Finding ‘surprising and novel’ applications for consumer genomics

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With more than 10 million genotyped customers, the consumer genomics industry is maturing and becoming a mainstream phenomenon. At last, innovations and applications, some unforeseen, are being brought to the masses.

If hundreds of millions of consumers contribute to genetic databases, then the power of genealogical algorithms to infer matches will increase, until the likelihood of matching a relative, if you have close relatives (at least in the United States), will converge upon total certainty [4]. Public databases such as GEDMatch now include data from one million samples, sufficient to predict a 90% chance of finding at least one third-cousin relative.


The huge numbers of genotypes provided by consumers are valuable for genealogy, but as the numbers of genotypes increase into the millions, the data become even more valuable for trait prediction and medical applications. The large sample sizes allow for greater statistical power to detect genome-wide associations, which may be useful in linking genomic markers to functional traits and clinical phenotypes.

Related article:  Family Tree DNA voluntarily working with FBI investigators, raising privacy concerns

Perhaps the most exciting aspect is the possibility of discovering whole new applications that were unanticipated.


Most recently, the arrest of the alleged Golden State serial killer in California using the methods of genetic genealogy shows how surprising and novel outcomes can be the product of disparate technological movements occurring in parallel.

Read full, original post: Consumer genomics will change your life, whether you get tested or not

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