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, Understanding DNA Ancestry 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.
2. The business of DNA ancestry
3. Geographical origins and movements of early human populations
4. The science behind DNA ancestry testing
5. Ancestry informative markers
6. Ancestry DNA population reference panels
7. Comparing a donor's DNA to reference panel populations
8. Probing your DNA
9. Forensic applications of ancestry DNA results
10. Privacy, personal identity and legal issues
11. Discovering unknown, missing or mistaken relatives
12. Accuracy, consistency and validation of DNA ancestry tests
Sheldon Krimsky is Lenore Stern Professor of Humanities and Social Sciences and Adjunct Professor of Public Health and Community Medicine at Tufts University, Massachusetts, USA. His research has focused on the linkages between science/technology, ethics/values and public policy. His areas of specialization include biomedical sciences, bioethics, science and technology studies, risk assessment and communication, social history of science, and environmental health. He is the author of over 200 articles and reviews, and author, co-author or editor of 16 books.