Monday, June 18, 2007 Partners with Sorenson Genomics for DNA Testing

The big news today was that The Generations Network (which owns has partnered with Sorenson Genomics (which is the owner of Relative Genetics, a commercial genetic testing lab) to provide DNA testing for under $200.

The Salt Lake City (Utah) Tribune newspaper article is here. It claims:

"In less than three weeks, people will be able to find distant relatives by clicking a mouse. And they can be sure that their supposed family members are related to them because instead of using old documents, people will locate their relatives through DNA tests. "

Several genealogy blogs provided the news release put out by and Sorenson Genomics - Richard Eastman, and DearMyrtle, among others.

Tim Agazio and Diane Haddad made helpful and interesting comments on their blogs about this, rather than just sending out the press release.

When you read the press release, and the analyses by Tim and Diane, you can see that the newspaper report is a bit "over the top" to say the least! Why can't they get it right?

I have my own thoughts about this partnership, including:

1) This will make DNA testing more popular than ever. People are used to dealing with Ancestry, and their results will be posted online.

2) This is the first partnership announced recently by TGN, and it adds a new dimension to the services offered by commercial genealogy database providers.

3) I believe that FamilyTreeDNA has been the "leader" in the DNA testing for genealogy field (their site claims that 90% of all genealogists choose FTDNA), with a number of smaller companies also providing the service for a fee. The competition for FamilyTreeDNA just became a powerhouse, whereas before they were smaller entities.

4) Will there be a trend in acquisitions or partnerships with FamilyTreeDNA and/or other DNA testing companies?

5) Will there be a price war for DNA testing now that major competition has raised its head?

6) Will Ancestry offer a discounted rate for DNA testing of subscribers?

Inquiring minds always want to know things like this. My over-arching opinion is that competition is good for all end-users.

I have put off having my own DNA tests done, hoping for a price war and some standardization of the markers tested. It would be helpful to know which markers are tested by which company - has a comparison of that been done previously? Because there are so many surname projects using DNA testing, you almost have to go with the company that hosts the project. There are no test results yet for a descendant of Robert Seaver (1634 to Roxbury MA), to my knowledge.

What do you think will happen next? What do you hope will happen in the field of DNA testing?

1 comment:

TheGeneticGenealogist said...

I recently did a comparison of the tests offered by the many genetic genealogy companies out there (I have 31 listed in the sidebar on my blog, but some of them are actually the same company, so there's more like 20 or so):

1. Comparison of Services

2. Comparison of Markers Tested

Everything was accurate as of about February/March of this year (2007).