[Nameplate] Fair ~ 61°F  
High: 67°F ~ Low: 53°F
Friday, Apr. 29, 2016

New trend emerges in the tracing of family history

Thursday, September 20, 2007

A new trend is emerging in the genealogy field.

For those rabid ancestor hunters there is a new method to determine who your relations really are available in the form of DNA Networking.

If you don't believe great uncle Arnie who talked to invisible friends and dressed strangely is really your uncle you can check his DNA.

Users of a service called the DNA Ancestry Project can swab the insides of their cheeks and send the samples to the lab to identify their 46 unique DNA chromosomes.

Then, they can go online to see how their genetic material has mutated over time, research whether they're related to Napoleon, or find out if they descend from the early Romans or great uncle Arnie.

"The exciting thing is you can match yourself to others on the database, and find out whether you are descendants from a common ancestor," says Dr. June Wong, vice-president of operations for Genetrack Biolabs.

The Vancouver-based company launched the site last November and report that more than 2 million participants in all age ranges are using the service.

Wong claims the site even helped an orphaned man find a perfect DNA profile -- a cousin living on the opposite coast who helped him find his biological father.

DNA Ancestry Project participants pay between $119 - $318 for a testing kit and membership, it also includes online tools such as family tree building and surname searches.

Users can keep their genetic information confidential or limit access to family members.

But to search for matches in the worldwide database of users, they have to make their own DNA public.

Other online giants are jumping on board the DNA data search including search engine Google.

The company recently invested $3.9 million in 23andMe. They plan to charge $1,000 for an extensive genetic profile and features to help track down lost relatives.

And last summer, the Generations Network announced that it's partnering with a lab, Sorenson Genomics, to start building its own database of cheek-swab-generated DNA reports on Ancestry.com.

Respond to this story

Posting a comment requires free registration: