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Thread: 23andMe Mediterranean Grouping and dots

  1. #1
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    23andMe Mediterranean Grouping and dots

    I recently took 23andMe and found it a positive experience overall. One of my only complaints is that the central/Eastern Mediterranean populations/sub-populations are divided in a way as to make it easier for casual customers to interpret rather than represent actual genetic realities. Also, the "dot" system should be better explained and refined.

    For example, Italy is split into two groups: Malta and Italy. You would assume that Malta would be the main category for Sicilians due to the historical/genetic relationship. However, as 1/4 Sicilian I received 0 dots for Malta and 2 for Italy. This makes no sense to me unless Malta does not include Sicily. On a positive note this would explain the decision to name the group Malta, which doesn't seem to make sense otherwise.

    Greece, is a sub-population of the Balkans and is not split further between islanders and Balkan Greeks.

    Cyprus is a sub-population of Western Asia. I don't agree with this but of the three examples mentioned it seems least problematic due to increased Levantine admixture and decreased "northern/western" admixture.

    It just seems like the population/sub-populations would be more accurate if they were divided and labeled similar to DNA.LAND or Gencove (Mediterranean Islander, Balkan, Eastern European, etc.)
    What do people think about this? Also, If you are central/eastern Mediterranean would you please share your results?


    Thanks!
    Last edited by SonsOfHerakles; 05-02-2018 at 12:22 AM.

  2. #2
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    Here are my results:

    23andMe
    European
    95.5%

    Italian
    23.5%
    Italy 2 dots

    Balkan
    17.1%
    Greece 2 dots

    Eastern European
    14.6%
    Poland 2 dots

    French & German
    7.7%

    British & Irish
    4.2%
    United Kingdom one dot

    Iberian
    3.8%

    Scandinavian
    0.5%

    Ashkenazi Jewish
    0.1%

    Broadly Southern European
    8.6%

    Broadly Northwestern European
    8.0%

    Broadly European
    7.5%

    Western Asian & North African
    3.0%

    Western Asian
    1.8%
    Cyprus five dots

    North African & Arabian
    0.5%

    Broadly Western Asian & North African
    0.7%

    Unassigned
    1.5%

    DNA.Land

    West Eurasian 100%

    Ashkenazi/Levantine 31%:
    Mediterranean Islander 20%
    Ashkenazi 12%

    Balkan 23%

    Northwest European 20%

    North Slavic 18%

    Southwestern European 7.8%:
    Sardinian 4.8%Southwestern European 3%

    GenePlaza

    West Eurasian 99.1%
    Ambiguous 1.0%
    Eastern Mediterranean 43.8%
    North Slavic 12.5%
    Southwestern European 10.6%
    Ashkenazi 6.5%
    Central Indoeuropean 7.2%
    Northwest European 17.5%
    Ambiguous 0.9%

    Gencove

    37% Eastern Mediterranean
    19%Northeast Europe
    19%Ashkenazi Jewish
    8%Southwestern Europe
    8%Northern British Isles
    3%Northern and Central Europe
    3%Anatolia, Caucasus, Iranian Plateau
    2%Northern Italy
    1%Northern Africa

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by SonsOfHerakles View Post

    It just seems like the population/sub-populations would be more accurate if they were divided and labeled similar to DNA.LAND or Gencove (Mediterranean Islander, Balkan, Eastern European, etc.)
    What do people think about this? Also, If you are central/eastern Mediterranean would you please share your results?


    Thanks!
    The issue is this feature isn't based on admixture; rather, on the reported national identities of users you genetically match with. Its not to say your family is actually from Greece based on genetics, but based on the fact that many of your matches grandparents were born there, you're likely Greek.
    I don't think from the everyday user perspective it would make sense to report their grandparents were born in the "Mediterranean Islands"--they identify by the flag currently flying over the country.
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    Quote Originally Posted by greerpalmer View Post
    The issue is this feature isn't based on admixture; rather, on the reported national identities of users you genetically match with. Its not to say your family is actually from Greece based on genetics, but based on the fact that many of your matches grandparents were born there, you're likely Greek.
    I don't think from the everyday user perspective it would make sense to report their grandparents were born in the "Mediterranean Islands"--they identify by the flag currently flying over the country.
    It's a little off topic: especially that it would be absurd for 23andme to create a new group whose title would be "Mediterranean ethnicity" with sub-groups like the Palestinians below the Basques ... genetically, the two are not even not close. The term "Mediterranean" is incorrect for isolated and genetically distinguishable populations. As for the geographical position of this or that island: that does not mean anything on the genetic level.

    A coherent Palestinian will not feel like a brother of a Basque who, according to ignorant people, belongs to the same "Mediterranean" ethnic group. It does not work that way, it would be totally absurd if that were the case, since it would ignore the genetic distance, and so on.

  5. The Following User Says Thank You to Vrump For This Useful Post:

     Camulogène Rix (05-03-2018)

  6. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Vrump View Post
    It's a little off topic: especially that it would be absurd for 23andme to create a new group whose title would be "Mediterranean ethnicity" with sub-groups like the Palestinians below the Basques ... genetically, the two are not even not close. The term "Mediterranean" is incorrect for isolated and genetically distinguishable populations. As for the geographical position of this or that island: that does not mean anything on the genetic level.

    A coherent Palestinian will not feel like a brother of a Basque who, according to ignorant people, belongs to the same "Mediterranean" ethnic group. It does not work that way, it would be totally absurd if that were the case, since it would ignore the genetic distance, and so on.
    Sorry you completely lost me.
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  7. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by greerpalmer View Post
    The issue is this feature isn't based on admixture; rather, on the reported national identities of users you genetically match with. Its not to say your family is actually from Greece based on genetics, but based on the fact that many of your matches grandparents were born there, you're likely Greek.
    I don't think from the everyday user perspective it would make sense to report their grandparents were born in the "Mediterranean Islands"--they identify by the flag currently flying over the country.
    Are you referring to the "recent ancestor locations"? If so, yes you are correct. They are based on self-identifying with a certain nationality. I think this is a cool feature that could be much better if better explained. It probably also needs to have more limitations on it to make it more accurate.

  8. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Vrump View Post
    It's a little off topic: especially that it would be absurd for 23andme to create a new group whose title would be "Mediterranean ethnicity" with sub-groups like the Palestinians below the Basques ... genetically, the two are not even not close. The term "Mediterranean" is incorrect for isolated and genetically distinguishable populations. As for the geographical position of this or that island: that does not mean anything on the genetic level.

    A coherent Palestinian will not feel like a brother of a Basque who, according to ignorant people, belongs to the same "Mediterranean" ethnic group. It does not work that way, it would be totally absurd if that were the case, since it would ignore the genetic distance, and so on.
    I know this wasn't my quote you were referring to but maybe I did a poor job explaining myself. I'm not calling for a pan-Mediterranean ethnic identity, just a better genetic representation on 23andMe. The results seem to be geared towards modern countries which gives people a false understanding of their genetic background. Based on recent scholarly studies, and supported by amateur study, there seems to be strong genetic relationships in the central/eastern Mediterranean. It has been called the "Mediterranean Continuum" and it doesn't align with national borders. There was probably a distant "Minoan-like" population in most of the area which largely links the modern populations. Subsequent layers of admixture could explain why certain groups within this continuum cluster together.

    Relevant Recent Studies:
    https://www.nature.com/articles/s41598-017-01802-4
    https://www.researchgate.net/publica...and_Mycenaeans
    https://www.biorxiv.org/content/early/2017/09/19/135616
    Last edited by SonsOfHerakles; 05-03-2018 at 05:15 PM.

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