Friday, September 17, 2021

I'm Sensing You Have a ... Mother

I asked 23andMe how 12.2% of my Irish DNA could be attributed to my mother when her results show she has 0% and at least they wrote me back. 

I'm starting to feel like these consumer DNA testing places are kind of like going to see a psychic: they guess enough things that part of it is bound to be right! 
Thank you for your reply. Your inquiry has been transferred to me for review. Keep in mind "phasing" a parent and child does not mean we copy the parent's ancestry results to their children. Phasing simply means we use the parent's DNA to understand which continuous stretches of DNA children inherit from one parent vs the other — a process that helps provide a cleaner Ancestry Composition analysis. However, parents and children are still calculated independently and given independent Ancestry Composition results. 

We understand this can cause confusion, in particular when the algorithm assigns one ancestry to a segment of DNA with higher confidence in a parent and a different ancestry to the same segment in a child. And while we see significant increases in the accuracy of individuals' results with this update, we see less consistency across generations. Our researchers are looking into it and we hope to introduce improvements to this feature in the future. 

You can find more details about phasing and the Ancestry Composition feature in the Ancestry Composition Guide at: 

Thank you for bringing this to our attention and please let me know if you have any additional questions. 

Best regards, 

The 23andMe Team 
To which I replied:

Thank you, Marge. I do appreciate your writing me back ... although I'm not sure my 80-year-old mother will be able to make much more sense of her non-Irish DNA contributing to my being Irish!

1 comment:

Jack said...

I have known people who got their DNA looked at by different companies and received completely different results. You would think they would be at least close.