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Researchers Develop DNA GPS Tool To Accurately Trace Geographical Ancestry 69

Zothecula (1870348) writes "An international team of scientists has developed a process that allows them to pinpoint a person's geographical origin going back 1,000 years. Known as the Geographic Population Structure (GPS) tool, the method is accurate enough to locate the village from which the subject's ancestors came, and has significant implications for personalized medical treatment."
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Researchers Develop DNA GPS Tool To Accurately Trace Geographical Ancestry

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  • by Rich0 ( 548339 ) on Saturday May 03, 2014 @06:28PM (#46910149) Homepage

    I have a DNA sequence from 23andme. I'd like to see the first service do any kind of analysis where I can upload my genome sequence and see the results of the analysis.

    The service already exists, though they did a good job of not posting the link to http://www.prosapiagenetics.co... [prosapiagenetics.com]

    However, it isn't until you get pretty far along in uploading your data that they try to hit you up for a fee (something like $20-50).

  • Re:Soo... (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday May 03, 2014 @09:09PM (#46910751)

    I think this would probably work in my case.

    My Mom's people come from the Channel Islands, and while her ancestors did a lot of night visiting to French and English shores, it was mostly to smuggle goods, not so much for the nookie. These days, the Jervais pretty much continue their illicit activities but for now they do so "within the law" as International Bankers--- a different kind of piracy. But that's neither here nor there.

    The point is that in 1066, roughly 25 generations back, my Mom had 33 million ancestors, and just about all of them were from the Channel Islands which never had a living population of more a few tens of thousands. So she was definitely the product of a homogenous gene pool. Not inbreeding as such, but more a churning of a healthy gene pool with very little else mixed in.

    On the other side, my Dad's ancestry is well documented through parish records and the Domeday Book to 1066, and a small corner of Merrie Olde England that was awarded to a distant ancestor (of Flemish origin) who joined William the Conqueror in his grand adventure. The records show that those ancestors did not stray outside of a pretty discrete gene pool until one of them crossed the pond in the 1500s to settle on Long Island. There was certainly some mixing going on then for a hundred years or so, what with the taking of young squaws as slaves when New England Indian tribes needed to be subdued, and then there were the cute little Dutch girls of New Amsterdam. But my progenitors did pretty much stay in one particular part of Long Island until my Dad and Mom met in college, and settled near Boston to raise me and my sibs.

    So assuming even a tremendous amount of adulteration of the lineage when the American branch of my Dad's ancestry formed, that's still 2,050 ancestors mostly from an area in Long Island that never has had a living population of more than a few hundred. So even on my Dad's side, the genetic mix has almost certainly been homogenous and identifiable within perhaps a hundred mile radius of Setauket, Long Island, NY.

    I'm guessing that GPS would easily identify my Channel Island ancestry, and identify that my other roots were Old Stock New England (if that terminology is still in use). So yeah, I think this technique might have some merit. But how much value it might have in dx and tx of diseases is questionable: there is a huge amount of research that would need to be done before more than a handful of diseases could be associated in any way with genetic predispositions.

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