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Blogger: 23andMe Should Update its Ancestry Painting Tool

The European Genetics and Anthropology Blog's Davide says 23andMe's Ancestry Painting tool is "too limited" in its approach and should be updated with diverse cohorts from HapMap 3 in order to cater to people from all over the world. Since the launch of his Biogeographic Ancestry Project, Davide says he's had several "interesting people" send him their SNPs. But while the same people got some unusual results from 23andMe's tool, Davide achieved results that look "more in line with expectations." He attributes this to the use of East African and Amerindian reference samples in his analyses, which are missing from 23andMe's Ancestry Painting. The tool runs on only the four sets from HapMap 1: Utah Americans of Northern and Western European descent, Japanese from Tokyo, Northern Han Chinese from Beijing, and Yoruba from Nigeria, Davide says. "But the Ancestry Painting seems to all too easily confuse Southern and Eastern African ancestry for Asian and/or European admixture. At the same time, Amerindian influence is classified as Asian too," he adds. The solution? Davide suggests including additional cohorts from HapMap 3, like the Gujarati Indians and the Maasai from Kenya.

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