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Thread: Why different genetic testing companies give different "results"

  1. #1
    Advisor Angela's Avatar
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    2 members found this post helpful.

    Why different genetic testing companies give different "results"

    He does a good job of trying to explain it, but the fact remains that they can't do what consumers want them to do, and most of those consumers haven't a clue as to how to interpret the results:


    " This is part of the problem with these sorts of tests: how to make it comprehensible to the public while maintaining fidelity to the latest research.This is not always easy, and differences between companies in terms of interpretation are not invidious as some of the press reports would have you think, but a matter of difficult choices and trade-offs one needs to make to give value to customers. True, this could all be ironed out if there was a ministry of genetic interpretation and a rectification of names in relation to population clusters, but right now there isn’t. This allows for both brand differentiation and engenders confusion."

    The Problem of Ethncity:

    " Looking at samples of Germans, Danes, Swedes and Norwegians, the geographic patterning is clear. Danes occupy a position between Germans on the one hand, and Norwegians and Swedes on the other. Because of Sami ancestry in many Norwegians and Sami and Finnish ancestry in many Swedes they are genetically distinct from continental Germanic peoples to the south, including Danes.

    So what is a Scandinavian? A Scandinavian is a Swede, Dane, or Norwegian (or an Icelander). Scandinavians share 1,000 years of history since their integration into the European system. As a cultural category Scandinavians are clear and distinct.
    But as a genetic cluster things are not so clear. First, there is the Danish connection to Germany. This is due to both history and geography. People from northern Germany are clearly genetically close to the Danes. While the Angles and Jutes were from modern Denmark, the Saxons were from northern Germany. Yet in Britain, they fused seamlessly into one people. Before the mass conversion of the continental Saxons under the Carolingians, the cultural barriers between the peoples of Jutland and Saxony must have been marginal at best.
    Second, an enormous number of Swedes in particular seem to be highly admixed with Finnic peoples. Many Swedes are highly “Finn-shifted”, both due to Sami assimilation in the past few hundred years, and the long history of Finnish migration into Sweden (which dominated Finland either politically or culturally for nearly 1,000 years). But culturally, and in their ethnolinguistic identity, these people are nothing but Scandinavian at this point."

    "Anyone who has looked at German data realizes that it is very difficult to identify a ‘prototypical’ German. Germans are people who speak Germanic languages, whose ancestors out of the European Bronze Age, when much of Northern European population structure was established. But being at the center of Europe means that Germans have been subject to gene flow by peoples to from all other directions. Also, some ethnic Germans in the eastern regions clearly descend from Slavic tribes, and more recently there were migrations of peoples such as French Huguenots.

    A PCA of Danes, English, French, and Germans, show differences across the groups. But Germans overlap a great deal with the English, and a substantial minority overlap with Danes. Also, many more of the Germans are “French-shifted” than the English.
    The point is that to be German is to be many things. At least in the context of Northern European peoples."

    Non si fa il proprio dovere perchè qualcuno ci dica grazie, lo si fa per principio, per se stessi, per la propria dignità. Oriana Fallaci

  2. #2
    Regular Member Johane Derite's Avatar
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    Eventually (not soon), I guess there will be an impersonal plot/space of all possible/viable human genomes.

    It will serve as a kind of meta-territory which is static and definite and have its own terminology (someone may plot in area 1b as opposed to area X7) that needn't infringe on peoples self identified ethnicity/culture.

    With moores law, super-computing, neural networks, AI and gene editing something that interests me is the projecting of new genomes entirely from such a digital space.

    In 40 years when DNA testing will most likely be integrated into the most basic levels of the nation state, its more than likely that computers will be able to create completely
    new ethnicities from scratch by just computing viable genomes that don't exist yet. This is not unimaginable with even very crude methods like brute force computation.

    I wonder if we could reach a point where we create an entirely new humanoid species with something like this, by pushing different tendencies in different groups to extremes.
    "As we have already stressed, the mass evacuation of the Albanians from their triangle is the only effective course we can take. In order to relocate a whole people, the first prerequisite is the creation of a suitable psychosis. This can be done in various ways." - Vaso Cubrilovic

  3. #3
    Advisor Jovialis's Avatar
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    Thanks for sharing, Angela; this was very informative. I think it would benefit companies to give further explanation as to what their ethnic components mean, and how their tests are designed. It would save them a lot of ignorant flak from hack-job journalists. I think the biggest issue here is that the public is not that educated on genetics yet. It would be great if there was a business network between the DNA companies, to help rectify some of these issues. Or perhaps, companies could at least for example, create video lessons explaining the science behind their tests; something digestible for newcomers. I think if people are going to spend $100-$150, they'll take some time to learn more about it if readily available. It could be something to do as they anticipate their results.

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