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Ancestry.com To Add DNA Test Results

kdawson posted more than 7 years ago | from the who's-yer-daddy dept.

Biotech 223

Spamicles writes "For less than $200 and a cheek-swiped cotton swab, you will soon be able to add DNA results to family tree Web sites. Ancestry.com plans to launch the DNA testing product by the end of summer, offering customers the possibility of finding DNA matches in the site's 24,000 genealogical databases. By taking a simple cheek-swab test and comparing results against DNA profiles in a test-results database, virtually anyone can uncover genealogical associations unimaginable just a few years ago. Users can easily connect with and discover lost or unknown relatives within a few generations, as well as gain insight into where their families originated thousands of years ago."

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This has been available for a while (5, Funny)

niceone (992278) | more than 7 years ago | (#19563269)

This has been available for a while at www.fbi.gov. Users can easily connect with and discover lost or unknown crimes they have committed, as well as gain insight into the legal system and prison food.

Re:This has been available for a while (5, Insightful)

WrongSizeGlass (838941) | more than 7 years ago | (#19563437)

All kidding aside ... would the FBI (or some other government or law enforcement agency) ever be able to request (wink wink) your DNA from ancestry.com? I doubt there's a 'web site/client' privilege to contend with. Is there any real expectation of privacy if you voluntarily submit it to them?

Re:This has been available for a while (3, Insightful)

Red Flayer (890720) | more than 7 years ago | (#19563581)

would the FBI (or some other government or law enforcement agency) ever be able to request (wink wink) your DNA from ancestry.com?
Absolutely. They'd technically need a warrant, though. /snicker

If it would help make the streets safer for our children, why would anyone have a problem with that?

Sorry, full of the snark this morning.

Re:This has been available for a while (4, Informative)

morgan_greywolf (835522) | more than 7 years ago | (#19563585)

IANAL, but I'm guessing that they could request your DNA from ancestry.com, and if the site refused to turn over results, they could probably get a subpoena as long as they were able to show reasonable cause. But this would be no different than getting DNA directly from you, which is much cleaner in terms of the chain of evidence.

OTOH, as long as a doctor is the one obtaining the DNA, there is a degree of doctor/patient confidentiality. On the gripping hand, the courts generally will still issue a subpoena to get DNA from medical records (again, with reasonable cause), and I suppose it's no different in this case.

Re:This has been available for a while (2, Funny)

kalirion (728907) | more than 7 years ago | (#19564157)

IANAL, but I'm guessing that they could request your DNA from ancestry.com, and if the site refused to turn over results, they could probably get a subpoena as long as they were able to show reasonable cause. But this would be no different than getting DNA directly from you, which is much cleaner in terms of the chain of evidence.

Or they could just ask RIAA to borrow their pretexting experts.

Re:This has been available for a while (3, Interesting)

Daniel Dvorkin (106857) | more than 7 years ago | (#19564227)

Here's the worry, I think: law enforcement agencies could take a crime scene sample, run it against the entire Ancestry.com database, and decide that whoever comes up with the closest match must have done it. And in the current climate, they might well make it stick, even if the crime involves ... [gasp] pedophilia ... or [shock] terrorism ... or [falls over dead from the horror of it] record piracy.

Re:This has been available for a while (4, Informative)

Animaether (411575) | more than 7 years ago | (#19564603)

I'm going to play devil's advocate here for a bit and say that just because somebody's DNA is found at a scene doesn't automatically make agencies go "he did it". It's -a- piece of evidence and one that can be discarded as easily as *snaps fingers* that if there's a good explanation.

Now... if you have no alibi for the time they're placing the crime at, and no good explanation whatsoever of why your DNA would be there... yes, the police may investigate you a little closer. Still doesn't mean they'll just skip the whole investigation and trial thing and just lock you up 'because the DNA said he did it'. If they tried, then lawyers these days are quite savvy enough to come up with some reasonable explanation of why your DNA might be there (even if you can't), and the cops, too, know they'll need a little more than that to convince a judge/jury.

I find automated bits and pieces just as scary as the next guy (probably a bit scarier because I've been detained at 3 separate events for carrying a camera with a suspicious looking lens (it's a fisheye) - one of which was a bomb scare - so yeah, I know how it feels to automatically be 'suspect'), but let's not blow things way out of proportion.

Re:This has been available for a while (2, Insightful)

AvitarX (172628) | more than 7 years ago | (#19564293)

Except if the get it from you. You can hire a lawyer and start planning your defense (weather guilty or not). If they get it from Ancestry.com they can keep you in the dark and blindside you months later.

Re:This has been available for a while (1)

suv4x4 (956391) | more than 7 years ago | (#19563725)

All kidding aside ... would the FBI (or some other government or law enforcement agency) ever be able to request (wink wink) your DNA from ancestry.com? I doubt there's a 'web site/client' privilege to contend with. Is there any real expectation of privacy if you voluntarily submit it to them?

It's 2007, FBI is irrelevant. Just issue a DMCA takedown notice for your DNA and crime clues to them and they gotta comply.

If they don't, sue their asses. That'll teach them. Amateurs.

Re:This has been available for a while (3, Insightful)

niceone (992278) | more than 7 years ago | (#19564147)

They don't even have to get the data! They just have to take the DNA from the crime scene and submit it to this site... then whoever is closest related probably did it.

Re:This has been available for a while (3, Interesting)

db32 (862117) | more than 7 years ago | (#19564377)

Just gunna go out on a limb here, but I suspect that you are more likely to find the DNA match of a victim than a criminal. I may just be making broad generalizations here but I would suspect that most of the people who would submit their DNA to Ancestory.com are not the same type of people who go leaving their DNA at crime scenes, let alone are every around any crime scenes as anything other than a victim.

I hate the relatives I have (4, Funny)

east coast (590680) | more than 7 years ago | (#19563273)

Why would I want to find out that I have more?

Re:I hate the relatives I have (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19563453)

Amen, brother.

Other way around... (1)

Dareth (47614) | more than 7 years ago | (#19563739)

... If you are lucky, you will find out they really aren't your relatives after all, and that your parents kidnapped you from your real parents, who are super mega rich.

Unfortunately, I look so much like my parents, I don't have much hope...

Can't wait to meet dad (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19563787)

It says my dad is Sylar ..

Re:I hate the relatives I have (1)

chelanfarsight (835467) | more than 7 years ago | (#19564241)

ya, on that same note: do these people not have, you know, in-laws or drunk uncles?

Privacy? (4, Informative)

MMC Monster (602931) | more than 7 years ago | (#19563285)

I had a genealogy site up a few years ago. I eventually took it down due to complaints from my (extended) family regarding privacy concerns. I had people emailing me asking to remove their mothers' maiden names from the database.

God only knows how something like ancestry.com manages to keep afloat with all the privacy concerns.

P.S. I would try to put my database back up and require registration for searching, but there is no way for me to validate any registration (to avoid identity theives), so the point is probably moot.

Re:Privacy? (1)

Tuoqui (1091447) | more than 7 years ago | (#19563321)

Simple, a vast majority of the information obtained is a matter of public record (Birth Certificates, Death Certificates, Marriage Licenses, etc...). All anyone has to do is go to the area they were born in and go through the hall of records or whatever it is and bam. You got all this info. And to be honest, shouldnt we be using something OTHER than Mother's maiden name to reset passwords and crap by now?

Re:Privacy? (2, Insightful)

Red Flayer (890720) | more than 7 years ago | (#19563619)

All anyone has to do is go to the area they were born in and go through the hall of records or whatever it is and bam. You got all this info.
Well, it's an onerous task to do all that research. Security through obscurity and pain-in-the-assity actually works most of the time in the real world. It's when it becomes EASY to find that information that the amount of identity theft becomes a problem worth spending a ton of resources to defeat.

And to be honest, shouldnt we be using something OTHER than Mother's maiden name to reset passwords and crap by now?
Yes. Unfortunately, the credit card companies would have to spend a lot of money making a change like that, so it's not going to happen any time soon.

Re:Privacy? (2, Informative)

Mikkeles (698461) | more than 7 years ago | (#19563839)

'And to be honest, shouldnt we be using something OTHER than Mother's maiden name to reset passwords and crap by now?'

Yes. However, the banks, etc., don't really care what answer you use for mother's maiden name; give them anything you want which you will remember if needed. This applies to any of these test questions; the answer need not have anything to do with reality.

Re:Privacy? (1)

Animaether (411575) | more than 7 years ago | (#19564651)

In fact, that's actually the best way to deal with them.

Mother's maiden name? 'Upyours'.

Say somebody gets a hold of your account data, but not enough to do anything.. for that, they need to reset an e-mail addy or whatever, and for -that- they need to answer the secret question. Mother's maiden name? pfft.. they already know nearly all they need for full access to your account.. you think they won't know your mother's maiden name? So they enter it.. Johnson. *BUZZ* wrong, mister. And with any luck your bank will be smart and have this logged and notify you of an attempt by somebody to do funny things to your account and that, if you wish, you can change your more common details to thwart any future attemt.

Re:Privacy? (3, Interesting)

ParticleGirl (197721) | more than 7 years ago | (#19563849)

Although all this stuff is a matter of public record, most of it isn't readily accessible. The internet changes the whole meaning of public. We're talking about institutions which have existed for decades if not centuries, and for them the internet is still new.
 
I worked at a data archive under the Department of Justice and the FBI in the late 90s/early 00s, and they were just making a switch to dowloads from distributing CDs full of data for the cost of the CD plus shipping. You see, the data was supposed to be a matter of public record. But if they wanted a copy, once upon a time it meant many, many days with a mimeograph. Or a punchcard machine. Or waiting for (and paying for) a CD to arrive in the mail. (All of these changes over the course of 20 years, after many decades of needing to visit!)
    People finally had the bandwith to download. The biggest issue people at the archive struggled with? If it's too easy to use, any schmuck who wants to can get a copy. In the past you had to go to great, or at least greater, lengths to get the information. There was more resistance than you can imagine to making the website user friendly as opposed to intentional obfuscation(!) simply because "a matter of public record" has a very, very different meaning now than it did twenty years ago.

If the FBI wants your mother's maiden name (or diary) and have filled out all the appropriate paperwork, they can find out whether they have to go to the local archive (or your bedroom) or not. But if Joe Schmoe wants your mother's maiden name (or your diary), there's a difference between him making a special trip to an archive (or visiting your bedroom) and him typing your name into Google.

Which is not to say I don't think that "matter of public record" information shouldn't be on the internet. It should be. Information wants to be free and all that... but lots of very stupid people are going to suffer because they didn't realize that their blog wasn't private, and lots and lots of smart people are going to suffer because some credit companies only allow people to use things that are a matter of public record as passwords. It's going to take a while for people-- and especially for institutions-- to get used to the idea that public has a whole new meaning; that accessible is the new last word in privacy.

Re:Privacy? (1)

chill (34294) | more than 7 years ago | (#19563451)

The simple was is to create accounts and only let family into your site instead of having it public. Don't show private information of people still living or, if someone complains, one generation back from the living.

Beyond that it is mostly public records.

Re:Privacy? (1)

xsadar (627057) | more than 7 years ago | (#19563471)

I'm not sure about Ancestory.com's policies, but familysearh.org [familysearch.org] doesn't make names of living people available unless they request it themselves. I don't remember exactly, but I think they wait a few years after the person's death as well. That alleviates at least some of the privacy concerns.

Re:Privacy? (3, Interesting)

Rauser (631244) | more than 7 years ago | (#19563773)

Unfortunately, the IGI (International Genealogical Index) that is hosted at Familysearch.org is one of the absolutely least accurate resources available, full of errors and information about living people. The IGI is treated very sceptically by genealogists, even though it occasionally contains the odd nugget of valuable info.

Re:Privacy? (4, Interesting)

JWSmythe (446288) | more than 7 years ago | (#19563573)

My mother does genealogy. She has parts of our family back to the 1400's. I've discussed many options with her on bigger, better, faster (and more computer-centric) ways to gather the information. There are a lot of obstacles.

    The saddest is what you ran into. If I remember what she told me correctly, it's either legally required, or just good form, to only publish those who are deceased or records older than 80 years. I'm probably off on that number though. Why I consider it sad is that I wouldn't know cousin Vinnie. He (the mythical Vinnie) could be a blood relation from a fork of our tree in 1500 Europe.

    She wants, or needs, to show real documentation of the person and how they relate. She considers the accuracy of her work very important. Just because she finds (buys, borrows, whatever) someone else's tree doesn't mean that any of the information in it is accurate. Say our trees did cross. How is she to know without all the supporting documentation that the details are correct. Maybe that birth of Isaac on December 4 of 1606 was really April 12th of 1606. If she follows your tree without verification, she'll be following incorrect data to dead ends.

    I do like the idea of being able to find real-world relations. For my family, we're friendly enough so I don't suspect there would be problems. I know some families aren't quite so nice. Just because cousin Vinnie is a billionaire, every distant cousin would be bugging him for some of his cash.

    I'll probably be putting myself into the system. I'm curious to see who's out there. Maybe I have a distant cousin who's also a reader here, and we have a lot in common. :) Maybe it just doesn't matter if you're a cousin or not. :)

Re:Privacy? (1)

John3 (85454) | more than 7 years ago | (#19564033)

I use PHPGedview [phpgedview.net] for posting my family tree online [johnfix.com] . You can easily define how much privacy you want to enforce, and most people restrict display of data unless someone has registered. Registration requests come in to my email and I can grant access, allow a person to add updates (which I later approve), etc. It's a very cool package if you have access to a web server that handles PHP.

In... (-1, Redundant)

akkarin (1117245) | more than 7 years ago | (#19563295)

In Soviet Russia, DNA trace YOU! Oh, wait...

This is going to be interesting (5, Insightful)

laron (102608) | more than 7 years ago | (#19563299)

Doctors calculate that about 5-10% of all children have a different biological father than they (and their "social" fathers) think.

Re:This is going to be interesting (2, Insightful)

WrongSizeGlass (838941) | more than 7 years ago | (#19563397)

Doctors calculate that about 5-10% of all children have a different biological father than they (and their "social" fathers) think.
I know my dad is my "biological father". He's a miserable asocial misanthrope just like I am. It's true what they say that the apple doesn't rot far from the tree.

Re:This is going to be interesting (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19563517)

we care

Re:This is going to be interesting (1)

JWSmythe (446288) | more than 7 years ago | (#19563605)


    But is that due to characteristics that you've picked up from your environment, or genetics?

    So, you were raised with a miserable asocial misanthrope as a role model. Children learn from their environment, mainly their parents (or parental figures). Some mirror their role model. Some realize their role model is poor and go the opposite.

    I've been an influence on several children over the years, and some of them act quite a bit like me (as good or bad as that may be). My own genetic children act less like me, but there's a long painful story behind that. I'd be happy to share it, but would probably be banned for life from here for the language I'd use. :)

Re:This is going to be interesting (2, Funny)

WrongSizeGlass (838941) | more than 7 years ago | (#19563625)

I'd be happy to share it, but would probably be banned for life from here for the language I'd use.
Dad!? You post on /. too?

Re:This is going to be interesting (3, Informative)

BlueTrin (683373) | more than 7 years ago | (#19563697)

Doctors calculate that about 5-10% of all children have a different biological father than they (and their "social" fathers) think.


Can you provide a link to the study, I have often seen this quote, but never found a reliable source which shows the result of the study.

Re:This is going to be interesting (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19563981)

Son, is that you?

Re:This is going to be interesting (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19564133)

Can you provide a link to the study, I have often seen this quote, but never found a reliable source which shows the result of the study.

Yer mom told me at breakfast this morning. :-) Oh c'mon...how many "yer mom"s do we get on slashdot?

Re:This is going to be interesting (1)

laron (102608) | more than 7 years ago | (#19564135)

I don't even know if there was ever a study on this subject. I got the number from a pediatrician.

Anyway, I recall a homework session about blood types with a friend, who had a bad case of non-matching paternal blood. Fun times.

I have experience with this... (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19564357)

We had cases come up in our clinic where DNA results didn't match the clinical situation. I tried to find some data on how common this was. I couldn't find any decent data in humans. For birds there is some information. That is where the 5-10% comes from. From the results in our clinic I would say that about 1% of fathers are raising a kid they don't know isn't their's. Even in those cases it wasn't a big shocker to the clinic staff. It didn't take much prompting for the mother to say something like "I guess it could be my ex-boyfriend's".

Re:This is going to be interesting (1)

westlake (615356) | more than 7 years ago | (#19564413)

I have often seen this quote, but never found a reliable source which shows the result of the study.

This sounds to me like a good working definition of an urban legend.

Non-paternity rate: reference (5, Informative)

TwoSevenOneEight (202981) | more than 7 years ago | (#19564679)

Studies have generated a range of rates of "non-paternity events". There's an article with more details in this month's The Atlantic (subscription required):

http://www.theatlantic.com/doc/200707/paternity [theatlantic.com]

From the article:

"When geneticists do large-scale studies of populations, they sometimes can't help but learn about the paternity of the research subjects. They rarely publish their findings, but the numbers are common knowledge within the genetics community. In graduate school, genetics students typically are taught that 5 to 15 percent of the men on birth certificates are not the biological fathers of their children. In other words, as many as one of every seven men who proudly carry their newborn children out of a hospital could be a cuckold."

"Non-paternity rates appear to be substantially lower in some populations. The Sorenson Molecular Genealogy Foundation, which is based in Salt Lake City, now has a genetic and genealogical database covering almost 100,000 volunteers, with an overrepresentation of people interested in genealogy. The non-paternity rate for a representative sample of its father-son pairs is less than 2 percent. But other reputed non-paternity rates are higher than the canonical numbers. One unpublished study of blood groups in a town in southeastern England indicated that 30 percent of the town's husbands could not have been the biological fathers of their children."

That reminds me of a joke I read some moons ago (5, Funny)

vivaoporto (1064484) | more than 7 years ago | (#19563723)

A married couple went to the hospital to have their baby delivered. Upon their arrival, the doctor said he had invented a new machine that would transfer a portion of the mother's labor pain to the father. He asked if
they were willing to try it out. They were both very much in favor of it. The doctor set the pain transfer to 10% for starters, explaining that even 10% was probably more pain than the father had ever experienced before.
But as the labor progressed, the husband felt fine and asked the doctor to go ahead and bump it up a notch. The doctor then adjusted the machine to 20% pain transfer. The husband was still feeling fine. The doctor checked
the husband's blood pressure and was amazed at how well he was doing. At this point they decided to try for 50%. The husband continued to feel quite well. Since the pain transfer was obviously helping out the wife considerably, the husband encouraged the doctor to transfer ALL the pain to him. The wife deliverer a healthy baby with virtually no pain. She and her husband were ecstatic.

When they got home, the mailman was dead on the porch.

You insensitive clod... (2, Funny)

Dareth (47614) | more than 7 years ago | (#19563781)

My wife and I are trying to have a baby... only our mail carrier is female.... I don't have any backup!

Re:You insensitive clod... (1)

Capt James McCarthy (860294) | more than 7 years ago | (#19563917)

"My wife and I are trying to have a baby... only our mail carrier is female.... I don't have any backup!"

Don't worry, she'll beat it with numbers. Your pool boy, milk man, cable guy, neighbors, or phone tech should be successful any day now.

Re:You insensitive clod... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19564193)

Just post your address and I'm sure many of the nice gentlemen visiting this site will be extremely willing to help you with that problem.

Wow (3, Funny)

purduephotog (218304) | more than 7 years ago | (#19563311)

I was pretty interested in the service that would trace your genetic heritage- race, country of origin (or percentage, etc)- it would have been fascinating. My uncle has mapped his side of the family (1/2 mine) back to the 1400's... so this extra step would be incredible to combine with.

Then... there's the privacy aspect. But just because I didn't do anything, yet, doesn't mean....

It'll be interesting to see.

Re:Wow (1)

speaker of the truth (1112181) | more than 7 years ago | (#19563617)

Your the second person here to say they had their ancestry mapped to the 1400s. What's so special about this century?

Re:Wow (1)

gringer (252588) | more than 7 years ago | (#19563769)

I don't know, but another interesting point about that century is that it was the last turning point in population size. I guess if you go back further from there, you hit many more people who had lines that died out (lots more potential for false positive matches). From http://zebu.uoregon.edu/1998/es202/archive/l13a.ht ml [uoregon.edu] :

# 1000 AD 0.25 Billion
# 1100 AD 0.30
# 1200 AD 0.36
# 1250 AD 0.40
# 1300 AD 0.36
# 1350 AD 0.44
# 1400 AD 0.35
# 1500 AD 0.43
# 1600 AD 0.55
# 1650 AD 0.47

Possibly overlooked.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19563313)

Anyone, who is thinking about committing a crime, shouldn't do this.

Also, for 200$, wouldn't it be nice to find out the DNA of your neighbours?

I'm gonna buy myself some more Q-tips.

Re:Possibly overlooked.. (2, Funny)

clickclickdrone (964164) | more than 7 years ago | (#19563405)

>wouldn't it be nice to find out the DNA of your neighbours?
Some of mine are pretty sweet, I'd like to give them some DNA if you know what I mean.

Thinking about committing a crime? (1, Interesting)

nurb432 (527695) | more than 7 years ago | (#19563641)

If the government has its way, we will *all* be criminals at some point. Even if they have to look at retroactive actions.

Also, don't forget that future employers/insurance carriers might be looking too. "hmmmm we see here you are predisposed to being/having/doing xyz, we don't feel you are good candidate"

What?? (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19563337)

as well as gain insight into where their families originated thousands of years ago
What??? We all know where we came from, 6000 years ago!

Re:What?? (2, Funny)

JWSmythe (446288) | more than 7 years ago | (#19563649)


    Fell out of a tree?

    Landed in a volcano in a spaceship that looked like a DC3?

    Descendants of the arc?

    There are so many stories. Pick one. No, pick two, keep it interesting. :)

hah.. (1)

joeldg (518249) | more than 7 years ago | (#19563365)

let the stream of paranoia utter forth at the idea of a website requesting your DNA..

OMG..GATTICA..BIG BROTHER, ALIENS UP MY REAR END.. HARP.. CHENEYBUSHFIELDRICE..MOON LANDING..

etc.. you get the idea..
personally though, I would be interested in the results they can display on the web based no that.

Bah, you early adopters (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19563627)

If a policeman finds 10 DNA samples at a crime scene and 5 can be identified, he'll investigate the 5 he can identify and go after the 1 that he can make the best case against.

It's like searching police records of known criminals for a match, only now he's searching people who had a passport renewed recently.

So go ahead, be an early adopter and get your DNA sample in that database.

Re:hah.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19564577)

Fuck you.

Why exactly (-1, Troll)

ericrost (1049312) | more than 7 years ago | (#19563375)

would I want the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints (Mormons) who run Ancestry.com (their dirty little secret for how they put more names in the Book of Mormon) to have my DNA? Sounds creepy.

Re:Why exactly (1)

AndersOSU (873247) | more than 7 years ago | (#19563513)

Because they offer something valuable in return? Most people like, and are willing to pay for this service. Amateur (and professional) genealogists have been scouring court records for decades trying to find this info. I know that it would be worth $200 to show this kind of info at my family reunion.

Just because you don't find the service valuable doesn't mean the premise is creepy or silly, and having an organization maintain such a database is a requirement for such a service to function. Besides, maybe you'll get lucky and one of you progeny will convert to LDS and you'll make it into their version of heaven (for general /. info the reason the LDS run genealogy organizations is because they teach that if you convert all your ancestors will be saved - that and it might have something to do with money...)

Besides, isn't it slashdot that usually bemoans holding technology back based on preconceived or anachronistic notions about the way things should be?

Re:Why exactly (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19563603)

I know that it would be worth $200 to show this kind of info at my family reunion.

".. and now to Uncle Patrick, who will be pleased to know that he isn't his father's son. Indeed with further investigation I found out that the real father is of Russian descent! I find this amusing given his tight ties in the local Irish community ..."

Yeah, it'd be a right scream.

Re:Why exactly (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19563547)

(their dirty little secret for how they put more names in the Book of Mormon)

And why would this matter to you any more than having your name in the phone book, the tax rolls,
the DMV?

Re:Why exactly (1)

bccomm (709680) | more than 7 years ago | (#19563551)

Ancestry.com isn't run by the Church. You're thinking of familysearch.com

Re:Why exactly (4, Informative)

grylnsmn (460178) | more than 7 years ago | (#19563599)

The LDS Church doesn't run Ancestry.com. It runs FamilySearch.org.

And no, that has nothing to do with "put[ting] more names in the Book of Mormon". In fact, while Baptism for the Dead is mentioned in the Bible (1 Corinthians 15:29), it isn't mentioned at all in the Book of Mormon.

Re:Why exactly (1)

butlerdi (705651) | more than 7 years ago | (#19563979)

However, that does not change the fact that they are and have for some time been involved in the process of puttin' dead folks on their register, doesn't make much sense to me but .... http://www.jefflindsay.com/LDSFAQ/FQ_BaptDead.shtm l [jefflindsay.com]

Re:Why exactly (0, Offtopic)

romcabrera (699616) | more than 7 years ago | (#19564533)

Just for the record: Paul is just mentioning the fact that a group from Corinth is baptizing for the dead, he (neither the Bible) is endorsing it.

Re:Why exactly (1)

will_die (586523) | more than 7 years ago | (#19563891)

Ancestry.com is a for profit company.
You are thinking of www.familysearch.org which is a free site run by the LDS.

Powered by the NSA? (2, Insightful)

Opportunist (166417) | more than 7 years ago | (#19563393)

Give the people some sugar and they will willingly hand over what they normally wouldn't give you at gunpoint...

Hmmm (4, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19563409)

I hope people realise that when they post DNA it's not just their own but also contains information about parents, children, siblings and cousins. Basically your family.

Insurance company - "We've found that your family has a higher risk of kidney disease. In the interest of sharing the risk we won't offer insurance for dialysis or kidney transplant".

I just hope they make the effort to educate people about the pro's and con's of making your dna public.

Worst idea ever (3, Interesting)

suv4x4 (956391) | more than 7 years ago | (#19563447)

For less than $200 and a cheek-swiped cotton swab, you will soon be able to add DNA results to family tree Web sites.

Excellent, now the last thing left is for someone to invent a practical cloning machine.
For less than $200 of course.

Anyone got a bittorent to Pamela Anderson's DNA?

Re:Worst idea ever (1)

gringer (252588) | more than 7 years ago | (#19563563)

Anyone got a bittorent to Pamela Anderson's DNA?


Here's most of it (you can select other chromosomes for downloading through that interface):
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/mapview/seq_reg.cgi?ta xid=9606&chr=1&from=1&to=247249719 [nih.gov]

The rest is just a matter of a few million mutations scattered throughout the genome. Oh, and the bits of the genome that are proving to be very difficult to sequence.

Re:Worst idea ever (2, Funny)

suv4x4 (956391) | more than 7 years ago | (#19563609)

Here's most of it (you can select other chromosomes for downloading through that interface):
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/mapview/seq_reg.cgi?ta [nih.gov] xid=9606&chr=1&from=1&to=247249719

The rest is just a matter of a few million mutations scattered throughout the genome. Oh, and the bits of the genome that are proving to be very difficult to sequence.


That's like painting a DELL white and calling it "Macintosh". No candy for you.

Re:Worst idea ever (1)

AmIAnAi (975049) | more than 7 years ago | (#19563655)

A good portion of it is available via Wikipedia: [R2SiO]n [wikipedia.org]

Re:Worst idea ever (1)

kalirion (728907) | more than 7 years ago | (#19564233)

First you'd need an actual piece of DNA, unless the machine can also synthethize genetic material from a digital pattern. Second you'd need to be patient for quite a few years for the clone to grow up, unless you're into children, you sick pedo.

Personally, I'd rather make out with my Jessica Alba-bot.

Re:Worst idea ever (1)

suv4x4 (956391) | more than 7 years ago | (#19564575)

Second you'd need to be patient for quite a few years for the clone to grow up, unless you're into children, you sick pedo.

Apparently you've not watched enough sci-fi movies, so I'll excuse your ignorance. But cloning machines have this little rotary knob on the side "age". It's right between "brains" and "boobs".

Personally, I'd rather make out with my Jessica Alba-bot.

So.. you'll need to be patient for quite a few years for the clone to grow up, unless you're into children, you sick pedo.

Genetic traits over DNA (3, Interesting)

boyfaceddog (788041) | more than 7 years ago | (#19563461)

Genetic traits can be a better pointer to which region a family came from than simple DNA. After all, DNA takes all that combination stuff (I think it's called sex) and has many latent traits that may or may not show up depending on genetics of both parents.

For example part of my family is Swiss, about six generations back. Part of my wife's family is also Swiss, about four generations back. Her family happens to be from the part of Switzerland that has a wierd abnormality in a small percentage of their population. Sometimes their adult teeth don't develop. Because of this trait and research my wife was able to trace her family to an exact village.

Oh, and no ones privacy was ever in danger.

DNA on the other hand is still latereal in time and not verticle. Unless you want to test a corpse you can't go back many generations. A good tool to see what uncle Joe REALLY did on those "sales" trips in Vegas, but not much good as a family history research tool.

Re:Genetic traits over DNA (1)

gringer (252588) | more than 7 years ago | (#19563667)

DNA on the other hand is still lateral in time and not vertical. Unless you want to test a corpse you can't go back many generations.

Not quite sure what you mean by "many".

It should be possible, through looking at autosomal DNA, to look up to six generations back — to me, that's "many" — possibly a bit longer with the X chromosome (because there's less recombination). Other non-recombinant DNA (Y-chromosome, mitochondria) are good for maybe 600+ years back, but only along one line of ancestry (more recent than that, and there tends to not be enough variation), so could potentially be used for really long-range ancestry. The "only one line" is a problem, but perhaps not all that much of one that far back, considering the exponential rate of population growth.

Re:Genetic traits over DNA (1)

mythar (1085839) | more than 7 years ago | (#19564223)

well, isn't autosomal dna testing also just a comparison between two dna samples? on one hand, if the dna sample isn't available, there's nothing to compare. on the other hand, if the person is still alive, you can just fly over and talk to him. is there anything in between?

Re:Genetic traits over DNA (1)

boyfaceddog (788041) | more than 7 years ago | (#19564447)

Okay, I am uneducated in that case. What you write is facinating and very concise. I would like to read more about it.

From a family history research perspective how can you get six generations back with DNA testing? You are speaking of comparing your DNA to living people and then trusting that they are either from the area where they live or are educated in their own family histories.

Otherwise I can only think of this tool as a compass to point me in the right direction. without the "map" of family history research, the compass is less useful.

Please reply if you can point me in the direction of a book about this.

Thanks

BFD.

Re:Genetic traits over DNA (1)

goodben (822118) | more than 7 years ago | (#19564083)

DNA on the other hand is still latereal in time and not verticle. Unless you want to test a corpse you can't go back many generations. A good tool to see what uncle Joe REALLY did on those "sales" trips in Vegas, but not much good as a family history research tool.

On the contrary, DNA is a very good tool for telling which areas your ancestors come from. It just can't guarantee to pick up all your ancestory. What this service does (among other things) is look for "marker genes" that are specific to locations or families. There are enough "marker genes" that they can pinpoint part of most people's ancestory very well. It can prove you have ancestors from a certain bloodline or region (down to the village in some cases), but it can't prove that you aren't from some place or bloodline (except for some patrilinear bloodlines that have known Y-chromosome markers like Jewish Kohen (priests) (and even then it's remotely possible for some mutation to have removed the marker) and matrilinear bloodlines with known mitochondrial DNA markers).

Guess who (wa)'s Daddy ? (1)

pruneau (208454) | more than 7 years ago | (#19563473)

Somehow, I just hope that they though about the kind of nasty surprise that can arise when you are playing a game of "Guess who": becaue you/mommy/daddy/grandpa/grandm/etc could be in for some nasty surprise.

Nuff said.

But what if your DNA doesn't match? (2, Interesting)

AmIAnAi (975049) | more than 7 years ago | (#19563541)

Is a website the best place to discover that your DNA doesn't match any of your close relatives, as you were expecting it to - that your parents are not your natural parents and you were adopted?

Unfortunately, there are many cases of people not being told that they were adopted and a web site like this is not the ideal way to discover this. You really need an organization that has some form of immediate support for people who receive unexpected surprises.

Re:But what if your DNA doesn't match? (1)

jcorno (889560) | more than 7 years ago | (#19563993)

Is a website the best place to discover that your DNA doesn't match any of your close relatives, as you were expecting it to - that your parents are not your natural parents and you were adopted?


Ancestry.com is the Jerry Springer of the internet.

Re:But what if your DNA doesn't match? (1)

Inda (580031) | more than 7 years ago | (#19564623)

Or worse. You find out that the postman (milkman, window cleaner, odd job man)is your father.

Huh? (1)

Thrip (994947) | more than 7 years ago | (#19563555)

I am wracking my brain to figure out what it means to have 24,000 searchable databases. I guess all your databases are belong to Ancestry.com.
I'm also curious as to why Lawbean would just post the text of an Associated Press article/press release without attribution or commentary. They certainly leave the impression that they're endorsing the service.

The idea is appealing (1)

gozu (541069) | more than 7 years ago | (#19563567)

Getting a warrant for your ancestry DNA file or for a swab of your mouth is the same thing.

The idea is actually very appealing to me. The only problem is the high price of the service and the difficulty of it. Very few around the world will sign up , so few that I predict it will be useless for a long, long time.

Re:The idea is appealing (1)

Aqua_boy17 (962670) | more than 7 years ago | (#19563629)

I dunno. When I personally try to imagine a bunch of /.'ers donating DNA, it makes my kind of queezy.

Let me be the first to do the obligatory joke (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19563659)

Luke, I am your father.

That's IMPOSSIBLE!

No, really. Check out this link.

NOOOOOOO!!!!!

Ancestry.com needs a new way to make money (2, Interesting)

Rauser (631244) | more than 7 years ago | (#19563729)

Since its fat gravy train is going to end soon... How? With the massive FREE release of the entire scanned archive from the Mormon Vault [wikipedia.org] in Salt Lake City (to be available on www.familysearch.org [familysearch.org] ). Once this project has gone live much of the information that Ancestry.com currently charges for will be essentially public domain.

There already is a schism forming between Ancestry.com and Familysearch.org, seen from the collapse of arrangements between the Mormon church and Ancestry to provide the Ancestry.com service free in the LDS Family History centers around the world.

If I had the spare cash... (2, Interesting)

JoeD (12073) | more than 7 years ago | (#19563807)

If I had the spare cash, I'd take a swab from a slab of lunch meat and send that in. Or my cat.

Re:If I had the spare cash... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19564685)

You really think that's lunch meat??

Easy testing (1)

4D6963 (933028) | more than 7 years ago | (#19563811)

Could that be a way to easily obtain DNA tests when you're in a country in which it's a tough thing to get (like France, for example)?

Shit:.. (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19563961)

perf0rm kkeping [goat.cx]

Ummm, advertisement? (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19564063)

How is this considered news? This is just an advertisement for them, is it not?

It's cute and all... (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19564081)

But I still would never put my DNA on file with anyone, much less pay for it.

More power to those who will try this out, though, you're far less paranoid than I am!

Bradshaw Foundation (5, Informative)

12WTF$ (979066) | more than 7 years ago | (#19564131)

FFS! Rather than moderate the /dribble about DNA forensic testing as OT, I'll contribute.

This is a valuable service (yes there are others available) that tests certain parts of the mitachondrial DNA to establish your maternal lineage and tests certain parts of the Y chromosome (I make the assumption that 98% of the readers are male) to establish your paternal lineage.
If you want to educate yourself on one of the benefits, please take a few hours to learn how this technique has provided amazing details of the 165k yr journey of mankind to populate the planet http://www.bradshawfoundation.com/journey [bradshawfoundation.com]

Jesus (1)

kalirion (728907) | more than 7 years ago | (#19564385)

Now if we could just find Jesus' DNA, everyone with a messiah complex could easily test themselves for godhood!

A success story... (1)

MadAnalyst (959778) | more than 7 years ago | (#19564403)

My family has tried out this exact kind of thing to work on our genealogy. My dad had figured it out all the way back to about 1750, but due to the poor quality of records he had made a few assumptions.

Then on some genealogy website he found someone else compiling data on the same ancestor. I'm not quite sure how he found these people, but he did. Our families should have been related, and the genetics proved it.

I'm told the test mostly relied on Y-chromosome mapping, since that is largely conserved down the male decedents (but I'm no geneticist, so don't trust me too much). Since there was a near perfect match, we now feel certain that the family tree is complete to the mid 18th century.

Simple, and as far as I can tell no giant invasion of privacy.

Oh noes. (1)

n1hilist (997601) | more than 7 years ago | (#19564451)

Now I'm going to be flooded by friends inviting me to join CheekBook, Myface, Snotspot and Smilejournal.

Why do we care? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19564567)

Seriously, why are so many people obsessed with family history? It's the same sort of "my ancestors are part of me" bullshit that leads to never-enslaving whites apologising to never-enslaved blacks for something that happened centuries ago.

Guess what? It doesn't matter whether great-great-granddaddy was an Earl, or whether you have a third cousin living in Kuala Lumpur. It is of no consequence, except to satisfy some tedious selfish gene urge. You and your bloodline are not inherently superior or interesting, so if you're feeling lonely, how about getting to know the guy living opposite you, or the girl you see every morning on the train to work? As someone living in a small village, it's sad for me to the city as somewhere people are never alone, but always lonely.

Does it even matter? (1)

koobmeej (1117417) | more than 7 years ago | (#19564683)

familytreedna.com does a better job anyway. the ancestry.com deal is all about Sorenson who ones Relative Genetics making a deal with ancestry.com to which he is a principal shareholder. the excitement overwhelms me.

Opening a can of worms (1)

Colin Smith (2679) | more than 7 years ago | (#19564731)

Why? Well from 5% to 20% of children are not fathered by the people who think they did, depending on social stratum.

It'll open up a second family tree, your geneological tree as opposed to your familial tree.

 
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