23andMe Tests New Ancestry Breakdown in Central and South Asia

23andMe is testing an extensive update to their Ancestry Composition feature that dramatically improved results for 23andMe customers with Central and South Asian ancestry. More specifically, this update will benefit those with ancestry from Afghanistan, Pakistan, India, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, or Nepal.

The new ancestry breakdown in Central and South Asia is currently available to 23andMe customers on the latest version of the genotyping platform who are signed up for 23andMe’s beta program. The update will become available to all 23andMe customers later in 2019.

Previously, 23andMe’s Ancestry Composition feature separated Central and South Asian ancestry results into: South Asian, Broadly South Asian, and India. The update breaks down Central and South Asian ancestry into seven populations:

* Central Asian (Afghan, Kazakh, Kyrgyz, Pastun, Pakistani from the Federally Administered Tribal Areas, Tajik, Uzbek, Turkmen)

* Bangladeshi & Northeast Indian (Assamese, Bangladeshi)

* Central & Southern Indian (name of group to be announced)

* Gujarati Patel

* Kannadiga, Tamil, Telugu & Sri Lankan

* Malayali

* North Indian & South Pakistani (Bihari, Burusho, Chhattisgarhi, Goan, Gujarati, Haryvani, Kashmiri, Madhya Pradeshi, Maharashtrian, Odia, Punjabi, Rajasthani, Sindhi, Uttarakhandi, Uttar Pradeshi)

23andMe explained more about the group they are calling “Central & Southern Indian”. 23AndMe knows that they’re genetically distinct, and has a hypothesis about what makes them distinct. But, 23andMe needs their customers’ testers’ feedback to learn more about how people with this genetic ancestry might identify.

The first step toward increasing granularity of Ancestry Composition in Central & South Asia was to build a reference dataset from populations within the regions. 23andMe included the 1000 Genomes Project (Bangladeshis, Gujaratis, Punjabis, Tamils, and Telgu-speakers). 23andMe also included the Human Genome Diversity Project (Burusho and Sindhi).

Some 23andMe customers, who consented to having their data used in research, and who reported that all four of their grandparents were from a country in Central or South Asia, were included.

Related Articles at FamilyTree.com:

* 23andMe Explains Why Diversity Matters in Genetic Research

* 23andMe Works Toward Improving Diversity in Genetic Research

* 23andMe Expands Ancestry Composition – Adds 120 Regions

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