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Find Your Family - Ancestry launches new DNA service

Article Date: 
11 May, 2012 (All day)

A growing method to help in genealogical research is DNA.  For the past decade DNA genealogy is been gaining ground in the community.  DNA testing can determine whether two individuals are related.  Descendants believed to have a common ancestor can be tested. The test can help to prove, or disprove genealogical theories.  It can also point to genealogical research that has been completed and indicated a family connection.  Even where no other family member has participated in a DNA study, the DNA results can point to likely places in the world from which ancestors originated.  

This week Ancestry.com launched a new DNA service.  The announcement from Ancestry said:

Ancestry.com (Nasdaq:ACOM), today announced the launch of its highly anticipated AncestryDNA(TM) service, a new affordable DNA test that enables purchasers of the DNA test and subscribers of Ancestry.com to combine new state-of-the-art DNA science with the world’s largest online family history resource and a broad global database of DNA samples.

The new DNA test analyzes a person’s genome at over 700,000 marker locations, cross referencing an extensive worldwide DNA database with the aim of providing exciting insights into their ethnic backgrounds and helping them find distant cousins who may hold the keys to exciting family history discoveries. By combining these genetic matches with Ancestry.com’s 34 million family trees and 9 billion records, AncestryDNA intends to provide a differentiated experience that helps find common ancestors dating back as far as the middle 18th Century.

“We’ve worked hard at Ancestry.com for more than a year building, testing, and reinventing our approach to genetic genealogy,” said Tim Sullivan, president and chief executive officer of Ancestry.com. 

AncestryDNA helps determine geographic and ethnic origins by comparing test-takers’ unique DNA signatures to the DNA of people from across the globe -- drawn from the preeminent collection of DNA samples assembled by the Sorenson Molecular Genealogy Foundation. The current version of the test includes 22 worldwide geographical and ethnic categories, including six regions in Europe, five regions in Africa, and Native American.

“We think the newest DNA technology will dramatically change family history research. For the experienced genealogist it will help break down brick walls and for the casual family historian it will make it easier than ever to get started,” said Ken Chahine, Ph.D., J.D. senior vice president and general manager of Ancestry.com DNA, LLC. 

Interest in exploring family history is rising quickly, especially on the scientific front, and that interest extends all the way back to the “old country,” wherever it may be. In fact, 56 percent of Americans recently surveyed by Harris Interactive are interested in taking a DNA genealogy test, up from 42 percent less than a year ago. 

Ancestry also reported that due to the high demand for the service that it will initially only be available to subscribers.  They expect to make the service available to non-subscribers later this year.