23andme and new data-driven approaches to geneology

I’ve had my 23andme profile for a few weeks now, and it has taken me some time to gain familiarity with the system. For the first week or two, I was all about the magic-show style traits results it finds for you, and my apparent lactose intolerance was news even to me. Having no major genetic anomalies that concern my health, I’m finding that much of the value of the site lies in its genealogy and relative-matching tools.

I’ve received several unsolicited mails with people who have complete family trees AND match portions of my DNA. Hopefully given enough very interested people and a bit of digging, it should be fairly trivial to use this as input into my own family’s tree, and even turn around and help others out in the same way.

Now to convince my parents to sign up… it should make this process even easier!

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