Saturday, 3 May 2014

Driving in the wrong direction with a dodgy DNA satnav

I've been receiving a lot of questions in the last couple of days about the new DNA "satnav" tool called GPS (Geographic Population Structure) which purports to pinpoint the village that your ancestors lived in one thousand years ago. See, for example, the articles in the Daily Mail and the Washington Post. There was also some prominent and uncritical coverage on BBC Breakfast News on Thursday featuring a segment in which the BBC weather presenter Carol Kirkwood was given the results of her DNA test on air and told that her ancestors were from the town of Crieff in Scotland. As Chris Jiggins has pointed out on Twitter the acronym GPS seems to have been chosen deliberately to "promote a completely false sense of accuracy".  

The company which is offering this service is a new start up by the name of Prosapia Genetics, which has been set up by Tatiana Tatarinova from the Children's Hospital Los Angeles. The company proudly proclaim on their website: "Our first tool, GPS, will tell you where your DNA was forged, and is accurate to home village with a time resolution of the past 1,000 years."

The reports are based on an analysis of autosomal SNPs. You can either order a test through Prosapia Genetics, who appear to have an affiliate relationship with Family Tree DNA, or you can submit your raw data file from a test you've already taken with one of the companies that offers autosomal DNA testing - AncestryDNA (US only),  23andMe, Family Tree DNA, Geno 2.0 or BritainsDNA/ScotlandsDNA. A range of reports is offered with prices varying depending on the number of reference populations used for the analysis. The reports simply give you a set of geographical co-ordinates, which are supposed to represent the "ancient home" of all of your ancestors, and a map showing where your ancestors lived. We are now getting feedback from a number of people who've paid for this service and it would appear, not surprisingly, that the reality does not match the hype.

Julie Matthews bought the Basic Test, which covers 100 reference populations. She commented in the Facebook R1b-L21 group:
I spent $29 to discover that my "homeland" was in the middle of the River Humber in England. I knew we all descended from fish - here's proof. Don't waste your money!
Teresa Vega paid for the Super Test, which includes 500 reference populations. She writes in the ISOGG Facebook group:
Totally unconvincing. Stupid me paid $42.99 for nada! My ancestral home is smack dab west of Puerto Rico in the Atlantic Ocean! I learned nothing and it told me to upgrade to another test for more detailed results -- a test they don't even have listed! Don't believe the hype!!!!
Teresa's report can be seen online here.

JoAnn O'Linger had a similarly misleading result. She reports in the ISOGG Facebook group:
I had a similarly disappointing result from Prosapia (paid for), it was the "Super Test" as well: 
" JoAnn ordered a Super GPS Test of her DNA data. We found the following GPS Co-ordinates : Latitude 56.7811288256845 and Longitude 4.26921663910535 
A map pointing the location is given below with a short guide on how to interpret this results.
How to interpret your results? 
GPS coordinates indicate the place where your DNA was forged before your family may have moved to your current location. Because borders changed throughout history, your ancestors may have been part of an ancient country once ruled the region. If your GPS coordinates are in the water, it indicates mixture between two populations on the two ends of the body of water, in which case we suggest you register to the upcoming GPS2 tool that would provide you with the origins of your parents. If you wish to learn more about your past, we suggest you try the Advanced test or the Super test, which provide much higher accuracy." 
JoAnn says: "Those coordinates are squarely in the North Sea, which does make sense as I am the typical American mutt, with mostly Irish and English heritage, but if one goes further back, much of that is from Norman French and Gaelic-Norse Orcadians. So it makes sense, but in my opinion it's not worth the high price."
Prosapia Genetics have a Forum where you can read the comments from their customers, many of whom have expressed similar disappointment at the service offered:

http://prosapiagenetics.com/community/viewforum.php?f=2

[Update 10th May 2014 The Prosapia Genetics Forum is now restricted to members only. I am told that complaints and negative comments have been deleted and comments are being moderated.]

This is not surprising as the whole concept of the test is fundamentally flawed. If we assume 30 years per generation and we go back 35 generations to the year 1050 theoretically we will have 34,359,738,367 ancestors. This figure does of course exceed the population of the world at that time and in reality there will be lots of pedigree collapse which will reduce the number of ancestors considerably. Even so, the mind-boggling figures demonstrate that it is quite meaningless to try and pinpoint a single geographical location as the origin of all those diverse ancestors one thousand years ago. Furthermore, we only inherit the DNA of a tiny subset of our ancestors. To understand why this is the case read Luke Jostin's blog post "How many ancestors share our DNA" and the posts from Graham Coop and Blaine Bettinger that are linked in that article.

Even if it were possible to pinpoint a single location to represent our millions of ancestors from a thousand years ago, we would need accurate "maps" in the form of carefully sampled reference populations in order to be able to use our DNA satnav. Unfortunately, we only have a limited number of reference populations available, many of which have been sampled for medical purposes with no attempt made to collect the relevant "co-ordinates" in the form of  detailed genealogical information. Consequently, any maps included in a reference genome "satnav" are going to have massive black holes. It is therefore not surprising that this DNA satnav is misdirecting people into rivers and oceans!

The methodology behind the GPS tool was outlined in a paper by Elhaik et al entitled Geographic population structure analysis of worldwide human populations infers their biogeographical origins. The paper was published in the scientific journal Nature Communications. Despite the fact that the Prosapia Genetics website appears to have been launched on the same day that the paper was published Tatiana Tatarinova, the founder of the Prosapia Genetics website and one of the lead authors, has not declared any "competing financial interests". The paper has already been the subject of controversy. The technique described in the paper offers nothing new and it is claimed that the methodology has been copied from that used by the blogger Dienekes Pontikos, who writes under a pseudonym. For background see Dienekes' two blog posts on the subject:

- Nature Communications, the Genographic Project, Elhaik et al. re-discover zombies, the Oracle, etc. 3 years after the fact...
- The Geographic Position Structure (GPS) algorithm of Elhaik et al. (2014) is basically wrong

See in particular the comments section of the first of the above two posts where Eran Elhaik attempts to defend the charge of plagiarism.

Joe Pickrell, one of the reviewers of the paper, has posted a summary of his critique which is well worth a read. The review can be found here:

http://jkplab.org/2014/04/30/review-geographic-population-structure-gps-of-worldwide-human-populations-infers-biogeographical-origin/

The authors themselves concede in the paper that the technique has its limitations and will only work if "the appropriate samples are available in the reference population data set". They appear to have cherry-picked some conveniently isolated populations such as the Sardinians for the purposes of their study, but the technique did not work for other populations:
To test GPS’s accuracy with individuals from populations that were not included in the reference population set, we conducted two analyses. We first repeated the previous analysis using the leave-one-out procedure at the population level. As expected, GPS accuracy decreased with 50% of worldwide individuals predicted to be 450 km away from their true origin. The predicted distance increased to 1,100 and 1,750 km for 80 and 90% of the individuals, respectively (Fig. 4a). Because GPS best localizes individuals surrounded by M genetically related populations, populations from island nations (for example, Japan and United Kingdom) or populations whose most related populations were under-represented in our reference population data set (for example, Peru and Russia) were most poorly predicted. Consequently, the median distances to the true origin were much smaller for individuals residing in Europe (250 km), Africa (300 km) and Asia (450 km) due to their being more commonly represented in the reference population data set compared with Native Americans and Oceanians. These results represent the upper limit of GPS’s accuracy when the specific population of the test individual is absent from the reference population data set.
A hyped up press release was issued by the University of Sheffield which also includes a link to a video on YouTube. As is often the case, the media have picked up on the hype in the press release and have made no attempt to read the scientific paper and understand the limitations of the methodology. I hope that there have not been too many people who have paid out good money for these misleading DNA satnav reports.

Note that if you've taken a test with one of the genetic genealogy companies there are many free services that you can use to get an alternative reading of your data and a prediction of your "ethnicity", all of which will give much better results than the commercial offerings from Prosapia. One of the best free websites is GedMatch which allows you to get readings from a wide range of different services. You can find a full list of services in the ISOGG Wiki article on admixture analyses. However, it is still very difficult to distinguish between populations at anything more than the Continental level, and all such reports should be treated with a very large pinch of salt.

Update 6 May 2014
Teresa Vega now tells me that she has received a full refund for her test from PayPal. She told PayPal that she had felt misled by the company's claims and she was unhappy that they had recommended upgrading to a test that they did not even have on their site. JoAnn O'Linger is now also in the process of applying for a refund.

Update 3rd September 2014
Although the Prosapia Genetics domain name was originally registered to Dr Tatiana Tatarinova, it was subsequently transferred to Vladimir Makarov.

Acknowledgements
Many thanks to Julie Matthews, JoAnn O'Linger and Teresa Vega for permission to use their quotes and reports.

Related blog posts
- My letter in Family Tree Magazine about "genetic homeland" stories

See also
Since writing this article I have discovered other discussions on the subject. I have posted the relevant links below and will update the list if further links become available:
- Prosapia Genetics - Worth the money? A review by Lorine McGinnis Schulze
- Researchers develop DNA GPS tool to accurately trace geographical ancestry -  a discussion on the Reddit forum
- Is GPS DNA tracking too good to be true? An article by Peter Calver in the Lost Cousins newsletter, May 2014
- So many genes, so close to home by Matthew Thomas, BioNews, 12 May 2014.

34 comments:

Lorine McGinnis Schulze said...

Excellent post! And you are absolutely correct.

I paid for the Super Test (42.99) to find that my ancestral home is in Yorkshire England. Umm..... that is only ONE of my lines, but what about all the others??

I am reviewing the site tomorrow on my blog and it won't be favourable.

Valerie Craft said...

Thanks for this. Some friends were talking about this on Facebook and trying it out, but after reading this it reminds me of the $30 I wasted on ConnectMyDNA - which told me that my DNA most resembled someone from Malaysia.

Teresa Vega said...

Great post! I hope others will pay attention to the initial feedback and save their money. I should also correct myself. I was smack dab EAST of Puerto Rico.

eluceydator.com said...

Maybe the G stands for guess? Thanks for the great write up on this. If it sounds to good to be true...

Joshua Renfroe said...

I wasted 42.99 as well. I wish I had read this blog before.

howard mathieson said...

Another fanciful tool in the world of Alice in Wonderland DNA. I note with amusement the location is expressed in decimal degrees, 13 to be precise. An amazing degree of accuracy. If true the location could be plotted with a margin of error the width of one half an atom!

Debbie Kennett said...

I'm sorry to hear that other people have wasted their money on this test but I hope the word will get out so that others will not be taken in.

Valerie, Thanks for telling me about ConnectMyDNA. I'd not heard this company before but I've just checked out their website:

https://www.connectmydna.com

They are using just 13 autosomal STRs (the markers used in forensic tests). In contrast, the big ancestry companies now test around 700,000 autosomal SNPs.

I see that ConnectMyDNA give you a GeneRing - a genetic coat of arms - along with a personality test. This is genetic astrology at its very worst.

M J Bowman said...

Thanks Debbie. Someone posted a link to this nonsense on a genealogy Facebook group I belong to so I referred them to your post.

Mark D said...

Your excellent expose of what is probably best described as fraud raises a broader issue that has troubled me for a long time - the reference samples used by all the major DNA testing companies to describe one's ethnic heritage.

I first tested with FTDNA back in 2005 and have since tested with 23andMe and Ancestry.com. Each company uses a somewhat different methodology but appear to share the use in their reference samples of the public database available from the Human Genome Diversity Project that's now about ten years old and the more recent 1000 Genomes Project. Both of these, as you allude to, were designed more for biomedical research and not genetic anthropology and are totally unrepresentative of the populations consumers such as ourselves are interested in identifying. They were designed by genetics professors at several medical schools, not genetic genealogists.

My first test with FTDNA's Population Finder (which was supposed to be updated by April 30) said I was 87% West European with contribution from French, Orcadian and Spanish. Orcadian? What the heck was that? Where did that come from? Well, it came from the Human Genome Diversity Project (HGDP). 23andMe also includes the sample data from the HGDP in its Ancestry Composition. The HGDP has been used in over 140 research studies since it was first put forth by a team of geneticists led by the doyen of population genetics, Luigi Cavalli-Sforza, then at Stanford University but previously from Italy. The reference populations sampled may have reflected Dr. Cavalli-Sforza's own interests or may simply have been the locales where the sampling group taught. In the event, the only sample from Northwestern Europe was 16 people, including seven men, from the Orkney Islands. That's it! No England, Scotland or Ireland; no Germany, Netherlands, Norway or Sweden. But it did include three groups from Italy, Cavalli-Sforza's home, including the now famous sample of 28 people from Sardinia, famous because Otzi and everyone else has been compared to what many population geneticists describe as the unique ancient DNA of Sardinia. Mind you, no one knows who these 28 people, including 16 men, were, or their pedigrees, or even if they had just gotten off the cruise ship from Naples. This from a population of over 1.6 million, that even Wikipedia describes as "populated in waves of emigration from the Paleolithic period until recent times". In the historic period, Sardinia was colonized by Phoenicians, Carthaginians, Romans, Vandals, Byzantines and Aragonese (Catalan) There's even difference in language across the island. So how reliable a sample do we think those 28 people were. Or the 16 Orcadians. Do they even represent The Orkneys, let alone Great Britain? More likely Norway, which settled and ruled the Orkneys for hundreds of years.

The more recent 1000 Genomes Project is not much better, and includes samples from locations that bear no relation to genetic heritage, including, as your post and comments allude to, Puerto Rico. Why? Because a member of the 1000 Genomes Sampling Group taught at the University of Puerto Rico, and most likely asked his class for volunteers to provide their DNA. This is reflected in the high proportion of European DNA from this sample, and not representative of the racially mixed post-colonial population of Puerto Rico, a fact acknowledged by researchers. A sample like this may be fine for biomedical research, but hardly helps consumers identify their genetic heritage.

So when you see, Orcadian, Sardinian and Puerto Rican, take it with a grain of salt. The science is in its infancy and sooner or later more representative and informative reference samples will be used, hopefully.

Debbie Kennett said...

Mark,

I couldn't agree with you more. I think people are trying to read too much into the percentages they get from these tests. I've done reviews of the tests I've taken with 23andMe, FTDNA and AncestryDNA. Despite being British, and knowing that all my ancestry for at least the last four generations or so is from the British Isles, I find that lots of Americans are coming out in these tests as much more British than me! It's not surprising when there are no reference populations available from the British Isles other than the Orkney collection. Americans from Utah are used in one of the reference datasets as a proxy for Northern Europe. 23andMe and AncestryDNA are now using customer samples in their database. However, AncestryDNA only sell their test in the US so their customers are not going to be able to provide very much in the way of useful information for a reference database unless they are very recent emigrants. The 23andMe database is about 90% American. I believe FTDNA are supposed to be using customer samples for MyOrigins. They have the advantage of a much more international database though their autosomal DNA database is much smaller than those of 23andMe and Ancestry DNA.

I do think the results will improve over time as better reference populations become available. The People of the British Isles Project is setting the standards which I hope others will follow. Their big paper is due to be published shortly. You can read more here:

http://www.isogg.org/wiki/People_of_the_British_Isles

Ideally every country needs its own equivalent of the People of the British Isles Project. If that were to happen and those datasets were to become available to researchers, then we might get some meaningful results. In the meantime we need lots of salt!

Mark D said...

Thanks for the cite, Debbie and I look forward to the results. Researchers are starting to require genealogic pedigrees in their samples, but it will take some time before this becomes standard. The lazy ones will continue to use the old public databases. If people really want to have fun with admixture analysis, GEDcom offers tools that will show results with extreme variation in reference locations.

Ed Karsch said...

Excellent post. Thank you, you saved me time and money. About the Latitude and Longitude: Latitude is measured north and south from the equator, and is always stated as Degrees N or Degrees S. It can never exceed 90 degrees because each pole is 90 degrees from the equator. Longitude is measured East and West from the prime meridan which passes through Greenwich, England,is always stated as Degrees E or Degrees W, and cannot exceed 180 degrees. Either the individual who reported her Lat and Lon neglected to qualify the readings, or the test report left them off. If the latter, the location could be in any one of four locations on the globe and is worse than useless.

Greg said...

Purely for interests sake... you can also find a free version of their calculator (using 10 reference populations at: http://chcb.saban-chla.usc.edu/gps/calculator.php

This is the site of the co-author.

You can obtain the appropriate Admixture percentages by running your 23andme or FTDNA kit through the Eurogenes K9b calculator at http://chcb.saban-chla.usc.edu/gps/calculator.php

All of this is free to do and at least lets you see what their system tries to suggest without paying for the privilege.

Debbie Kennett said...

Ed, North and West are included in the reports from Prosapia Genetics but they only appear on the map and not in the text of the report. See Teresa Vega's report that is linked in my blog post. I've repeated the link here for convenience:

http://prosapiagenetics.com/results.php?order=613RF45lb1362

Debbie Kennett said...

Greg

Thanks for the link to the free version of the authors' tool.

I think your copying and pasting went wrong with the Eurogenes K9 calculator as you repeated the link to the GPS tool. I know that David Wesolowski of Eurogenes has made his tools freely available on GedMatch:

http://bga101.blogspot.co.uk/2012/04/eurogenes-admixture-utilities-at.html

Is the K9 calculator available as a free download so that you can use it even if you don't upload your results to Gedmatch?

Anonymous said...

They have now removed complaints and negative comments from their forum and started to moderate input.

I myself have not had an email returned in over a week.

So I've cancelled my membership and will look elsewhere.

Regards

Ian

Debbie Kennett said...

Thanks for letting us know about the moderation on the Prosapia Forum. For information about the different types of DNA test available check out the information in the ISOGG Wiki:

http://www.isogg.org/wiki/

-rt_/) said...

THE fundamental flaw is conceptual: Assuming that ANY single point can represent the origins of multiple ancestors. This could be true ONLY if all ancestors shared the same point of origin.
-rt_/)

Anonymous said...

I wish I had read this before wasting $43. According to Prosapia my ancestral village is in the middle of the North Sea!

Brian Swann said...

Debbie - I have just complained to the BBC officially as well. Let's hope that somehow we can get the message through to whatever level at the BBC to talk to ISOGG on these things in future. There will be a lot of folk with contacts at the BBC trying to muscle in on this action over the years ahead.

Debbie Kennett said...

Dear Anonymous

If you feel you've wasted your money on the Prosapia test you should be able to get a refund. A number of people who've paid via PayPal have been able to get a refund through PayPal after expressing their dissatisfaction with the service.

Debbie Kennett said...

Brian

Thanks for writing to the BBC. Do let me know how you get on. The BBC will only deal with the specifics of the content of individual programmes. Hopefully the more people who complain the more the message will get through that they need to get second opinions from independent experts, and especially so when there are commercial interests involved.

Ian said...

Dear Debbie and Brian,

I shall also be passing my comments on to Ofcom and copying in the BBC, the BBC Trust and Sheffield University.

I was excited with this when they covered it on BBC a few weeks back and told the rest of my family. Now I feel like an idiot.

Will let you know how I get on

Debbie Kennett said...

Ian

Thanks for letting us know. Do let us know how you get on. With the BBC there is a specific procedure you have to follow for complaints. You can find the form here:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/complaints/complain-online/

You only get to appeal to the BBC Trust if your complaint has not been dealt with satisfactorily at the earlier stages. Stage 1 and Stage 2 are handled by the production team responsible for the programme. The next stage is the Editorial Complaints Unit. Once you've had a response from the ECU and if you are still not satisfied you can take the matter up with the BBC Trust.

Anonymous said...

I had my money returned through paypal without any they said they couldn't process samples from the UK. I found this rather strange. Thank you for your information and updates I'll be trying the free services. Being part of the Peoples of the British Isles study I wanted to fill in those gaps that the study doesn't give you because of its no individual results policy. Thanks once again.

Debbie Kennett said...

I'm pleased to hear that you were able to get your money back. It's interesting that Prosapia Genetics are not processing orders from the UK.

I think it's a shame that the People of the British Isles Project is not returning results to the testers. However, it is a very exciting project and I look forward to seeing their landmark paper which I understand is due to be published very soon.

If you want to learn more through DNA testing you might want to take a genetic genealogy test. There are lots of resources in the ISOGG Wiki where you can find further information:

http://www.isogg.org/wiki

You might in particular like to read some of the articles in the section on beginners' guides:

http://www.isogg.org/wiki/Beginners%27_guides_to_genetic_genealogy

There are now lots of different haplogroup projects as well as geographical projects for different counties within the British Isles. I run a project at Family Tree DNA for the county of Devon.

Anonymous said...

People of the British Isles was a rum goings on.I wish they would hurry up they have put it off 5 times now. Only the first already late stage 1 report came out the other year. I give my blood sample back in 2005.I only got a chance to give my body measurements last year i.e. hands and face scans plus taste test. They weren't very helpful either. The mobile research team acted as if they weren't really bothered. I went out of my way to get there to complete the data. Strangest carryon's I've experienced. If you were part of the survey and asked when the report was to be published you were told Sept. every year when you contacted them. Its was like dealing with an answer phone.Nearly 10 years for less than 5,000 samples. Very strange. You have to sign an agreement that they can keep your blood samples so the Welcome Trust can use them for medical research maybe that's where most of their time was taken up?

I've already taken one of the most expensive UK tests with Prof Sykes's Oxford Ancestors lab which sadly is one of the least informative tests. It pretty much told me what I expected.The Y test was -(I) "Woden" on my male line side and mDNA 311 (16311)"Helena"H25on female line. Which would pretty much fit with Yorkshire I believe if our local history is correct) but not much inform for the price though. Only 15 Y makers were most companies offer 20 plus for the basic test) Two pretty info packs with little hard data in them and his early classifications of the braches of the "Adam and Eve" European tree. They aren't of cause followed by anyone one else so require cross referencing with internal tree listings which the majority of science accept.

I had thought about Yorkshire DNA (British/Scottish DNA in other names for a test with more markers) but having read on here and elsewhere online about the company I'm none too keen on wasting more money.

Its a big shame that people can't get there acts together but science like so many other aspects of life have human faults which can get in the way of facts :(

Anyway thanks again for your blog and your information on the current companies out there and studies.

Anonymous said...

PS sorry for the typos, clearly spelling isn't a strong point in my family genes ;)

Thanks again :)

Debbie Kennett said...

It did take a long time for POBI to collect all those samples. It was not an easy matter finding people with four grandparents all born in the same country. It can take a very long time from completing each phase of the research and getting a paper published, especially when there are a lot of people involved. I've been to a number of talks about the POBI project and I can assure you that the paper will be worth the wait, and the maps are stunning. However, they've still only analysed the autosomal DNA data. The Y-DNA is being analysed by Professor Mark Jobling at the University of Leicester, and I presume that will be the subject of a separate publication.

I'm afraid you did rather waste your money testing at Oxford Ancestors. They charge a small fortune but only test a handful of markers, and there's not a lot you can do with your results though you can upload your Y-DNA results to http://www.ysearch.org and your mtDNA results to http://www.mitosearch.org

It's probably not worth getting your mtDNA tested for now, but if you were going to take another test it would be worth taking a standard 37-marker test at Family Tree DNA. They are an American company but they have a massive international database and have more British people in their database than any other company. Within the Guild of One-Name Studies we use FTDNA for all our surname projects. Testing with FTDNA would give you matches in their database. You could join a surname project if there is one for your surname as well as the relevant haplogroup project. There are projects for all the different branches of haplogroup I (Woden). If you did want to retest at FTDNA you can use this form to get a discount by using your Oxford Ancestors results:

https://www.familytreedna.com/PDF/PROMO_GAP.pdf

The 37-marker test would cost you $119 using this form which works out at about £70. Postage is just $7.

The YorkshiresDNA/BritainsDNA test is just a deep ancestry test and only gives you a haplogroup assignment. The value of doing a DNA test comes from participating in a matching database and joining projects which you can't do at BritainsDNA.

Anonymous said...

Thanks again Debbie,

Really useful information.The does seem to be some naughty labs out there.

Just two things one the ySearch site doesn't seem to be allowing new entries. I tried to up load what I have in data and it kept coming up with a 500 error page :( I was rather down after entering all the figures after conversions to different lads classifications :(

The second minor thing "It was not an easy matter finding people with four grandparents all born in the same country." did you mean to say country or county?

I hadn't realised it was that rare to not have Grandparents all 4 Grandparents with a 50 mile radius? Britain is a small island after all.

Either way thank you again :)

locallad410@hotmail.co.uk

Debbie Kennett said...

Ysearch can sometimes be a bit temperamental but it's worth persisting.

I did indeed mean to say four grandparents all born in the same county not country! Sorry about that.

Anonymous said...

Thank you Debbie, I thought it was that. At the time (of the early period)only two of us came forward in the local area. The other gentleman got so sick of waiting for the study he didn't take part in the face, hands, taste tests. He believes his family goes back to the Normans in the area. His family has owned a number of local estates and farms so maybe they did? Whether this will show up who knows? My family are humble farmers but we don't look very English or what other people consider English around here. It was pointless my cousins taking the test as their mother was from Eire so two Grand Parents didn't fit the studies requirements. I'm awaiting results from a US company so we will see if they agree with the other ones I've taken. Thanks again for your blog and great pointers, :) Rik.

Debbie Kennett said...

Rik

We'll have to wait and see what the conclusions of the paper are. With DNA testing one DNA result doesn't tell you very much. With POBI the focus will be at the population level not on individual ancestry. You get most out of a test if you go into a genealogical matching database so that you can compare results with your genetic cousins. Who have you tested with? FTDNA or 23andMe?

Freya J said...

SCAM! If you read the faqs, sneakily written is that if you have parents from 2 different countries, your GPS coordinates will be put in between these 2 countries. Its so random! Like myself, my father is Croatian and mother is Spanish. This stupid service put my origins in Italy.. Well thanks for the useless info!!! And for sh*ts and giggles I also paid for the super to get my dads GPS and they put him in Luxembourg! WOW!!!

Fact of the matter is that it may be useful to those of non mixed origins. But now a days peoples of different nations and ethnicities are getting married and having children. And to those of mixed ethnicities this test is THE BIGGEST WASTE OF MONEY EVER!!!!