for comparative ethnic testing. While D-E-F is also found in 30% of the Native American test subjects, will not be used since it will be deemed not as common for Native American. However, just because A-B-C was found as common markers in the Native American test subjects, does not mean it is NOT found in other populations, or exclusively only with Native Americans or Native Americans can't carry another marker. This can produce false positives or false negatives. When you show similarity to an ethnic group, just means you have alleles in common with them, not that you have actual ancestry from this group of people.

    Bearing in mind, there are no samples from the USA for Native Americans or Canada Six Nation Tribes. Most of the Native American samples are coming from the all but plentiful Central Americans (Pima, Mayan) and some South American Brazilian. North

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  53. Thank you, to the person warning about FTDNA. I read that compelling story, about the guy who found biological relatives through that company. Being desperate, I was so close to purchasing. Now I know better.

    I went with 23andMe, after reading Neil Schwartzman's story about finding his biological relatives through them. Maybe he's one in a million. Or 23andMe have a team of writers, making up stories to lure people. I feel so scammed.

    People there, have mistakes in their personal traits and health reports. I should have significant European in my ancestry, but I got 0%. Every time I read on the site about humanity originating in Africa, then moving into other environments to form sub-groups, it makes no sense to me. How can they assign people to one of many haplogroups, when they only took samples from four populations? I don't even fill out the surveys anymore. 23andMe might turn my incorrect results into data. Then some poor soul will get the shock of their life.

    When I ask for help on the forum, I mostly get bullies who seem to want to drive me into suicide. 23andMe's people, do not seem to like you questioning their results. Since they do not admit that their testing is still in experimental stages, I cannot trust them. They act as if their tests have the final say. They asked if I wanted to spend another few hundreds of dollars, on another test. Nah, I'll pass. Seriously, I wish I had never taken this test.

    They do not have the technology to do what they claim. But they sure have the money to advertise. And they don't care, if your test results are wrong and unusable. If you complain, they try to label you as a con artist, looking for money. Ha, I know who the real con artists are.

    Thank you for this site. It's going to save some poor soul from a nervous breakdown.

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  54. DNA Tribes test results make no sense, apparently my strongest ancestry is from Saudi Arabia. No English, no German and no Native American ancestry whatsoever, despite family data. Could they have gotten the samples mixed up?

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  55. I wasted money on the DNA Tribes analysis and, like many other people here, i feel i was ripped off. I am of Northern European ancestry and their test said that I was primarily Malaysian. One look at me can determin this is totally innaccurate. what a ripoff.

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  56. I took a chance without fully knowing, and still not understanding, how genetic DNA tests work and tested a family member at FTDNA. I have had no luck with the YDNA results since I chose the 37 one and got back only distant matches on the 25 level. Of course their response to that was that not enough people have tested for him to come up with a match.

    So, I paid more money for the Family Finder tests which has actually produced several matches that I've been able to trace in actual records.

    I'm not totally sold on the population finder yet though, simply because I can't trace my ancestry on paper beyond America and the fact that the field is so new. Maybe in the future it will be more accurate, but right now I think we're just guinea pigs !

    Overall, I would not encourage others to spend money on these test unless you're willing to take a risk. I personally don't think FTDNA is scamming people though.

    ReplyDelete
  57. An interesting letter in the post this morning:-

    "Dear Sir, I located your address online from a phone company listing. Since the listings are by first name initial only, I apologize for not being able to properly address you by forename as well.

    I have cogitated long and hard a few months now of how best to compose a letter like this and not be intrusive. But contact with so-called experts in diplomacy and etiquette failed to give much guidance.

    Therefore I shall cut to the chase.

    I am an American descended from 17th century English colonists. Research pinpoints the likely progenitor of my surname lineage to be a George ****, who arrived in Virginia in 1679.

    As with many immigrants from this early period, any scrap of evidence to verify birthplace for this forebear has yet to surface, should it exist.

    Age bracket of the immigrant, patterns for given names firmly adhered to by British society in the past, coupled with my perusal of old parish records available online, allow me to make the supposition that George ****, the colonist, may have originated from a **** family in (my home town).

    The parish records also show that the **** name was widespread in England from the late Middle Ages onward. Many of these families with this last name may not have been related at all. But I still am of the opinion that a strong chance exists that the Virginia ****s stem from (my home town).

    Having provided this background information, I am contacting you to inquire whether you would consider, at my expense, participating in a Y-chromosome DNA study. The Y-chromosome is inherited only from father to son, much like a surname is in patrilineal societies. Therefore, this study is necessarily restricted to men.

    If particular gene sequences of your Y-chromosome were to match mine, this survey could stand to prove or disprove **** as the ancestral seat for most Americans with the **** surname in their pedigree. Again, the impetus to conduct this genetic analysis is the lack of documentation for the emigrant's place of origin.

    If you are a man and know that your **** forebears have long been resident in the **** region, I invite you to participate.

    I can offer recompense in the form only of the Y-chromosome comparison and of DNA assessment as well of your maternal ancestry. I shall be privy only to the Y-chromosome results. If you can see other means by which I can show my appreciation to you for this great imposition on your privacy, please propose such to me.

    If you decide to aid me in my research, collection of the tissue sample for DNA analysis is very easily obtained by swabbing the inside of one's mouth with a small cytology brush and mailing the brush, postage-paid, to the laboratory.

    For further questions or details you might have, do not hesitate to contact me.

    Thank you for consideration of my request.

    Yours very truly"

    Name
    Phone numbers office & home
    Email

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  58. I have read the comments on this blog and I have to laugh. I was
    I was watching Jerry Springer or Maury Povich the other day and they were trying to find the father of this woman's baby and they marched out 7 different men onstage and that woman swore up and down that each and every single one of those men were the baby's father. In the end none of them were the father. I very seriously doubt that this a new phenomenon and in fact has gone on in every age. If you think that you know who your grandpa is or your great grandpa is you may want to rethink it.It just might be that great grandma caught the eye of the Chinese guy at the laundry mat or the Moroccan gas station attendant. I read on here about the guy claiming the results were wrong because he knew that his ancestors were from the same small town in England for the last 400 years. Again... lol Maybe grandma didn't tell grandpa about the night they had an argument and how the Brazilian or Tunisian guy at the pub comforted her. I think that for all the geniuses on here looking for answers don't forget one of the most obvious answers human nature infidelity and deceit.

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  59. 23andMe co-founder Anne Wojcicki, is the wife of Google co-founder Sergey Brin.

    Google is a private company that uses your Web searches, photos, Gmail messages, etc. to get data on you. Google scans every photo you upload to Google+. It can find out what your family members look like.

    I wish I had not spent hundreds of dollars on 23andMe, only to be scammed. I went into my Google account and discovered that there was a search history from some time before I sent in a sample. I was researching a specific race. Lo and behold, that's the race I got for my results. I want my money back.

    http://www.businessinsider.com/googles-plan-to-take-over-the-world-2013-5#ixzz2U4YQKhQP
    http://www.spenceforensics.com/dnaancestry.html
    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/science/science-news/9912822/DNA-ancestry-tests-branded-meaningless.html

    Thank you for this site.

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  60. 23andMe RIPOFF!! SCAM!! REPORTS FALSE AND UN-TRUE (AVOID THIS SCAM)

    23ANDME is a RIPOFF! RIPOFF! RIPOFF!. It's a SCAM!!! It's a SCAM!!! I bought one of their $99 test kits that will break down my genetics and tell me my chances of getting ill from certain cancers and heart disease. I could not believe my eyes when I saw the test results. TOTALY FALSE! They make these numbers up! I called them for a refund and I was insulted by Andy Page who refused to return my money. I had my tests done somewhere else and the results were totally different.

    I called them again and a technician by the name of “Arnab Chowdry “ secretly told me that the results are made up and no actual genetic study is done. Anne “The founder of this scam” he told me, made up the idea when they where dating each other. I want to make myself available for any class action lawsuits against this FRAUD!.

    http://www.ripoffreport.com/r/23andMe/Mountain-View-California-94043/23andMe-RIPOFF-SCAM-REPORTS-FALSE-AND-UN-TRUE-AVOID-THIS-SCAM-Mountain-View-Califo-1052446

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    Replies
    1. Lie you do. Health is probabilities. Ancestry is fairly accurate. You imagination will do you in.

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  61. I did my test with DNA Tribes and it is surprising that many people are disappointed.

    I was born in Egypt with Moroccan and Arab Ancestry but no idea where in Arabia. Did the test and it confirms my Moroccan ancestry and Arab ancestry. My Arab ancestors were from Qatar. Other Populations that poped up seemed random at first but with a little research i was able to connect all the dots.

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  62. I wish I had seen this blog before ordering my mom's DNA test through DNA tribes. The results are impossible to understand and a total waste of money. I will be posting negative comments about them everywhere!

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  63. Having been tested with three companies, my opinion is ,

    FTDNA : Good at mtDNA and Y DNA ancestry, but their autosomal testing (population Finder) is at very early experimental stage, not much reliable

    23andme: Their autosomal testing is probably better, provides a more detailed match list, dont take health results seriously.

    DNA tribes : i transferred my 23andme results for their analysis. The analysis seems to be in line with what i know - Balcans, Slavic, SE Europe, but some tests have contradicting results. For example, results with native populations and all populations are totally different.

    i think 23andme probably is the one that is most informative with a nice user-interface.

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  64. Do you really want to see the biggest scam artist of all?
    Try ISOGG and DNAExplain
    Neither of which are geneticists or scientists.
    http://www.dnaexplain.com/About/Resume.asp

    http://www.isogg.org/

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