MyHeritage DNA Introduces Ethnicity Estimates

Today MyHeritage announced that their site now has ethnicity estimates for DNA testers.  MyHeritage sells their own DNA test, and for now still accepts free uploads of DNA results from other DNA testing companies.  It may be a good time for you to bring your results to MyHeritage, if you haven’t already.  Once the database gets big enough, they may start charging a fee for transfers.

Here is a sample set of results:

MyHeritage_ethnicities

Taking my first look, I am surprised that the estimates show precision to one decimal point.  This gives a false sense of accuracy.  Today’s models really aren’t that good yet.  All of the major DNA testing companies are still refining their ethnicity models.  To read more about understanding ethnicity estimates, see DNA Testing, What Do My Origin Percentages Mean?  In brief, current models are pretty good at distinguishing continents, but less so within a continent.  So yes, this person is shown by this models, and models at other companies, to be close to 100% European.  But the subgroup percentages vary from company to company.  I can’t say these results are much worse or much better than others I have seen.

MyHeritage has created a cool video format to present your results (select “Play Intro”).  The video steps through each of your ethnic regions with music meant to evoke each region.  They have to get some style points for this one.  I could see that a person who is not interested in genealogy or plain numbers would probably enjoy seeing results presented in this format.

Hopefully the interesting video format draws some more people into DNA and genealogy.  Just be aware that, like all ethnicity results, these are still rough estimates that are expected to change over time.

 

Posted in DNA

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