The Science and Business of Genetic Ancestry Testing

Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachusetts, United States
Science (Impact Factor: 33.61). 11/2007; 318(5849):399-400. DOI: 10.1126/science.1150098
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Commercially available tests of genetic ancestry have significant scientific limitations, but are serious matters for many test-takers.

Download full-text


Available from: Ann Morning, Jan 14, 2015
1 Follower
23 Reads
  • Source
    • "However, a growing number of social scientists argue that, despite its scientific and technical limitations, the dissemination of genetic ancestry testing into popular culture has the potential to effect far-reaching changes in ideas of identity, belonging, history and race (Bolnick et al., 2007, Elliott and Brodwin, 2002, Skinner, 2006, Nelson, 2008, Tutton, 2004, Nash, 2004). In particular, they point to instances where genetic ancestry testing is used not just for recreational purposes, but for the express purpose of identifying membership of particular socio-political groups. "
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: The entanglement of border control technologies and immigration policies and practices with discourses of race, national identity and belonging has long been a focus of scholarly interest. In this paper we discuss the Human Provenance Pilot Project (HPPP), the aim of which was to evaluate the utility of genetic and isotope testing to corroborate asylum seekers' accounts of their nationality. We subject the HPPP to a detailed socio-technical analysis, highlighting how technologies, practices and modes of thought travelled from the policing context to the asylum context, illuminating the unspoken prejudices that made that transfer possible, and reflecting on implications of the HPPP for academic research, policy advice and the asylum system.
    Ethnic and Racial Studies 03/2014; 37(5):738-752. DOI:10.1080/01419870.2013.870667 · 1.00 Impact Factor
  • Source
    • "As a consequence of these new technologies, basic DNA testing is commercially available and relatively affordable to anyone seeking to create a family history, particularly since the first appearance of commercial genetic testing companies in the early 2000s. As we will discuss, the growth in the popularity of such companies has led to concerns being raised about the manner in which genetic information is returned to participants, and the uses to which this information is put, both from a scientific and an ethical standpoint (Bolnick et al., 2007; Lee et al., 2009; Tutton, 2004). The commercial availability of DNA testing raises a further issue. "
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: This article introduces some early data from the Leverhulme Trust-funded research programme, 'The Impact of the Diasporas on the Making of Britain: evidence, memories, inventions'. One of the interdisciplinary foci of the programme, which incorporates insights from genetics, history, archaeology, linguistics and social psychology, is to investigate how genetic evidence of ancestry is incorporated into identity narratives. In particular, we investigate how 'applied genetic history' shapes individual and familial narratives, which are then situated within macro-narratives of the nation and collective memories of immigration and indigenism. It is argued that the construction of genetic evidence as a 'gold standard' about 'where you really come from' involves a remediation of cultural and archival memory, in the construction of a 'usable past'. This article is based on initial questionnaire data from a preliminary study of those attending DNA collection sessions in northern England. It presents some early indicators of the perceived importance of being of Viking descent among participants, notes some emerging patterns and considers the implications for contemporary debates on migration, belonging and local and national identity.
    Sociology 10/2013; 47(5):921-938. DOI:10.1177/0038038513493538 · 1.35 Impact Factor
  • Source
    • "Identity formations based on genetic markers are already promoted by webpages and even diets are recommended based on haplotype. Experts such as Bolnick et al. (2007) emphasize that "the assumptions and limitations of these tests make them less informative than many realize [and] commercialization has led to misleading practices that reinforce misconceptions" (p. 399). "
Show more