• DNA
  • Feb20

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    My 23andme Ancestry Composition Chart

    Click image for larger version.

    23andme recently released a new Ancestry Composition tool that “tells you what percentage of your DNA comes from each of 22 populations worldwide.”

    It is a nicely designed chart – although according to discussion on their forums and even my own results, the specificity seems to affected by the current size of the comparison data set.

    My ancestry is 50% Irish and 50% Czech and I can name the exact towns where 6 out of 8 of my great-grandparents came from. My 99.6% reported European ancestry is purported to be in the “sweet spot” of their data – however my results have a fair amount of “Nonspecific” percentages. They also show what I think is probably noise in their analysis with tiny amounts of South Asian, Middle Eastern and North African in there as well.

    With 23andme’s big push to reach a database of a million people, it will be interesting to see how this composition chart changes over time – assuming they update it regularly as new information becomes available. (Some other reference info on the site has not seemed to keep up with the times.)

    Overall, I am quite happy with the service and hopefully I’ll find a match one day that will help me find where them long lost Tierneys came from back in Ireland.

  • Jan28

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    This method was successful. Your outcomes may vary.


    Dearest Mother

  • May10

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    UPDATE (09 NOV 2015): 23andme is retiring Countries of Ancestry (the tool formerly known as Ancestry Finder) as of November 11, 2015. I’m leaving this blog post out here for posterity, mainly due to vanity and the amount of time I put into creating my Excel sheet. 😉

    Update: I have made some changes to the Import tool – you can download the latest version at the original link listed below. See more info at the bottom of the post.

    After creating and writing up my last post on the process to automate the download of 23andme Ancestry Finder data files for your matches, I could not resist working on a way to combine all of those data files into one.

    I figured Microsoft Excel was the best common denominator to use for this process – there are any number of tools I could use to combine the files and work with them at the command line, but that would limit the number of people who could use it.

    So, here’s the quick scoop: My Excel spreadsheet is designed for use with the .CSV data files you have already downloaded from 23andme’s Ancestry Finder. (Again, see my Ancestry Finder Download Tool post for more info on that process.)

    • It will import ALL .CSV data files in a selected folder
    • It will add a column with the name of the 23andme user the data file came from. (It uses the data file name for that, so don’t rename them after you download them!)

    Then it will make you a sandwich. A nice juicy data sandwich.

    Each data row will have the source person AND matching person’s name in it – otherwise you would have a list of a few hundred thousand matches without knowing whom they belonged to!

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  • May9

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    UPDATE (09 NOV 2015): 23andme is retiring Countries of Ancestry, (the tool formerly known as Ancestry Finder) as of November 11, 2015. I’m leaving this blog post out here for posterity, mainly due to vanity and the amount of time I put into creating my Excel sheet. 😉

    But, as mentioned in the previous update: you should be using the tools at DNAGedcom.com. Good luck to you!

    UPDATE (11 July 2013): It has been more than a year since I created this tool and process, and the 23andme site has gone through some extensive changes. I have not had time to test if the process in this post nor the spreadsheet is still working properly with any possible data format changes.

    Feel free to give it all a shot, but I recommend that you may first want to take a look at the DNAGedcom.com site, which has automated things in a much more user-friendly way!

    Ancestry Finder Drop DownIf you are a 23andme customer, you may have noticed that they updated their Ancestry Finder (AF) tool to make it possible to see the matches of the people with whom you share genomes. You can also download this data in comma-separated-variable (.csv) format.

    That. is. great. stuff.

    I’m sure that people will soon come up with interesting new ways to triangulate their genetic matches and learn more about their ancestry. But, there is one problem: If you are sharing your results with a few hundred people and want to get all of their AF data files, it takes a drop-down selection, wait a few seconds for AF to reload, then a button click and a Save File As click FOR EACH PERSON IN YOUR LIST.

    Holy carpal tunnel.

    I suppose 23andme might make it possible within their system to get them all at once which will make this all moot. But, I thought there must be a better way to get all of these data files and I found a slightly clunky, yet completely workable method.

    There may be more elegant ways to do this, but for now I created an Excel spreadsheet that will help you get you all the data with only a bit copying and pasting – along with some help from a Firefox add-on.

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  • Sep26

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    23andme Research Snippet Capture

    Genetic testing company 23andme uses “Research Snippet” questions to compare people’s answers to their DNA results.

    Typically they are simple questions and often have obvious usefulness – such as “Have you ever undergone LASIK eye surgery?” I would think a comparison of certain locations of the response group individuals’ DNA could one day predict a the likelihood of a certain affliction.

    But, I am quite amused by the 2nd question in this research snippet screen capture:
    Does the sound of other people chewing fill you with rage?
    YES. YES IT DOES. (Actually, not really.)

    But I am left thinking about those who might answer “I’m not sure.”

    “Hmm, well, it is not RAGE exactly, but mandibular gyrations DO cause me to be overcome with a certain combination of ENNUI and MUDEROUS INTENTION.”

    For more information on 23andme’s research see their blog – this post in particular:
    23andMe Research Team Presents Findings at International Human Genetics Meeting