Genetic ancestry testing is not ‘astrology’

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This article or excerpt is included in the GLP’s daily curated selection of ideologically diverse news, opinion and analysis of biotechnology innovation.

The following is an excerpt.

Professor Mark Thomas may have a point in his critique of genetic ancestry testing companies. The line between popularising science and misleading the public is a very difficult one to draw, as responses to the recent BBC TV programme Meet the Izzards, in which Eddie Izzard traces the migration of his ancestors out of Africa and into Europe, illustrate. But Thomas’s portrayal of what he calls “interpretative phylogeography” – the principal means by which those of us who study mitochondrial DNA and the Y chromosome draw conclusions about the dispersal history of modern humans – as “genetic astrology” has profound implications. Here he is taking on not just the commercial use of the scientific work, but the science itself – work that has been published in peer-reviewed articles in leading scientific journals. Can he really be right?

Read the full article here: It is unfair to compare genetic ancestry testing to astrology

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The GLP featured this article to reflect the diversity of news, opinion and analysis. The viewpoint is the author’s own. The GLP’s goal is to stimulate constructive discourse on challenging science issues.

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