David Smith

Exaggerations And Errors in the Promotion of Genetic Ancestry Testing

While there are many positive and wonderful things about the world of genetic ancestry testing, there are also some exaggerated claims and errors that come to light. Some of these claims include making inferences about an individual’s ancestors from direct-to-consumer genetic companies. A recent BBC Radio 4 interview with Alistair Moffat of Britain’s DNA is an …

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Am I Partly Jewish? An Unexpected Turn of Events

In my previous post, I discussed using 23andMe to test the hypothesis I had about my ancestry. I was interested in Dienekes Pontikos’s result that suggested that I am potentially Ashkenazi Jewish. My colleague, Vincent, also received this result. I concluded that the algorithm used did not sufficiently represent my southern European ancestry. This ancestry was …

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All Genomes Are Dysfunctional: Broken Genes in Healthy Individuals

Loss-of-function (LoF) variants have the potential to throw protein-coding genes out of order, from slight alterations in the genetic code to huge changes like the complete removal of one or more genes. Not only do DNA changes like this largely influence serious diseases such as muscular dystrophy or cystic fibrosis, but they also suggest more redundancy …

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The First Steps Towards A Modern System Of Scientific Publication

The field of scientific publishing is not without its problems. One of the major issues in the current system of scientific publication is the peer-review process wherein, prior to publication, papers are reviewed and classified in terms of research quality and estimated engagement. This system, unfortunately, suppresses the timely and accessible distribution of scientific research. One …

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