MyHeritage Improved and Updated their DNA Matching

MyHeritage announced that major updates and improvements to their DNA Matching have been rolled out for all users. The MyHeritage Science Team has been working on these improvements for months. They wanted to provide users with optimal results.

MyHeritage summarized the updates and improvements this way: “Anyone who took a MyHeritage DNA test, and anyone who uploaded DNA data from another service, will now receive more accurate DNA Matches; more plentiful matches (about 10x more); fewer false positives; more specific and more accurate relationship estimates; and indications on lower confidence DNA Matches to help focus research efforts.”

In addition, MyHeritage has added a Chromosome Browser feature. This is something that has long been requested by MyHeritage users.

The MyHeritage DNA Matching compares DNA kits in the MyHeritage database to each other. The purpose is to find relatives – individuals who share DNA segments with each other – and to explain how these individuals are related. Shared DNA segments between two people can indicate a blood relationship, which means the shared segments were inherited from a common ancestor.

If the shared DNA segments are numerous and large, a blood relationship between two people is more certain. If the shared segments are small in number and size, if might be a coincidence – those two people might not be blood relatives at all. This situation is called a “false positive”.

MyHeritage has posted a lot of very detailed information about DNA Matching, how it works, and what they have done to improve it. Here are some key points that explain how they improved DNA matching:

They improved the accuracy of their imputation significantly by increasing the number of reference genomes more than tenfold.

They fixed the phasing. MyHeritage now uses a better algorithm that fixes phasing errors.

In the matching stage, they have re-calibrated the threshold for genotyping errors.

More distant matches are now allowed. Previously, the minimum of shared DNA for a match was 12 cM and now the minimum is 8 cM.

Their statistical algorithms now categorize matches into: High, Medium, and Low confidence matches. This will help genealogists to decide which matches to explore, based on how accurate and valuable they are.

The newly added Chromosome Browser is a schematic representation of a person’s chromosomes where DNA segments can be visualized. The New Chromosome Browser on MyHeritage is in its initial release and it will be enhanced soon. It is a free feature that can be used by all users on MyHeritage who have taken the DNA test or uploaded DNA data.

Related Articles at

* MyHeritage DNA Surpassed One Million People

* MyHeritage Surpassed 8 Billion Records on SuperSearch

* MyHeritage Launches New Comprehensive DNA Ethnicity Analysis

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