Friday, 30 September 2016

More on the Living DNA genetic ancestry test and plans

Following on last Tuesday's blog post I had the opportunity for a Skype conversation with Living DNA's David Nicholson and Hannah Morden to clarify some points. David Nicholson's experience in the field goes back to 2004/5 as an agent for the now defunct DNAPrint Genomics. His company DNA Legal, has been in business a number of years, operates ISO accredited labs and has won awards.
I'll not repeat the summary in the previous post, the detailed post by Debbie Kennett, or material on the company website at livingdna.com/.

It is worth pointing out that the test's British geographic origin breakdown separates out what was a large red eastern England blob in the People of the British Isles (POBI) results (right hand side map). That area, which covered much of England, is separated into Norfolk and Suffolk, the London area with Kent and Sussex, Hampshire and Dorset as well as distinct regions of Devon and Cornwall (left hand map). I was told that while the POBI database may well be available to other companies the specific analysis technique used by the company, which permitted the more detailed resolution, is exclusive.

The company has a long development to-do list including acquiring Irish data as a top priority, acquiring data from other populations worldwide and on ingestion of results transferred from other company analysis. Likely, results from such transfers will not be as detailed as from the new custom DNA chip Living DNA is using. For instance, AncestryDNA provides no results for Y or mitochondrial DNA. Nicholson believes the new chip will be adopted by other companies although each is likely to have several tens of thousands of custom SNPs depending on the application.

In closing David made the point that one of the company aims is educational, to show that we're all connected to everyone else. The company has looked at the size of the DNA segments shared to show how connections have evolved through the ages and to "get rid of the outdated notion of race." It's why, although there is appeal to the near term British emphasis, the product is designed to be suitable for anyone around the world and the results will be updated as knowledge develops.

The company will be exhibiting at the Back To Our Past event in Dublin in October, Rootstech next February and WDYTYA? Live.

Apparently business has been brisk for the company, "an incredible demand for the product", for the past few days. One Ottawa-based genealogist experienced difficulties completing the online transaction.Will that be sorted out by the time the company is ready to ship swabs for DNA collection, expected in mid-October?

2 comments:

George said...

John, will you be ordering a LivingDNA.com tst?

JDR said...

Yes George, I will.