One of my most favorite blogs write
We have absolutely no reason–or, at least, no need–to criticize anything about individual mapping papers. Surely there are false findings, mis-used statistical tests, and so on, but that is part of the normal life in science, because we don’t know everything and have to make assumptions, etc. Some of the findings will be ephemeral, sample-specific, and so on. That doesn’t make them wrong. Instead, the critique should be aimed at authors who present such work with a straight face as if it is (1) important, (2) novel in any really novel way, and (3) not saying that the paper shows why, by now with so many qualitatively similar results, we should stop public funding of this sort of work. We should move on to more cogent science that reflects, but doesn’t just repeat, the discovery of genomic causal (or, at least, associational) complexity.
Maybe I see also good reasons to criticize individual mapping papers.
The Guardian reports today that police used genealogy sites to match DNA of Golden State Killer suspect but all major companies deny releasing customer information.
23andMe said the company was not involved in the case and that it had never given customer information to law enforcement officials. The platform does not support the comparison of genetic data processed by any third party to genetic profiles in its own database.
An Ancestry.com spokeswoman said: “We have not been in contact with law enforcement regarding the Joseph James DeAngelo case. Ancestry advocates for its members’ privacy and will not share any information with law enforcement unless compelled to by valid legal process.”
11 May 2018 CNN explains how police created a fake family tree at GEDmatch
The arrest was made on the basis of genetic information, with detectives matching a discarded DNA sample from his home to evidence from the investigation, law enforcement officials said. DNA evidence is used to implicate criminals every day, but the method used in this case was new… The investigators used an open-source genetic database, GEDmatch, to explore family trees and see whether any contained matches to DNA samples from the crime scenes, according to Paul Holes, a retired cold case investigator who briefed the Sacramento County sheriff throughout the final stages of the investigation.
Once a family profile was created, the investigators could find feasible “suspects” within a family.
The Atlantic knows
23andMe is best known for selling DNA test kits, but the company’s real value lies in the data of its 5 million customers. The bigger its genetic database, the more insights 23andMe can glean from DNA. That, in turn, means the more it can tell customers about their ancestry and health and the more valuable the data it shares with academic scientists and sells to pharmaceutical companies for research. About 80 percent of 23andMe customers choose to participate in such research.
companies pressured by legal uncertainties and unrealistic expectations of benefit-sharing are exploring alternative technologies rather than using natural products for drug R&D
which is a bit different from a welcome framework for Africa
In human genomics, there has been a push to ensure that research on samples collected in developing countries — particularly in Africa — is anchored in local science and community engagement. One example of this is the Human Heredity and Health in Africa (H3Africa) initiative, which is funded by the US National Institutes of Health and the London-based Wellcome Trust. Since 2012, it has funded genomics projects whose principal investigators are African, with several of the projects being managed locally from Kenya’s capital, Nairobi.
I have no idea how 23andme got its name but the business model of this company seems to rely on a rather haploid view of the world.
I had the pleasure this weekend to listen to a talk by Joanna Mountain(senior research director at 23andMe, the company that was founded by Googles Sergey Brin‘ s wife Anne Wojcicki). For whatever reasons Brin Continue reading 46andyou
Wolfram Henn, Vorsitzender der Kommission für Grundpositionen und ethische Fragen der Deutschen Gesellschaft für Humangenetik, warnt im Interview mit Technology Review (Ausgabe 07/08 […]) vor persönlichen Genomanalysen, die über das Internet angeboten werden. So bietet beispielsweise das Unternehmen 23andMe seit kurzem eine Genomanalyse für nur 999 Dollar an.
Welcome in the club! Just to let you know that 23andme has been stopped 2 days ago as reported by Spiegel magazine.