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Biotech Science

Ancestry.com To Add DNA Test Results 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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Ancestry.com To Add DNA Test Results

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  • by laron ( 102608 ) on Tuesday June 19, 2007 @08:04AM (#19563299)
    Doctors calculate that about 5-10% of all children have a different biological father than they (and their "social" fathers) think.
  • by Opportunist ( 166417 ) on Tuesday June 19, 2007 @08:15AM (#19563393)
    Give the people some sugar and they will willingly hand over what they normally wouldn't give you at gunpoint...
  • by WrongSizeGlass ( 838941 ) on Tuesday June 19, 2007 @08:16AM (#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.
  • by WrongSizeGlass ( 838941 ) on Tuesday June 19, 2007 @08:20AM (#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?
  • by Red Flayer ( 890720 ) on Tuesday June 19, 2007 @08:36AM (#19563581) Journal

    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:Privacy? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Red Flayer ( 890720 ) on Tuesday June 19, 2007 @08:41AM (#19563619) Journal

    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.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday June 19, 2007 @09:27AM (#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!
  • by niceone ( 992278 ) * on Tuesday June 19, 2007 @09:33AM (#19564147) Journal
    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.
  • 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.
  • by tehcyder ( 746570 ) on Tuesday June 19, 2007 @10:28AM (#19564737) Journal

    I couldn't find any decent data in humans. For birds there is some information. That is where the 5-10% comes from
    Unfortunately this also led to the conclusion that 99.9% of babies are born covered in feathers and able to fly within a couple of weeks.
  • by Red Flayer ( 890720 ) on Tuesday June 19, 2007 @10:28AM (#19564739) Journal

    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.
    Sure, but if you get someone with enough similarities to suggest a familial connection, you can go interview them about their family.

    "Mrs. Scharffenberger, do you have any close relatives who live in the Mendocino area? Do you know where they were Saturday night?"
  • by Daniel Dvorkin ( 106857 ) * on Tuesday June 19, 2007 @10:42AM (#19564935) Homepage Journal
    I don't think it's blowing things out of proportion to say "this could be a problem." Look, I'm not saying Ancestry.com should be prohibited from doing what they're doing; I'm not even saying you shouldn't send them a sample if you're interested in genealogical research and think you might get something out of it. But it is a situation which deserves careful monitoring. The fact of the matter is, innocent people do get investigated, charged, and even convicted on the flimsiest of evidence, particularly when dealing with politically charged crimes.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday June 19, 2007 @11:18AM (#19565375)
    Are you kidding? Criminals are stupid -- particularly violent criminals. The vast majority of violent crime is not committed by chillingly brilliant Hannibal Lector types. It's mostly committed by anti-social dumbasses.

    Plus, I've noticed that it's my more redneck relatives that are interested in genealogy to begin with. To me, there's a perfect overlap here. My concern is that if I submitted something to this site, I might show up as the closest match to some cousin of mine who went off and did something stupid while drunk.

    I'm just saying there's a lot of monkeys hanging off the other branches of my family tree -- and they fling poop a lot.
  • by djh101010 ( 656795 ) * on Tuesday June 19, 2007 @11:56AM (#19565841) Homepage Journal

    Is that to say you've never lied, even a little bit? You've never once said a not so nice thing to someone? And that said, all bad people have never done a good thing? They never once held a door open for someone? They hold no compassion for anyone or anything?

    Then you have completely missed my point. There is a huge difference between what you say above, and things like rape, murder, arson, etc. Those who commit the latter are the bad people. Those who do the former are merely imperfect and human.

    Sorry, but there is no black and white, good and evil. Only shades of grey. A criminal that steals may have been left with two choices: starve or steal. Lose their home or steal. most "bad" people are the product of their environment, they weren't born that way, just as the "good" people were.
    And now you're insulting all of those who live in the same circumstances who do not choose to become criminals.

    It's a matter of circumstance, and while I consider myself a relatively good person, I take offense to the line of thinking that someone who commits a crime is simply a "bad person".
    Likewise, you pretending there isn't an ethical decision made to victimize others, that it's just circumstances, is offensive.

    It's a way of thinking that I'm sure makes your life easier, being able to split the world into two camps. But that's just not reality.
    It absolutely is. Criminals, particularly violent criminals, know that the behavior they do is not right, and choose to do it anyway. That is what makes them a _bad person_. Nothing gray about this.
  • by Lord_Slepnir ( 585350 ) on Tuesday June 19, 2007 @01:38PM (#19567313) Journal
    I hope they go to ancestory.com to get my DNA. Just grab a random bum of the street, pay him a fifth of scotch to give a small blood sample and say its yours, and submit. Next time you leave DNA at a crimescene, the FBI will get a warrant (secret or otherwise), compare your DNA to the bum's DNA, it won't hit and it will throw a wrench in thier investigation.

    If the bum were to leave their DNA at a scene, you can clear your own name by giving a blood sample and just claiming that ancestory.com screwed up the samples.

Logic is a pretty flower that smells bad.