Tuesday, September 24, 2013

GEDCOMs and FTDNA

Family Tree DNA (www.ftdna.com) is offering a $10 discount on testing in exchange for every uploaded GEDCOM. All DNA tests work best in conjunction with traditional genealogy, so this is an attempt to extend the power of DNA testing for genealogical purposes. The result will be improved results and more meaningful applications for all of us.

FTDNA has also simplified the GEDCOM upload process.

I hope everyone will take advantage of this. The $10 coupon can be given to anyone for any test that FTDNA offers.

Imagine the Future of DNA and Genealogy

This is a fascinating article about what might be in store for us in the future if enough people have their DNA tested and their pedigrees uploaded to the testing companies:
http://www.thegeneticgenealogist.com/2013/09/23/the-science-fiction-future-of-genetic-genealogy/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=the-science-fiction-future-of-genetic-genealogy.

Remember, this can only happen when everyone cooperates and shares -- no more privacy labels and secret trees. Please read my next blog.

Saturday, September 7, 2013

Free our Genes

For those of us who welcome the advances in genetic testing that can help diagnose and treat many diseases, I am happy to support any effort to make the cost of such testing more affordable and therefore more available. I hope everyone will join Bennett Greenspan's campaign to raise awareness. Please read his open letter, below:

It's rare that I send 'blast emails', but if there was ever a time in my life that called for a broad based blast, now is that time. I want to share with you an important campaign www.freemygenes.org that I have started, to raise awareness to an alarming situation.
About 10 weeks ago the Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS) decided that“isolated human genes cannot be patented.” 
That same day our DNA testing company launched a breast cancer test that was far more affordable than previous offered tests. Our precedent-setting reduction in price meant that millions of Americans who previously could not get the test--because their insurance company wouldn't pay, or because they lacked insurance--now had access to a high quality test for breast cancer risk.
Myriad Genetics sued us and others for offering this test and although we are not looking for a fight, we are now forced to defend ourselves and feel morally obligated to bring the world a more affordable test. As a child of the 60s, I can tell you that if there ever was a fight worth fighting, this is it.
I urge you to visit our site: www.freemygenes.org and familiarize yourself with the situation as it has unfolded and I urge you to share this information with others. Our actions are based on two key points: genetic testing should be affordable and available to everyone; and test providers should share data to enable better tests for consumers.
To help us promote the effort we ask that you LIKE our page and update your FB profile picture to reflect our cause. Details are on the website.
I am humbled by the volunteers who have stepped forward to help us with this case so far, including the ACLU, AARP, and the Breast Cancer Action. Now it's your turn. Please do so as soon as you have the opportunity to get online. Thank you very much for your support.
Best Regards,
Bennett Greenspan
President
Family Tree DNA
www.familytreedna.com
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