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Download Victors

AncestryDNA customers and industry observers are claiming victory, after Ancestry.com recently announced that it will make the raw results of its autosomal DNA testing service downloadable early next year.

"AncestryDNA believes that our customers have the right to their own genetic data ... so we're working to provide access to your raw DNA data in early 2013, which includes related security enhancements to ensure its safety during every step of the process," the company says on its blog.

Ancestry.com launched AncestryDNA in May and initially filtered the results, prompting criticism from a number of bloggers who said they wanted to be able to upload those results to third-party genetic genealogy websites, as Ancestry.com's competitors, 23andMe and Family Tree DNA, allow their customers to do.

On The Legal Genealogist blog AncestryDNA customer Judy G. Russell calls Ancestry.com's decision "the best news for genetic genealogy overall this month," and noting the "weeks and weeks of criticism" from numerous bloggers, says it was "good to see the company's affirmative response to this issue."

Razib Khan at his Gene Expression blog similarly credits his and others' criticism in influencing Ancestry.com's decision. "I suspect they realized that many of us who complained in the past were going to continue to complain constantly," Khan writes. "Combined with the contrast with its competitors, like 23andMe, and I assume they realized this just wasn't going to solve itself if they ignored it."