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Thread: Living DNA results now more accurate for non-British populations

  1. #1
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    Living DNA results now more accurate for non-British populations

    Greek, German, Austrian mix



    Filipino



    Dutch



    Spanish Mexican
    Last edited by Aiden; 07-20-2020 at 10:46 PM.

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  3. #2
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    It certainly isn't better for all non-British populations.

    Granted, I do have some British ancestry: about 41%, if you also include my Irish ancestry. But I don't have the nearly 77% Great Britain and Ireland that LivingDNA predicts.

    On the other hand, I have about 34% (Palatine) German, 6.25% Alsatian, 1.2% Swiss, and 3.1% French, while LivingDNA predicts only 16.4% Northern German. I also have 12.5% East Iberian (Menorcan) ancestry, even though LivingDNA predicts only 6.7%. And they don't see my 2% Native American at all. This is in spite of the fact that Ancestry, FTDNA, and 23andMe are all able to find this component.

    Admittedly, the percentages I'm saying I have are all paper trail percentages. Of course I might have a greater or lesser amount of any of these DNA components. My point is, even though I'm mostly non-British, you couldn't tell that from LivingDNA's percentages.

    It's pretty clear that a large portion of my German ancestry is being characterized as British simply because a significant portion of British ancestry is closely related to it. It certainly isn't because of the British ancestry of Germans!

    But worse than that, even some of my Spanish ancestry is likely being misidentified as British. So, no, from my vantage point LivingDNA is not "now more accurate for non-British populations". At least, not for all of them.
    Besides British-German-Catalan, ancestry includes smaller amounts of French, Irish, Swiss, Choctaw & another NA tribe, possibly Catawba. Avatar picture is: my father, his father, & his father's father; baby is my eldest brother.

    GB

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    Quote Originally Posted by geebee View Post
    It certainly isn't better for all non-British populations.

    Granted, I do have some British ancestry: about 41%, if you also include my Irish ancestry. But I don't have the nearly 77% Great Britain and Ireland that LivingDNA predicts.

    On the other hand, I have about 34% (Palatine) German, 6.25% Alsatian, 1.2% Swiss, and 3.1% French, while LivingDNA predicts only 16.4% Northern German. I also have 12.5% East Iberian (Menorcan) ancestry, even though LivingDNA predicts only 6.7%. And they don't see my 2% Native American at all. This is in spite of the fact that Ancestry, FTDNA, and 23andMe are all able to find this component.

    Admittedly, the percentages I'm saying I have are all paper trail percentages. Of course I might have a greater or lesser amount of any of these DNA components. My point is, even though I'm mostly non-British, you couldn't tell that from LivingDNA's percentages.

    It's pretty clear that a large portion of my German ancestry is being characterized as British simply because a significant portion of British ancestry is closely related to it. It certainly isn't because of the British ancestry of Germans!

    But worse than that, even some of my Spanish ancestry is likely being misidentified as British. So, no, from my vantage point LivingDNA is not "now more accurate for non-British populations". At least, not for all of them.
    This is my fear, that individuals with more Euro mixed backgrounds might not get accurate results with Living DNA. I'll be testing with them soon to see for myself, as I am similar to you being mixed european. I'm also planning to test with 24 Genetics using my raw data uploads, to see the differences in my results since my actual results from the kit and updated version is a bit... meh

  6. #4
    I log in to my account about every other day, though my results seem to be the same as they were for past year or so..... Was there an update recently? Will my results get updated soon? I'm Filipino.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Aiden View Post
    This is my fear, that individuals with more Euro mixed backgrounds might not get accurate results with Living DNA. I'll be testing with them soon to see for myself, as I am similar to you being mixed european. I'm also planning to test with 24 Genetics using my raw data uploads, to see the differences in my results since my actual results from the kit and updated version is a bit... meh
    Just keep in mind that no company really compares our DNA to our ancestral populations, but to modern reference panels that they've likely put together themselves -- using both public and proprietary samples. So all we ever really see is which of those panels our SNPs suggest we're most similar to.

    Further, with most companies there's a forced choice. That is, at each location our DNA will be assigned to the category associated with one of those reference panels. We're usually given no identical of how close of a call it might have been -- how "certain" the assignment was.

    23andMe is somewhat of an exception, in the sense that there are broader categories and narrower categories. So instead of having to decide between, say, British & Irish or French & German if it might be either one, the algorithm can simply "fall back" to Broadly Northwestern European. Or Broadly European might even be chosen, if a particular stretch of DNA doesn't clearly fit either Broadly Northwestern European or Broadly Southern European.

    By contrast, other companies may always make a more specific assignment, but you'll never know whether it was a close call or not. You might be able at least to get some sense of that if you're given a range for each category. Presumably, a broader range implies less "certainty" than a narrower one -- but it's never really "certain" even then.

    Also remember that those reference panels aren't necessarily truly representative of their region. If the people of a region show a lot of overlap with other regions, a company might want to reduce that overlap in their reference panel selection. So they effectively are choosing what may be a component of the region to represent the region, and eliminating anything that doesn't "match" this component.

    So let's say that there's an overlap between Great Britain and Germany. Samples will likely be dropped from the panel if they don't match other samples in the panel sufficiently. This might be a good idea, as long as we remember than the end result may be that this may reduce the true diversity of a region -- as far as the associated reference panel is concerned. So even if you're 100% from the region, you may still find yourself assigned to other regions -- it will be for the same region that some of your ancestors, if they could be tested, might also be assigned to different regions, even if they didn't actually come from those regions.
    Besides British-German-Catalan, ancestry includes smaller amounts of French, Irish, Swiss, Choctaw & another NA tribe, possibly Catawba. Avatar picture is: my father, his father, & his father's father; baby is my eldest brother.

    GB

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    Quote Originally Posted by geebee View Post
    It certainly isn't better for all non-British populations.

    Granted, I do have some British ancestry: about 41%, if you also include my Irish ancestry. But I don't have the nearly 77% Great Britain and Ireland that LivingDNA predicts.

    On the other hand, I have about 34% (Palatine) German, 6.25% Alsatian, 1.2% Swiss, and 3.1% French, while LivingDNA predicts only 16.4% Northern German. I also have 12.5% East Iberian (Menorcan) ancestry, even though LivingDNA predicts only 6.7%. And they don't see my 2% Native American at all. This is in spite of the fact that Ancestry, FTDNA, and 23andMe are all able to find this component.

    Admittedly, the percentages I'm saying I have are all paper trail percentages. Of course I might have a greater or lesser amount of any of these DNA components. My point is, even though I'm mostly non-British, you couldn't tell that from LivingDNA's percentages.

    It's pretty clear that a large portion of my German ancestry is being characterized as British simply because a significant portion of British ancestry is closely related to it. It certainly isn't because of the British ancestry of Germans!

    But worse than that, even some of my Spanish ancestry is likely being misidentified as British. So, no, from my vantage point LivingDNA is not "now more accurate for non-British populations". At least, not for all of them.
    Same for me. Mine is different, and arguably somewhat better than it was, but it's still missing my German -- classifying it as English. And given that, I can't trust the English results/locations even if I otherwise would be inclined to.

    I now get 100% European, with 82.3% Great Britain and Ireland (various places), 15.4% Scandinavian (one Swedish great-grandmother, so not unreasonable), 2.3% Basque, but still no German. The real amount is likely 15% or more.

    It went from giving me no Irish (or Scottish, my Irish is generally colonial era Protestant Irish, so who knows what it really is, some names are likely English) to 6.7% Ireland, 6% SW Scotland and Northern Ireland, and 2.5% NW Scotland, but I lost all of my North Wales (which I do have), although I kept my 5.8% South Wales. So maybe it's doing better (for me) with Irish/Scottish now, maybe not, but the German is still a big miss.

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  11. #7
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    They keep removing my ancestry results that I paid for.

  12. #8
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    I'm still smiling about my results since the upgrade:

    Last updated February 1, 2020
    Your recent ancestry results
    Europe (North and West)
    62.7%
    South Germanic
    48%
    Northwest Germanic
    13.5%
    Northeast Germanic
    1.1%
    Great Britain and Ireland
    34.3%
    South Wales Border
    15.7%
    South Central England
    10.8%
    Cornwall
    2.3%
    Southeast England
    2.2%
    South Wales
    1.8%
    Northern Ireland and Southwest Scotland
    1.4%
    Europe (South)
    3%
    Basque
    3%

    My Dad's latest results are spot on though so I'm hoping the next iteration resolves whatever went wrong with the panel this time. They did acknowledge that South Germanic is an issue they've had with other British testers so I'm hoping for the best.
    Living DNA's former Cautious mode:
    Wales-related ancestry: 86.8%
    Cornwall: 8%
    North England-related ancestry: 5.2%
    Y line: Peak District, England. Big Y match: Scania, Sweden; TMRCA 1,250 ybp (YFull);
    mtDNA: traces to Glamorgan, Wales
    Mother's Y: traces to Llanvair Discoed, Wales

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    Eupedia forum are saying that Living DNA is the gold standard, but opinions here seem rather mixed. Interesting.
    Last edited by Aiden; 07-22-2020 at 12:08 PM.

  15. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Aiden View Post
    Eupedia forum are saying that Living DNA is the gold standard, but opinions here seem rather mixed. Interesting.
    Frankly, I think there’s far too much variability to call any one company the Gold Standard. People have different experiences with different companies and it varies from person to person. I am “reasonably” happy with Ancestry and LDNA but other people think they’re the worst. Some people swear by 23&me, while for me; they come in dead last.

    Whether LDNA is now more accurate for non British users, I can’t say. I can say, that after initially calling my Italian (Sicilian) ancestry fairly well. They then decided to stop reporting smaller percentages. So instead of reporting my previous 5.9% Southern European as what it really was, they folded it back into the British Isles. So as far as I’m concern, they are now less accurate, when it comes to non British populations. In other words, each to their own.
    Last edited by JMcB; 07-22-2020 at 08:40 PM.
    Paper Trail: 42.25% English, 31.25% Scottish, 12.5% Irish, 6.25% German, 6.25% Sicilian & 1.5% French. Or: 86% British Isles, 6.25% German, 6.25% Sicilian & 1.5% French.
    LDNA(c): 86.3% British Isles (48.6% English, 37.7% Scottish & Irish), 7.8% NW Germanic, 5.9% Europe South (Aegean 3.4%, Tuscany 1.3%, Sardinia 1.1%)
    BigY 700: I1-Z140 >I-F2642 >Y1966 >Y3649 >A13241 >Y3647 >A13248 (circa 620 AD) >A13242/YSEQ (circa 765 AD) >FT80854 (circa 1650 AD).

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