Understanding DNA Ancestry

Understanding DNA Ancestry

Author(s): Sheldon Krimsky
Publication Date: 04-11-2021

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DNA ancestry companies generate revenues in the region of $1bn a year, and the company 23andMe is said to have sold 10 million DNA ancestry kits to date. Although evidently popular, the science behind how DNA ancestry tests work is mystifying and difficult for the general public to interpret and understand. In this accessible and engaging book, Sheldon Krimsky, a leading researcher, investigates the methods that different companies use for DNA ancestry testing. He also discusses what the tests are used for, from their application in criminal investigations to discovering missing relatives. With a lack of transparency from companies in sharing their data, absent validation of methods by independent scientists, and currently no agreed-upon standards of accuracy, this book also examines the ethical issues behind genetic genealogy testing, including concerns surrounding data privacy and security. It demystifies the art and science of DNA ancestry testing for the general reader.

  • Deciphers for a general audience the science behind DNA ancestry tests, enabling readers to understand how these tests are conducted and how to assess their accuracy
  • Covers DNA sequencing, population genetics, ancestral information markers (AIMs), genetic variation, and forensic DNA applications of DNA ancestry information
  • Provides rich case studies on applications of DNA ancestry in criminal investigations, the discovery of missing relatives, false paternity, and personal identity, offering a holistic account of DNA ancestry for readers who want to understand its uses and misuses in our society, including concerns about protecting privacy
  • Investigates the commercial sides of DNA ancestry, including why ancestry companies have adopted health information in their testing

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