Like many of you and out of curiosity about a year ago I sent in my DNA to have it tested by an ancestry site. When I received the results a few months later nothing in them really surprised me and my family has documented a lot of our ancestry going back to the Middle Ages mostly in Spain, Portugal, and the Basque country along with Germany and the Caucasus region and some from North Africa (Morocco specifically). Yet I had great grandfathers and some great uncles who were part of the Barbary Coast Pirates. We’ve also documented some Native American ancestry. All this was pretty much reflected in the DNA results I received so I was content.
Then a few weeks ago the site advised me that my DNA results had been “updated” with “new technology” so I went to the site to review my new and improved DNA results. Well boy was I SHOCKED! According to my new results I have NO DNA from Iberia! WTH? I guess all those Hispanic relatives including my mother really aren’t related to me at all LOL. They removed the Iberian DNA results and replaced them with DNA matching Sardinia and England. The “new and improved” results were nothing like the originals results. Frankly, I think they better try again and go back to the “old testing methods” as the new and improved results are laughable at best!!
There is an article up on Science Daily entitled “Genetic Testing: Not a one-and-done deal.” I could not agree more, frankly! As far as I can see DNA analysis techniques are still being tweaked so instead of taking results as the “gospel truth” we might want to take them with a bit of speculation.
The article speaks of a study carried out by UT Southwestern Medical Center and says:
“A study that reviewed genetic testing results from 1.45 million individuals found that nearly 25 percent of ‘variants of uncertain significance’ were subsequently reclassified — sometimes as less likely to be associated with cancer, sometimes as more likely……..A new research study from investigators at UT Southwestern Medical Center strongly encourages testing laboratories to periodically review their records and alert physicians when scientific knowledge evolves and genes are reclassified.”
The article concludes with this:
“The research study published in JAMA reviewed test results for hereditary cancer genes from a single laboratory, Myriad Genetics, over a 10-year period, as well as associated clinical data from UT Southwestern’s Cancer Genetics Program. Of the 1.67 million initial reports, 60,000 amended reports were issued. Overall 24.9 percent of classifications as “variant of uncertain significance” were reclassified, with the majority of those reclassifications being downgraded to benign.
“The implications of this study are three-pronged. Physicians need to be aware of how rapidly knowledge about gene variants is advancing and that reclassifications are common. Labs need to review gene variant information on a regular basis and alert physicians to changes. Finally, patients and their family members need to be made aware of reclassifications by their physicians so they can make well-informed choices,” Dr. Ross said.”
So as new technology comes about for DNA testing and sequencing results are revised and I have no problem with that. However, when those results defy the OBVIOUS then there is something wrong with the new method/technology and mine is a case in point. Others in my family also received revised results and they have no Hispanic blood in them either LOL. Glad I’m not alone. Now how to we reconcile this with all those Hispanic ancestors????
In terms of paleoanthropology the same is true in this field as well. Instead of taking DNA results as the “gospel truth” we need to take them with a bit of speculation. As methods improve the DNA results we have today may NOT be the DNA results we get tomorrow. Ours is a world that is SELDOM 100% accurate and in which there is a LARGE amount of speculation and theory. It would serve us well to keep this in mind instead of taking the latest DNA results as the “whole truth and nothing but the truth.”
Now….I’ve got to figure out how to tell my mother she has no Hispanic blood in her…..and I have to tell her in SPANISH!! I’ll give her a call rather than tell her face to face because I’m sure she is going to RANT on me LOL 🙂