Tim Sullivan, CEO and president of Ancestry announced this morning a new DNA feature called Genetic Communities. He gave us a quick, sneak peek at the product experience to be released next month.
“Think of the AncestryDNA ethnicity estimates on steroids, and you’ll have a sense of what this i,s” Tim said. Tim explained that genetic communities are created by combining information from their database of three million genotypes with date and place information taken from trees attached to those samples. They discern population clusters and are able to discover migration patterns. They have identified 1,000 of these communities so far.
Tim showed three examples from his DNA. One of his genetic communities shows he has ancestry from the West part of County Kerry, Ireland. It was amazingly specific—and entirely consistent with the paper trail.
Another feature provided by the experience is the plotting of migration patterns. Members of this genetic community migrated to places all over the United States, but primarily in the Northeast. The experience maps the migration and identifies possible, historic reasons.
Tim is a member of another genetic community called “Early Settlers of New York.”
Tim showed a third example from his genetic communities, “French Settlers Along the St. Lawrence.”
As the size of the AncestryDNA database gets grows, the number of communities they will be able to identify will increase.
Existing customers will receive this experience with no need to retest or pay for another kit.