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23andMe, MyHeritage Plan to Collaborate, Integrate Products

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb) — 23andMe and genealogy site MyHeritage have announced a collaboration under which they will integrate their products, allowing customers to explore their family histories online through both genetic ancestry data and documents.

Under the collaboration, 23andMe will offer its more than three quarters of a million customers access to MyHeritage's family tree tools. MyHeritage will also offer 23andMe's Personal Genome Service to its 70 million registered users. This will be in addition to the DNA tests MyHeritage already offers from personal genetics firm Family Tree DNA, a division of Gene by Gene.

The companies announced that they will complete the first phase of the integration by early 2015.

MyHeritage offers online family tree tools, which automatically locate historical records from a collection of more than 5.5 billion documents and identify historical connections between users. Since the FDA asked 23andMe to cease its health-related genetic test reporting, the company has been offering customers genetic analysis focused only on ancestry and population origins.

According to the companies, integrating MyHeritage's discovery portal with 23andMe's saliva-based genetic ancestry testing will provide an improved experience for customers of both companies. Using 23andMe's API, MyHeritage will be able to allow any two customers with matching DNA to explore their family tree connections.

"DNA testing can connect you to relatives you never knew existed, who descend from shared ancestors centuries ago, but family trees and historical records are critical to map and fully understand these connections," said Gilad Japhet, founder and CEO of MyHeritage, in a statement.