Wednesday, August 21, 2019

"The Pending Reinvention of" Article on Counting Chromosomes

I was reading the "Genetic Genealogy Tips and Techniques" Facebook Group page today, and noticed Blaine Bettinger had highlighted a recent blog post titled "The Pending Reinvention of" on the Counting Chromosomes blog.  

This is an interesting article that surfaces a number of issues relative to and AncestryDNA.  In particular, it discusses (my takeaways):

*  AncestryDNA test results are based on the OmniExpress chip developed by Illumina.
*  Illumina is discontinuing production of the OmniExpress chip.
*  Illumina has other, newer, chips that are used by other DNA test providers and could be used by AncestryDNA.

*  AncestryDNA advertising worked spectacularly well over the past years.
*  The growth of AncestryDNA testers has slowed down and did not meet industry projections.
*  Almost all of AncestryDNA testers are "one and done" customers - most did not subscribe to Ancestry's records and trees business.

*  Ancestry's CEO, Tim Sullivan, stepped down in 2017.
*  The new CEO, Margo Georgiadis came on board in early 2018.
* revenues have been pretty flat over the past 7 years outside of the DNA tests.

*   In August 2019, the private investors that own filed for a $900 million investor payout.
*  In August 2019, announced plans to move into individualized medicine.

*  The February 2019 innovations of ThruLines and color code dot groups was not breakthrough technology.
*  AncestryDNA did not save the user DNA spit samples from earlier tests.
*  Will autosomal DNA test results with the new Illumina chip be compatible with the OmniExpress chip results?  Or will users have to buy another DNA test to compare to other test results with the new chip?

These are all discussed, with much more information and analysis, in the blog post.  Please read the whole thing.

I did note that Blaine Bettinger, and other commenters on the Facebook group post, indicated that they disagreed with some of the author's statements and conclusions.

Please note:  The above are my conclusions drawn from reading the article several times - I may have misstated or overstated some of the points in the article.

I don't know who writes the Counting Chromosomes blog, but I appreciate the effort to help us understand the AncestryDNA (and other DNA companies) product.


Disclosure:  I have had a fully paid subscription since 2000. has provided material considerations for travel expenses to meetings, and has hosted events and meals that I have attended in Salt Lake City, in past years.

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