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Jean M
12-05-2016, 10:11 AM
Tom Chivers of BuzzFeed has joined the crowd taking a hatchet to this particular company.
https://www.buzzfeed.com/tomchivers/this-dna-ancestry-company-is-telling-its-customers-mostly-to?utm_term=.ydjMJoO82#.cxngZqY5y


BritainsDNA is a small player in the genetic genealogy arena, dominated by Ancestry.co.uk and 23andme.co.uk. Yet its eye-catching claims – including telling one customer they were descended from people who created “the first example of religious art in the west”, 32,000 years ago – have caught the attention of the Times, the Telegraph, the Daily Mail, and the BBC Radio 4 Today programme, where its founder was interviewed by Jim Naughtie.

While no one appears to take issue with the actual DNA testing carried out by BritainsDNA, a large amount of what it then goes on to claim about people’s ancestry is misleading, or generic in the sense that the same information is true of lots of people of European descent, in the opinion of scientists contacted by BuzzFeed News.

Dr Adam Rutherford is a geneticist and the author of A Brief History of Everyone Who Ever Lived, a book published in September which alleges that BritainsDNA makes “meaningless”, “speculative” and “unsupportable” claims. He told BuzzFeed News that the descriptions of ancestors accompanying BritainsDNA’s genetic test reports are “eloquent, but mostly total bollocks”. He had his own test done in 2015. “I came out as ‘Germanic’,” he said. “They talk about this tribe struggling across the frozen Rhine as they moved westward towards the UK. They showed a picture of a guy with drawstring trousers and his top off, wielding a shortsword.”

He goes on to quote David Balding, Debbie Kennett and Mark Thomas.


Moffat has since sold the company to Source BioScience, where it sits in a portfolio called myDNA.global, along with ScotlandsDNA, CymruDNA, IrelandsDNA and YorkshiresDNA.

Kennett’s view is that the ancestry information the company gives is “generic nonsense”.

She points out that DNA testing “can be legitimately used for genealogy purposes”. For instance, you could find out more information about where your surname comes from, which is passed down the male line like a Y chromosome. Kennett, says she has traced her surname back to the 13th century using traditional genealogical techniques, and, by comparing her male relatives’ Y-chromosome to those of two people she is distantly related to, has used DNA testing to confirm her findings as far back as the 15th century.

“When you combine the genealogical records or historical records with the Y-chromosome data you can make legitimate inferences,” she says. But she views “a fancy report with a haplogroup story” as “completely worthless.”

BritainsDNA declined to comment when approached by BuzzFeed News.

Amerijoe
12-05-2016, 12:52 PM
Jean M, BuzzFeed! I chuckle at the name. BuzzFeed is not known to be the fountain of truth as they purport to be. Truth is massaged to better fit agendas and to provide fodder for the most part to compliant readers. It reminds me of Prada, fun to read, but of little value. :) Joe

Jean M
12-05-2016, 02:31 PM
Jean M, BuzzFeed! I chuckle at the name. BuzzFeed is not known to be the fountain of truth as they purport to be.

Just thought it was worth mentioning that the vendetta against this particular direct-to-consumer DNA firm rumbles on, based on stuff written when Moffat was in charge. The excuse is the book by Rutherford, published in September 2016. Moffat bailed out in March 2016: http://www.anthrogenica.com/showthread.php?6739-Acquisition-of-BritainsDNA-by-Source-BioScience

Given the way that firms come and go and modify their ideas, I preferred in AJ not to castigate any particular firm by name, but just to point out problems in general:


Commercial genetic testing is precariously balanced on the cutting edge of science. Firms promising a certificate of Viking ancestry or descent from Niall of the Nine Hostages were jumping the gun. The science shifted before the ink was dry on the publicity material.

DebbieK
12-05-2016, 09:01 PM
This is not a "vendetta" against a particular company. The rationale for the reporter covering this story was that the pseudoscience had far more coverage than the actual science. All the mainstream British newspapers (The Times, Telegraph, Guardian, Mail, etc) have devoted masses of column inches publicising all the overhyped nonsense but none of them have shown any interest in setting the record straight.

rdegnen
12-11-2016, 07:40 PM
Me, my father and my sister tested with Irelands DNA and the results were exactly correct. We have also tested with 23andMe, FTDNA and Ancestry. From our personal experience with this company I would recommend them. However, I would also recommend testing with the aforementioned big 3 first.

MacUalraig
12-11-2016, 08:57 PM
This is not a "vendetta" against a particular company. The rationale for the reporter covering this story was that the pseudoscience had far more coverage than the actual science. All the mainstream British newspapers (The Times, Telegraph, Guardian, Mail, etc) have devoted masses of column inches publicising all the overhyped nonsense but none of them have shown any interest in setting the record straight.

Complete nonsense. All these negative comments about ScoDNA can just as well be aimed at for example the Genographic Project who also generate fancy maps with ancient haplogroup stories - yet strangely you Rutherford and Thomas have no interest in that at all. Might that be because FTDNA, who you tirelessly promote and defend, do their testing?

DebbieK
12-13-2016, 02:01 PM
Complete nonsense. All these negative comments about ScoDNA can just as well be aimed at for example the Genographic Project who also generate fancy maps with ancient haplogroup stories - yet strangely you Rutherford and Thomas have no interest in that at all. Might that be because FTDNA, who you tirelessly promote and defend, do their testing?

It was the Buzzfeed reporter's decision to focus on BritainsDNA for the reasons I've already stated. I'm not aware of the Genographic Project promoting pseudoscience in mainstream newspapers in the UK or on BBC TV and radio. If they did then it would certainly be legitimate to criticise them. If you look at the BBC website the references to the Genographic Project are all to studies published in scientific journals (http://www.bbc.co.uk/search?q=Genographic%20Project). The problem with ScotlandsDNA/BritainsDNA is that the newspaper stories and media appearances were just PR exercises dressed up as science. People were misled into thinking that by testing with the company they were participating in a scientific research project. The preposterous claims made had a negative impact on the whole field of genetic genealogy and population genetics. To date, there has not been a single paper published by BritainsDNA in any peer-reviewed journal. The Genographic Project have at least published a fair number of papers, though quite a few of them are not of particularly high quality. They are also a non-profit organisation, unlike BritainsDNA which was set up as a for-profit company. I do my best to promote all the legitimate genetic genealogy companies and not just FTDNA.

Amerijoe
12-13-2016, 03:30 PM
This is not a "vendetta" against a particular company. The rationale for the reporter covering this story was that the pseudoscience had far more coverage than the actual science. All the mainstream British newspapers (The Times, Telegraph, Guardian, Mail, etc) have devoted masses of column inches publicising all the overhyped nonsense but none of them have shown any interest in setting the record straight.

Debbie after reading your post again, your point is well taken. Due to a time constraint on my first read I did not give credence to your post. I apologise (apologize) for that slight. Ah, the freedom to spell as one wishes. Due to the wondrous process of thought and genetic peculiarities, topped off with an aged sprinkle of maturity, staying on subject becomes a challenge especially with my approaching expiration date.

Where was I, ah yes, due to focused outside forces, there exists in many disciplines a fog between science and actual science. I was reluctant to use the term, actual science, because science at one time stood on it's own without any affirmative connotation. Many peer reviewers push whatever narrative produces the best return on funding. The testing companies are in themselves active in the arena of pseudoscience. Together with the backing of the entire electronic social network, science becomes what that network dictates. Is there a package of real science under that kilt? Someone please take a peek and get back to us. :nono: :nod: Joe

DebbieK
12-13-2016, 04:50 PM
Debbie after reading your post again, your point is well taken. Due to a time constraint on my first read I did not give credence to your post. I apologise (apologize) for that slight. Ah, the freedom to spell as one wishes. Due to the wondrous process of thought and genetic peculiarities, topped off with an aged sprinkle of maturity, staying on subject becomes a challenge especially with my approaching expiration date.

Where was I, ah yes, due to focused outside forces, there exists in many disciplines a fog between science and actual science. I was reluctant to use the term, actual science, because science at one time stood on it's own without any affirmative connotation. Many peer reviewers push whatever narrative produces the best return on funding. The testing companies are in themselves active in the arena of pseudoscience. Together with the backing of the entire electronic social network, science becomes what that network dictates. Is there a package of real science under that kilt? Someone please take a peek and get back to us. :nono: :nod: Joe

Thanks Joe. The peer review process is not perfect but it's the best we've got and it does at least have the merit of filtering out the worst of the pseudoscience. It is becoming increasingly difficult to get funding, and it tends to be medical research that takes priority rather than studies about our genetic history. Just because a paper gets through peer review it doesn't mean it's right, and also knowledge advances very rapidly so something published five or ten years ago might be completely irrelevant today.

There are some companies and some services which are basically selling pseudoscience. That's particularly the case for companies that try and sell you things like nutritional supplements off the back of a genetic test. However, the major testing companies are not peddling pseudoscience. Some of them have published many scientific papers (eg, 23andMe, deCODE, Genographic Project). The AncestryDNA scientists have presented posters and abstracts at the big ASHG meetings. When marketing a product there is always going to be a fine balance between presenting the science accurately but without making it seem so boring that no one wants to buy the product. My concern in any case is not so much with the marketing of DNA tests, but the editorial coverage in the media.

Amerijoe
12-13-2016, 06:49 PM
Thanks Joe. The peer review process is not perfect but it's the best we've got and it does at least have the merit of filtering out the worst of the pseudoscience. It is becoming increasingly difficult to get funding, and it tends to be medical research that takes priority rather than studies about our genetic history. Just because a paper gets through peer review it doesn't mean it's right, and also knowledge advances very rapidly so something published five or ten years ago might be completely irrelevant today.

There are some companies and some services which are basically selling pseudoscience. That's particularly the case for companies that try and sell you things like nutritional supplements off the back of a genetic test. However, the major testing companies are not peddling pseudoscience. Some of them have published many scientific papers (eg, 23andMe, deCODE, Genographic Project). The AncestryDNA scientists have presented posters and abstracts at the big ASHG meetings. When marketing a product there is always going to be a fine balance between presenting the science accurately but without making it seem so boring that no one wants to buy the product. My concern in any case is not so much with the marketing of DNA tests, but the editorial coverage in the media.

Agreed, in their marketing approach, science, IMO, takes the proverbial back seat. Marketing is more or less geared towards the basic emotional aspect, the want to belong. I'm not on anyone's side on this matter, but that is how I perceive the present state of debate. Is science present, yes, without it their business model would not hold up. Is the science useful, yes and no, depending on one's aspect. Looking at it from the perspective of an involved discipline is quite different than this aspect of newly tested or dedicated hobbyist.

Peeling the onion takes patience, perseverance, discipline and the wherewithal to forge ahead under duress if necesssary. Not many have these attributes, that's why scientists were invented. I was heading down the road of the white lab coat with my name scripted in gold thread, but I realized one of those proclaimed attributes was on shaky ground no matter how much of a self control wrapper I tried to feist upon it. I was fortunate enough to take a perceived negative and find where it would be most advantageous. I headed in another direction, using a perceived shortcoming as a positive.

These companies need to take control of the narrative, where positive feedback becomes the norm. In today's global society there is a non stop assault on the aforementioned attributes. We live in a complex world, if peeling the onion stings your eyes, have someone else take over. You're a key, keep trying until you hear the click, wonderful things could await. :) Joe

castle3
12-19-2016, 12:18 PM
Complete nonsense. All these negative comments about ScoDNA can just as well be aimed at for example the Genographic Project who also generate fancy maps with ancient haplogroup stories - yet strangely you Rutherford and Thomas have no interest in that at all. Might that be because FTDNA, who you tirelessly promote and defend, do their testing?

DOUBLE POST

castle3
12-19-2016, 12:21 PM
Complete nonsense. All these negative comments about ScoDNA can just as well be aimed at for example the Genographic Project who also generate fancy maps with ancient haplogroup stories - yet strangely you Rutherford and Thomas have no interest in that at all. Might that be because FTDNA, who you tirelessly promote and defend, do their testing?

Thanks, Mac. My experience: I tested with ScotlandsDNA some years ago and found their expertise to be invaluable. They also have many British-based testees which is very useful. I wish the cynics & sceptics would dedicate as much time countering the work of medieval, & earlier, panegyrists & propagandists who have skewed Scotland's history!

AnnieD
01-02-2017, 09:21 PM
As my heritage is assumed to be mostly British diaspora, I was rooting for this company to succeed! However, I am grateful for the discourse that it has generated amongst journalists, genetic bloggers and test takers. Accordingly, I will proffer my naivete a la 2014 when I took the Scotland's DNA, a subsidiary of Britain's DNA, test. Literally, as a non-scientist, ordinary test taker only armed with 60% B/I at 23andMe, I assumed that I was going to learn how "Scottish" I was with this magic test. Unfortunately, I had difficulty determining any sub-regional affinity as the website offered only colored charts with highly jumbled bars. Oracadian, Irish, French? Unless my computer screen or eyesight was failing me, I thought customer service could surely make sense of the apparent illegible website results.

Similarly, the trait reports were quite fun, as the red-hair test predicted me to be a strawberry blond, my favorite hair color. Alas, not quite what Mother Nature intended, nor what 23andMe predicted. Nowadays I've participated in a few genetic discussion forums and learned that even hair color traits are widely experimental and tested via different SNP across co. Hence, neither co. is "wrong", just in pioneer stage.

My MtDNA haplogroup prediction was consistent with FTDNA and the James Lick tool, just carried out to one less subclade. Apparently, H1 ladies are classified as Western Pioneers. At FTDNA, I show a clear migration procession across from Europe with close matches from Lithuania and an exact match in Scotland. England leads the country count thus far, but Ireland is close behind.

However, I do have a bit of an issue with a parent company such as Britain's DNA marketing as Scotland's DNA, England's DNA, etc. when it went on to admit to me that all NW Euros look remarkably similar, at least at this time in the genetic science. Feel free to review the 2014 discourse and decide for yourself if the journalist critique has any validity today:

_____________________________

> Laura Marshall, Jul 03 12:09:
>
> Dear Anne,
>
> My apologies for the late response, we have been very busy of late so it's taking a while to answer in some cases! I passed your query on to one of our geneticists, who came back with the following response:
>
> "The NW European section is a component that is found in North-Western European countries, such as Britain, France, some of Scandinavia. The average percentages from our reference population for British, Irish and Orcadian are as follows:
>
> Basq-Ibe Mediter NW Eur Balt-Slav Step-Tur Ana-Cauc Ashk Jew Finnish
> Orkney 0.06 0.05 0.54 0.07 0.07 0.03 0.09 0.08
> Ireland 0.10 0.04 0.49 0.12 0.06 0.03 0.10 0.06
> Britain 0.09 0.08 0.44 0.12 0.06 0.05 0.08 0.07
>
> As you can see these are all very similar, however Orcadians do tend to have a higher NW European component, and British people as a whole tend to have slightly more Mediterranean DNA. Unfortunately we are not able to confer any more accuracy than this.
>
> Our Jewish reference set comes from the dataset published in Nature by Behar in 2010 (found here: http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v466/n7303/abs/nature09103.html). This data is publicly available for download.
>
> The All My Ancetry test results cover your ancestry as a whole, from several generations back – over 200 ancestors can contribute to a significant percentage of your DNA! We have found as a whole, that the majority of British people have a small amount of Ashkenazi Jewish DNA."
>
> Hope that helps!
>
> Kind regards,
>
> Laura
>
> Inside all of us lies a hidden history...
>
> ______________________________
__
>Jun 26 22:55:
>
> Dear Support Team:
>
> I am re-submitting my All Ancestry DNA testing inquiries in the email
> forwarded below in the event that it has been missed in your queue.
> However, if your response is delayed due to your current website
> maintenance, then I apologize for my impatience and will be glad to wait
> further.
>
> Thank you.
>
> ________________________________
>Jun 10 21:46:
>
> This is a follow-up to your previous request #10061 (http://support.scotlandsdna.com/requests/10061) "Chromo 2 Population clarifi..."
>
> Dear Laura,
>
> Thank you for your clarifications of my Ancestry DNA results. I have a few
> additional clarification requests:
>
> - European Ancestry Population - Chromo 2 Autosomal Package: Would you
> please confirm which ancestry population is indicated by the chart in the
> European section? Unfortunately, I am having difficulty matching the
> colored bars from the top chart to the colored sections in the horizontal
> graph below. I believe that either British, Irish or Orcadian are the
> closest matches but would appreciate confirmation from your genetics team.
> My personal curiosity in taking the DNA test is to discern if I am more
> Celtic, English, indigenous / Pictish, etc. You reference "British" in your
> response below, but I was not certain if this was a general reference to
> the British Isles or an assertion that my ancestry most closely aligns with
> the "British" as opposed to Irish or Orcadian population.
>
> - Ashkenazi Jewish results: Is it possible to obtain the SNP markers or
> other DNA results that indicate Ashkenazi results so that I determine why
> the other DNA companies that I have tested with do not show comparable
> results? This ancestry and religion has not been mentioned within any of my
> family lines. However, it is not improbable given that only one of my
> family lines is well-documented. My ethnicity results in the new Family
> Tree DNA "My Origins" do not indicate a Jewish diaspora. However, they do
> indicate 80% British (Coastal Islands including Britain and Ireland), 15%
> Coastal Plains (Germany and surrounding countries) and approximately 2%
> Middle Eastern ancestry in the Turkey / Anatolian region. Therefore, this
> Middle Eastern population might include a Jewish reference. Test results at
> 23andMe indicated 0.1% Ashkenazi Jewish ancestry, a percentage small enough
> that I was not certain if I should disregard it as statistical "noise."
___________________________

Looking forward to seeing British members' results with the new "Living DNA" test which promises to utilize the ground-breaking POBI study. It at least promises to be healthy competition for this pioneering new look into British history.

rms2
01-02-2017, 09:52 PM
Well, I like BritainsDNA, etc. I didn't mind Moffat's flamboyant flights of fantasy; I rather enjoyed them, because I think I know enough to take it all in and separate the wheat from the chaff. Above all, I know Dr. Jim Wilson, at least via email communication and reputation, and I have the utmost respect for him. He is one of the best. I kind of wish people would cut him a break.

GoldenHind
01-03-2017, 12:23 AM
Well, I like BritainsDNA, etc. I didn't mind Moffat's flamboyant flights of fantasy; I rather enjoyed them, because I think I know enough to take it all in and separate the wheat from the chaff. Above all, I know Dr. Jim Wilson, at least via email communication and reputation, and I have the utmost respect for him. He is one of the best. I kind of wish people would cut him a break.

I agree 100% about Jim Wilson, although he is no longer with the company. However I think some of the claims by Moffat were more harmful than helpful, although I understand that many of them were merely a way of trying to attract business.

rod
01-03-2017, 01:10 AM
Above all, I know Dr. Jim Wilson, at least via email communication and reputation, and I have the utmost respect for him. He is one of the best. I kind of wish people would cut him a break.

He lost me when ethnoancestry sold the "Oppenheimer" test. :(

rms2
01-03-2017, 01:23 AM
He lost me when ethnoancestry sold the "Oppenheimer" test. :(

That was 100 years ago (hyperbole), and back then almost everybody (not me though) was on Oppenheimer's side. I remember.

rms2
01-03-2017, 01:23 AM
I agree 100% about Jim Wilson, although he is no longer with the company. However I think some of the claims by Moffat were more harmful than helpful, although I understand that many of them were mere merely a way of trying to attract business.

Jim Wilson is no longer with BritainsDNA?

GoldenHind
01-03-2017, 05:15 AM
Jim Wilson is no longer with BritainsDNA?

He left them some time ago. I believe the company was acquired by another company. The last I heard his wife was still there.

DebbieK
01-03-2017, 10:56 AM
He left them some time ago. I believe the company was acquired by another company. The last I heard his wife was still there.

Jim Wilson and Alistair Moffat sold the Moffat Partnership, the parent company of BritainsDNA, ScotlandsDNA, etc, to Source Bioscience in December 2015. The new website now trades under the name MyDNA GLobal

http://cruwys.blogspot.co.uk/2016/05/rebranding-of-britainsdna-and.html

http://cruwys.blogspot.co.uk/2016/03/acquisition-of-britainsdna-by-source.html

castle3
01-03-2017, 12:14 PM
Well, I like BritainsDNA, etc. I didn't mind Moffat's flamboyant flights of fantasy; I rather enjoyed them, because I think I know enough to take it all in and separate the wheat from the chaff. Above all, I know Dr. Jim Wilson, at least via email communication and reputation, and I have the utmost respect for him. He is one of the best. I kind of wish people would cut him a break.

I agree. Jim's insights have proved invaluable to me. He is way ahead of the rest re matters concerning Scotland.

Jean M
01-03-2017, 02:56 PM
I'm not aware of the Genographic Project promoting pseudoscience in mainstream newspapers in the UK or on BBC TV and radio. If they did then it would certainly be legitimate to criticise them. If you look at the BBC website the references to the Genographic Project are all to studies published in scientific journals. The problem with ScotlandsDNA/BritainsDNA is that the newspaper stories and media appearances were just PR exercises dressed up as science. People were misled into thinking that by testing with the company they were participating in a scientific research project. The preposterous claims made had a negative impact on the whole field of genetic genealogy and population genetics. To date, there has not been a single paper published by BritainsDNA in any peer-reviewed journal. The Genographic Project have at least published a fair number of papers, though quite a few of them are not of particularly high quality. They are also a non-profit organisation, unlike BritainsDNA which was set up as a for-profit company.

That's fair enough Debbie. I can confirm that one particular paper was so illogical that I found it unusable: Pierre A. Zalloua et al., including The Genographic Consortium, Identifying Genetic Traces of Historical Expansions: Phoenician Footprints in the Mediterranean, The American Journal of Human Genetics 83, 633642, November 7, 2008.

However Spencer Wells himself is moving on from the old technology that generated the maps etc on Genographic. He entered the consumer genomics market last year by founding Insitome. The website http://www.insito.me just has a placemarker at the moment, but LinkedIn describes the business thus:


Insitome develops mobile and web based applications that allow individuals to explore and engage with their genetic information. The company develops applications itself and also for companies interested in incorporating genomics into their product offerings.

DebbieK
01-03-2017, 06:28 PM
That's fair enough Debbie. I can confirm that one particular paper was so illogical that I found it unusable: Pierre A. Zalloua et al., including The Genographic Consortium, Identifying Genetic Traces of Historical Expansions: Phoenician Footprints in the Mediterranean, The American Journal of Human Genetics 83, 633–642, November 7, 2008.

However Spencer Wells himself is moving on from the old technology that generated the maps etc on Genographic. He entered the consumer genomics market last year by founding Insitome.

The Phoenician paper is a good example of the problems of trying to use modern DNA to make inferences about past populations and migratory patterns. That's especially the case when the focus is only on Y-DNA or mtDNA. Fortunately this type of paper is now on the decline.

Spencer Wells now seems to have his fingers in a number of different pies. He's on the scientific advisory board of Helix: http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/helix-announces-formation-of-scientific-advisory-board-with-seven-inaugural-members-300217397.html He's also involved with a company called Embark Veterinary that sells DNA tests for dogs: https://embarkvet.com/our-story

Jean M
01-03-2017, 06:57 PM
The Phoenician paper is good example of the problems of trying to use modern DNA to make inferences about past populations and migratory patterns. That's especially the case when the focus is only on Y-DNA or mtDNA.

Well yes, but it is actually worse than average for a paper of that type as it mixes up STRs and Y-DNA haplogroups. I kid you not. You have to read it to believe it. ;)

DebbieK
01-03-2017, 11:41 PM
Well yes, but it is actually worse than average for a paper of that type as it mixes up STRs and Y-DNA haplogroups. I kid you not. You have to read it to believe it. ;)

I think I'll pass on that! I vaguely remember trying to read the paper a few years ago and coming to similar conclusions!

jdean
01-04-2017, 01:09 AM
Apart from all the obvious headline grabbing the thing that really peeves me about BDNA is how they ignored large subclades in their maps (ie DF21 and Z253) in favour of tiny ones they thought they could attach a 'cool' story to.

Dubhthach
01-04-2017, 01:41 AM
The work done on Stewarts was also worthwhile (testing Ducal lines etc.), though unfortunately they didn't publish a proper paper and ye had likes of Moffat going on in Daily Fail that Bonnie Prince Charlie was really English! -- on the circular notion that Stewarts had Breton ancestry, that Bretons are really Cornish refuguees and finally that to be Cornish makes you English! -- as result actual interesting work got buried in mound of sh*te

There's some ongoing work going on up in University of Strathclyde looking at Stewarts from genealogical point of view and doing testing of various L744 subclades etc.

Leaving that aside, their maps were potentially an interesting angle, unfortunatley they never released data on dataset size etc when they did a map. A prime example is the M222 map, which if put in proper context could have been quite interesting, particularly given that their test included multiple M222 subclades -- could have produced sub-maps showing distrubution of various M222 subclades etc.

jdean
01-04-2017, 01:49 AM
WRT their maps, they were pretty useless anyway unless you could see all of them. Which is why I spent a good while going down the levels on their website : )

Dubhthach
01-04-2017, 02:33 AM
WRT their maps, they were pretty useless anyway unless you could see all of them. Which is why I spent a good while going down the levels on their website : )

Sure but there was potential there, as I mentioned without idea of the sample set size per geographic region it was hard to tell how accurate they were. But this is sorta thing they should have been publishing papers on. In case of M222 at least given previous Trinity paper they could have compared it to that. Though personally I would have preferred if context of Ireland they:
(1) spilt Dublin out
(2) spilt Leinster into two (eg. North Leinster corresponding to historic Province/Lordship of Meath)

jdean
01-04-2017, 08:41 AM
Sure but there was potential there, as I mentioned without idea of the sample set size per geographic region it was hard to tell how accurate they were. But this is sorta thing they should have been publishing papers on. In case of M222 at least given previous Trinity paper they could have compared it to that. Though personally I would have preferred if context of Ireland they:
(1) spilt Dublin out
(2) spilt Leinster into two (eg. North Leinster corresponding to historic Province/Lordship of Meath)

I was really surprised they didn't produce any papers !!!

castle3
01-04-2017, 10:05 PM
Anyone who is seriously interested in their British ancestors would be well advised to approach this in a totally different way, and not just jump aboard 'band-wagons'. SDNA & BDNA have info which is vital. The percentage of testees via SDNA & BDNA of British stock who have pedigrees which are verifiable to pre-17th C, is 'interesting' & remarkable. I wish I could elaborate, but due to 'keyboard warriors' , most of us just sit on the sidelines.
Those serious researchers out there would be staggered at the amount of quality information that is transmitted at the PM & email level.

rms2
01-04-2017, 11:39 PM
Anyone who is seriously interested in their British ancestors would be well advised to approach this in a totally different way, and not just jump aboard 'band-wagons'. SDNA & BDNA have info which is vital. The percentage of testees via SDNA & BDNA of British stock who have pedigrees which are verifiable to pre-17th C, is 'interesting' & remarkable. I wish I could elaborate, but due to 'keyboard warriors' , most of us just sit on the sidelines.
Those serious researchers out there would be staggered at the amount of quality information that is transmitted at the PM & email level.

The one thing I wish BDNA had done was to test STRs and let customers know about matches. I would really like to be put in touch with some UK matches, especially if they have my surname.

castle3
01-04-2017, 11:50 PM
Agreed. Sadly, a lot of people will only contact you privately - particularly those with extensive pedigrees.

rms2
01-05-2017, 12:04 AM
One thing I really like about BDNA (among a number of things) is that it stands as an alternative to FTDNA. I love FTDNA, but both FTDNA and its customers benefit from the competition. Competition keeps FTDNA sharp and ever striving.

By means of my Chromo2 test I was able to verify the SNP testing FTDNA had done. Call it a "second opinion". I am much more confident in my y haplogroup because two completely independent and separate companies came up with the same answer.

GoldenHind
01-05-2017, 12:22 AM
Anyone who is seriously interested in their British ancestors would be well advised to approach this in a totally different way, and not just jump aboard 'band-wagons'. SDNA & BDNA have info which is vital. The percentage of testees via SDNA & BDNA of British stock who have pedigrees which are verifiable to pre-17th C, is 'interesting' & remarkable. I wish I could elaborate, but due to 'keyboard warriors' , most of us just sit on the sidelines.
Those serious researchers out there would be staggered at the amount of quality information that is transmitted at the PM & email level.

They have largely kept their data about haplogroup and subclade distribution in the UK confidential. I wish they would publish it. Without seeing the actual data, I don't place much trust in some of the broad sweeping claims they have made in the past. I haven't seen any results from their DNA survey of Wales which was conducted a few years ago.

castle3
01-05-2017, 06:18 AM
They have largely kept their data about haplogroup and subclade distribution in the UK confidential. I wish they would publish it. Without seeing the actual data, I don't place much trust in some of the broad sweeping claims they have made in the past. I haven't seen any results from their DNA survey of Wales which was conducted a few years ago.

I agree that it would be tremendous to have open access to their data, however I think one of the reasons BDNA etc attracted a lot of British Isles-based testees is that they promised confidentiality. Some BDNA folk who are via my HG contacted me & shared info, but steadfastly refused to go public. Also, I'd like to see the PoBI info being open access, but assume many of those tested only agreed if confidentiality was guaranteed.
The shame is, a lot of expertise can be found on this forum, and I'd like to see all info being made available to them. I think speedier progress would be made. To cap it all, aDNA results from the British Isles seem to be subject to numerous delays!

Jean M
01-05-2017, 09:43 AM
They have largely kept their data about haplogroup and subclade distribution in the UK confidential.

Several maps of haplogroup distribution were published in Moffat and Wilson, The Scots: A Genetic Journey (2011). That meant that I could cite them. I would rather not have referred to a book that I saw as seriously deficient on the history/archaeology side, but that is not much different from the problems with many a DNA academic paper, where the data is useful, regardless of what one may think of the conclusions.

Confidentiality does not come into it when publishing anonymous, aggregated data.

Jean M
01-05-2017, 09:50 AM
I agree that it would be tremendous to have open access to their data, however I think one of the reasons BDNA etc attracted a lot of British Isles-based testees is that they promised confidentiality. Some BDNA folk who are via my HG contacted me & shared info, but steadfastly refused to go public.

I presume that you are talking about links between specific surnames/pedigrees and specific Y-DNA haplogroups. Naturally that is useful for genetic genealogists, but geographic distributions of Y-DNA haplogroups may be useful in themselves and plenty of them have been published without damaging the confidentiality of testees. As I say above, Moffat and Wilson published some.

castle3
01-05-2017, 11:21 AM
I presume that you are talking about links between specific surnames/pedigrees and specific Y-DNA haplogroups. Natually that is useful for genetic genealogists, but geographic distributions of Y-DNA haplogroups may be useful in themselves and plenty of them have been published without damaging the confidentiality of testees. As I say above, Moffat and Wilson published some.

Yes I was, Jean. My reason for wanting testees to 'go public' is that it would tempt others to test. The more data we have, the more accurate the results. Some of the 41 surnames who share my haplogroup only have 5 or 6 members in their surname projects, so not enough to determine if they are mainstream for their name. I think I'd be less impatient re all this if I was in my 20s, but sadly I'm not!

DebbieK
01-05-2017, 01:51 PM
As BritainsDNA/ScotlandsDNA is now under new ownership I presume the database will have been passed on to Source Bioscience. With the Chromo2 test BritainsDNA customers were given some quite useful maps showing the distribution of their haplogroups in the UK. It would have been nice if the company could have published some papers based on the data they'd collected.

A lot of the British people who tested at BritainsDNA were already in other genetic genealogy databases or have since tested elsewhere. Sadly many other people who tested there are now completely lost to genetic genealogy. Some people don't realise that there are other possibilities. Others paid a lot of money for their test and weren't very impressed with the results so they don't want to pay out for any more testing. That's particularly the case for females who paid a lot of money for what was essentially an mtDNA test. That was a particular problem for those people who took the original test prior to Chromo2 which only covered about 300 Y-DNA SNPs and 300 mtDNA SNPs. The company also got a lot of the mtDNA haplogroup assignments wrong.

The POBI data is available to researchers through the European Genome-phenome Archive. Here's a link:

https://www.ebi.ac.uk/ega/datasets

Here are links to the two datasets:

https://www.ebi.ac.uk/ega/datasets/EGAD00010000632

https://www.ebi.ac.uk/ega/datasets/EGAD00010000634

There is a Data Access Committee that reviews access permissions. Commercial companies can also apply for access. The POBI data is currently being used by Living DNA and by AncestryDNA. AncestryDNA are using the data for their new Communities feature which is currently available to a limited number of customers. See their ASHG abstract:

https://ep70.eventpilot.us/web/page.php?page=IntHtml&project=ASHG16&id=160121614

GoldenHind
01-05-2017, 05:58 PM
Confidentiality does not come into it when publishing anonymous, aggregated data.

That is precisely what I was referring to. An example is the 1000 Genomes Project, which gives general locations but is completely anonymous.

JohnHowellsTyrfro
01-05-2017, 06:02 PM
As BritainsDNA/ScotlandsDNA is now under new ownership I presume the database will have been passed on to Source Bioscience. With the Chromo2 test BritainsDNA customers were given some quite useful maps showing the distribution of their haplogroups in the UK. It would have been nice if the company could have published some papers based on the data they'd collected.

A lot of the British people who tested at BritainsDNA were already in other genetic genealogy databases or have since tested elsewhere. Sadly many other people who tested there are now completely lost to genetic genealogy. Some people don't realise that there are other possibilities. Others paid a lot of money for their test and weren't very impressed with the results so they don't want to pay out for any more testing. That's particularly the case for females who paid a lot of money for what was essentially an mtDNA test. That was a particular problem for those people who took the original test prior to Chromo2 which only covered about 300 Y-DNA SNPs and 300 mtDNA SNPs. The company also got a lot of the mtDNA haplogroup assignments wrong.

The POBI data is available to researchers through the European Genome-phenome Archive. Here's a link:

https://www.ebi.ac.uk/ega/datasets

Here are links to the two datasets:

https://www.ebi.ac.uk/ega/datasets/EGAD00010000632

https://www.ebi.ac.uk/ega/datasets/EGAD00010000634

There is a Data Access Committee that reviews access permissions. Commercial companies can also apply for access. The POBI data is currently being used by Living DNA and by AncestryDNA. AncestryDNA are using the data for their new Communities feature which is currently available to a limited number of customers. See their ASHG abstract:

https://ep70.eventpilot.us/web/page.php?page=IntHtml&project=ASHG16&id=160121614

I tested Chromo2 with Cymru/Britain's DNA, it was my first test. I found my results interesting but limited, leaving me with the question "where do I go from here" (not being at all informed about DNA). No-one seemed interested in Chromo2, it was all Big Y etc. yet it was sold as the test which would tell you everything you needed to know. :) It has taken me a few years and some effort to make some progress on understanding more about my ancestry.
I agree that what is disappointing is that there must be a lot of "British" results sat around somewhere that no-one is doing much with, but I suppose that could be said of some other testing companies. It certainly has made me think twice about paying out big money for some other tests. John

jdean
01-05-2017, 06:34 PM
I think it worth remembering when Chromo2 came out it was the best one shot Y_SNP test out there, I recommended it to a number of people but told them not to order the all Singing all Dancing Fluff version : )

rms2
02-02-2017, 12:44 PM
Am I mistaken in thinking that BritainsDNA could really enhance its sales by offering genealogical y-dna matching the way FTDNA does? If BDNA gave customers their STR test results, matched them to other BDNA customers, and offered them the opportunity to contact matches via email, it seems to me they would do a booming business. The reason I think this is because I know a lot of Americans, Canadians, Australians, New Zealanders, etc., would love to get a chance to be checked for y-dna matches against a largely UK and Irish database.

jdean
02-02-2017, 01:30 PM
Am I mistaken in thinking that BritainsDNA could really enhance its sales by offering genealogical y-dna matching the way FTDNA does? If BDNA gave customers their STR test results, matched them to other BDNA customers, and offered them the opportunity to contact matches via email, it seems to me they would do a booming business. The reason I think this is because I know a lot of Americans, Canadians, Australians, New Zealanders, etc., would love to get a chance to be checked for y-dna matches against a largely UK and Irish database.

Did BDNA test STRs, I thought it was just a SNP test ?

Adrian Stevenson
02-02-2017, 06:00 PM
It was just an SNP test.

rms2
02-02-2017, 06:25 PM
It was just an SNP test.

Right, and there was/is no matching. It seems to me that if BDNA started giving customers STRs and a matching service the way FTDNA does, their business would boom. I know I personally would love to have my STRs compared to a British and Irish y-dna database, and I don't think I'm alone in that.

Wing Genealogist
02-02-2017, 09:18 PM
Right, and there was/is no matching. It seems to me that if BDNA started giving customers STRs and a matching service the way FTDNA does, their business would boom. I know I personally would love to have my STRs compared to a British and Irish y-dna database, and I don't think I'm alone in that.

BDNA never asked for authorization from folks to share their results with others. For this reason, they never developed a matching service.

rms2
02-02-2017, 11:41 PM
BDNA never asked for authorization from folks to share their results with others. For this reason, they never developed a matching service.

They never asked for authorization because they did not plan on offering matching services. The decision not to offer matching preceded the decision not to ask for authorization.

They missed a golden opportunity, IMO.