Tag Archive for 'jewish'

Filling in the genetic map of South Asia, unexpected Jewish ancestry, and a new home for Genetic Future

Razib pointed us to the Harappa Ancestry Project, which is currently recruiting individuals of south and central Asian descent who have been genotyped by 23andMe, in an effort to fill in some of the notable gaps in the coverage of this region in maps of genetic ancestry. This effort follows on the heels of two similar projects focusing on individuals of European ancestry, Dienekes Pontikos’ Dodecad project and David Wesolowski’s Eurogenes BGA project. Both of these projects were featured in a recent article in Nature. Data from Genomes Unzipped members has been incorporated into both of these projects; if you’re a 23andMe customer willing to share your data, be sure to drop by and check them out. [DM]

For UK readers, there is currently an interesting TV show up on BBC iPlayer entitled Mad and Bad: 60 Years of Science on TV, which charts how science documentaries and science fiction have portrayed science, scientists and technology from the earliest days of television up to the present. One of the main themes was the conflict between the formal and usually old scientists looking for substance, and the media professionals who were looked for exciting fizzbang science. The somewhat heartening conclusion was that a new crop of scientists, such as Alice Roberts, Marcus du Sautoy and Brian Cox, have managed to reconcile these two strands, writing and presenting their own shows with a charisma that challenges that of professional TV presenters.

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Am I partly Jewish? Testing ancestry hypotheses with 23andMe data

I agreed to make my 23andMe genotyping results publicly available as part of GNZ without a moment’s hesitation. This is in part because I knew the results were actually a bit dull (in a good way, I suppose) – I’m not at vastly increased or decreased risk for any diseases (based on research so far), and I was unsurprised to find out that I have blue eyes. I was also unsurprised that 23andMe identified me as most likely of north European ancestry.

Several hours after we released our data, however, I was pointed to a post where Dienekes Pontikos wrote about the results of running all our data through his ancestry prediction program. While just about everyone was quite confidently predicted to be almost entirely of northwestern European descent, this analysis gave me a point estimate of 20% Ashkenazi Jewish ancestry. Within hours, several people had asked me about this, and I had no real response. So I decided to take a look at the data myself; some basic analyses are below.
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