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National Geographic

RootsTech is a family history conference held each year in Salt Lake City.

Name: Spencer Wells Title: Director of National Geographic's Genographic Project

The consumer genomics market is often thought to be dominated by a handful of American players, but across the Atlantic, a UK-based company called ScotlandsDNA is specifically courting British and Irish customers.

When 23andMe decided to stop offering health-related tests to new customers in early December, it may have created a 2014 consumer genomics market environment defined by what company can provide the best ancestry testing and genetic genealogy experience to its customers.

If there was ever a year that microarray technology went mainstream, it was 2013.

This article was originally posted on Nov. 20. 23andMe said last month that it will soon begin genotyping its customers on a new, custom-designed, higher-throughput microarray.

As the consumer genomics market continues to grow, driven in part by the low cost of microarray-based ancestry testing, next-generation sequencing-based services targeted to "hardcore genealogists" are beginning to pop up.

Sometime earlier this year, the millionth person ordered a direct-to-consumer genetic test. Most likely, the test was ordered for ancestry or genetic genealogy purposes. It also was likely to have been run on a microarray manufactured by Illumina.

Ancestry testing, or genetic genealogy, is arguably the largest component of the direct-to-consumer genomics market, and is dominated by four companies and organizations with microarray-based offerings: 23andMe, Ancestry.com, Family Tree DNA, and National Geographic.

Two times in the past four months, members of National Geographic's Genographic Project have traveled to communities in Europe to collect specimens to be genotyped for ancestry informative markers using Illumina microarrays.

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A letter criticizing actions by the US government and research institutions toward Chinese and Chinese-American scientists has garnered more than a hundred signatories.

NPR reports that researchers in New York are investigating whether it is possible to edit the genomes of human sperm.

In an opinion piece at the Nation, Sarah Lawrence College's Laura Hercher argues that everyone should be able to access prenatal genetic testing.

In Nature this week: ancient DNA uncovers presence of Mediterranean migrants at a Himalayan lake, and more.