23andMe's Ancestry Service Update Adds Diversity

23andMe has updated its ancestry offerings, adding new populations in South Asia, North Africa, and western Asia, as well as an innovative new tree.

This update expands the number of regions covered worldwide to more than 1,500, and introduces a new Family Tree builder that is automatically assembled based on a customer’s DNA. The update will also eventually wrap in more than 30 trait reports for Ancestry Service customers at no additional cost.

The new Ancestry Composition Update will give a more granular breakdown of Ancestry Composition results for customers with Central Asian, South Asian, western Asian, and North African ancestry, breaking down those regions into more than a dozen new populations.

In order to provide these more specific results, and to improve their research, 23andMe has undertaken a number of programs to diversify the 23andMe database. Data from one of their most recent initiatives, the Global Genetics Project, is now being used to update reference populations in the new regions.

What was previously the “Broadly South Asian” population will now be broken into seven more granular populations: Central Asian, Northern Indian & Pakistani, Bengali & Northeastern Indian, Gujarati Patidar, Southern Indian Subgroup, Southern Indian & Sri Lankan, and Malayali Subgroup.

23andMe is also expanding the number of populations in North Africa and Western Asia to eight populations: Peninsular Arab, Levantine, Egyptian, Coptic Egyptian, North African, Cypriot, Anatolian, and a population called “Iranian, Caucasian & Mesopotamian.”

In addition, 23andMe now enables users to have their genetic family tree built automatically by an algorithm that predicts relationships based on the DNA shared between you and your DNA relatives.

Customers will also be able to add names of relatives or ancestors to the family tree whether or not those individuals are on 23andMe. This change was made because some 23andMe customers did not want to build a traditional family tree from scratch.

Related Articles at FamilyTree.com:

New Ways to Save on 23andMe Health + Ancestry Service

23andMe Improves Reports for Caribbean and Latin American Customers

23andMe Tests New Ancestry Breakdown in Central and South Asia

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