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AncestryDNA partners with Google's biotech Calico

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  • AncestryDNA partners with Google's biotech Calico

    http://www.wired.com/2015/07/another...g-client-data/

    Any thoughts? I thought that the following was of particular interest:

    “On Ancestry, someone goes onto the site and builds a family tree, and as part of building that family tree they enter the date that someone was born, and records show when an ancestor passed away,” says Ken Chahine, senior vice president and head of DNA and health at Ancestry. That means Calico will be able to compare an individual’s genetic information to not only their own lifespan, but to those of their entire family.

    This sounds like the data AncestryDNA is sharing with Calico will not be anonymized, and that not only will Calico have the DNA data, but they will also be given access to the names, dates, places etc. associated with that data.

  • #2
    Exactly what it sounded like to me when I received an email from Ancestry talking about this. I felt uncomfortable with it and privatized my trees. They specifically stated by having a public tree you were agreeing to them doing what they wanted with your information.

    When you test with Ancestry they tell you they don't keep your sample and don't test for any medical information and request you have a public tree to assist with matches, then they do this! It's shady, if you ask me.

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    • #3
      According to Ancestry's press release the data will be anonymized. link removed

      However, if the family tree data is completely anonymized and not double-checked for accuracy how flawed is this research going to be?

      "Our common experience suggests that there may be hereditary factors underlying longevity, but finding the genes responsible using standard techniques has proven elusive," commented David Botstein, Calico's Chief Scientific Officer and member of the US National Academy of Sciences. "This is an extraordinary opportunity to address a fundamental unanswered question in longevity research using high quality human pedigrees."

      I wouldn't call the vast majority of family trees at ancestry.com "high quality human pedigrees."
      Last edited by Darren; 28 July 2015, 11:56 PM. Reason: please no links to outside company websites

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      • #4
        I wouldn't call the vast majority of family trees at ancestry.com "high quality human pedigrees."
        True,there are many works of fiction on Ancestry, however most people know their parents, grandparents and great grandparents with some semblance of accuracy. Beyond great grandparents you'd be talking about a different world medically.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by Renegade6008 View Post
          When you test with Ancestry they tell you they don't keep your sample and don't test for any medical information and request you have a public tree to assist with matches, then they do this! It's shady, if you ask me.
          They do store your sample. link removed

          Which is of interest when taken in the context of this quote from the wired.com article:

          “If you ID people who live long and you look at 700,000 SNPs there’s a lot you can do,” says Chahine. “But ultimately they want to do whole genome sequencing on a subset of people who will be particularly interesting.”

          Will these individuals be informed that their stored sample is being processed for whole genome sequencing, or will they need to request a new sample from the "anonymous" individual?

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          • #6
            Originally posted by Renegade6008 View Post
            True,there are many works of fiction on Ancestry, however most people know their parents, grandparents and great grandparents with some semblance of accuracy. Beyond great grandparents you'd be talking about a different world medically.
            My father's second cousin has a very extensive tree at Ancestry, but she has the wrong man listed as her maternal grandfather. She based her assumption on a single census record showing her grandmother with her second husband and ran with it. I've tried contacting her, but sadly her large tree has been abandoned for years.

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            • #7
              My personal opinion on Ancestry is the use of their trees is risky business without corroboration.
              My distrust of Google in general makes me happy not to have tested with them.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by phje View Post
                My father's second cousin has a very extensive tree at Ancestry, but she has the wrong man listed as her maternal grandfather. She based her assumption on a single census record showing her grandmother with her second husband and ran with it. I've tried contacting her, but sadly her large tree has been abandoned for years.
                I CAN believe that. My 2nd great grandfather died before the census taken after my great grandmother's birth. My 2nd great grandmother had remarried before that census also. I have had people (not descendants) argue with me that the second husband was my 2nd great grandfather because of that census record. My grand aunt told me specifically that the 2nd husband was not her mother's father and his tombstone backs that up where it lists his children and doesn't include the two oldest. I have given up trying to convince others who aren't descendants. Your tree is wrong ... not my circus, not my monkeys.

                My trees were public for collaborating with DNA matches only. Now I just allow DNA matches to view my tree upon request.

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                • #9
                  [QUOTE]They do store your sample. link removed

                  That is interesting because they specifically tell you: if you delete your test from their site, you must provide another sample if you want the test results again, because THEY DO NOT KEEP (STORE) YOUR SAMPLE.

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                  • #10
                    A few times I have pointed out errors in people's trees and given them the proof. But they didn't change their trees. It seems like most people are happier to have a fantasy tree which has a lot of generations than one with a dead end in the 1800s. The more names they can get, the better, even though the people aren't really their ancestors!!!

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