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genetic genealogy

Name: Ken Chahine Title: General manager, DNA, Ancestry.com

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

For Ancestry.com, 2013 was the "first full calendar year" of its array-based AncestryDNA service, a year that saw a "huge increase in interest from consumers, including a holiday season that was particularly strong," as well as improvements in the service itself, according to Ken

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.

While the advent of Illumina's new 24-sample BeadChip format has meant that consumer genomics companies can double or triple their throughput, some genetic genealogists have voiced concerns about what impact these new arrays might have on ancestry testing.

This story has been updated to include comments from Ancestry.com.
Family Tree DNA will next month begin using a new, higher-throughput microarray format to process samples for its genetic genealogy service.

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.

Ancestry.com has processed 120,000 samples since it launched its SNP microarray-based AncestryDNA service last year, and is planning new upgrades to the service, according to a company representative.

Ancestry.com earlier this month announced plans to make the raw array data from its AncestryDNA autosomal DNA testing service available to users.

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