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New Standard Proposed for Genetic Genealogy Tests

 

Tracing ancestors through genetic genealogy tests has become popular amongst some genealogists. There are now about thirty companies that offer genetic genealogy tests through the internet. Unfortunately, the industry has suffered major teething problems. Leading genetic researchers have questioned the accuracy and capability of these over-the-counter genealogy tests (see How Accurate are Genetic Ancestry Tests) and several government jurisdictions have now begun to regulate such tests to protect the consumer (see California Licensing Genetic Testing).

The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), the leading standards organization in the United States, is now proposing that all companies offering genetic genealogy tests use a new standard called SRM-2395.

The prospect of having a standard genetic genealogy test is good news for those genealogists who are looking to use such tests to trace their ancestors. The advantage of the proposed new genetic genealogy standard is that it will give genealogists confidence in the quality and accuracy of the genetic test results. It will also help weed out questionable genetic testing companies that do not subscribe to the new standard as well as help genealogists compare the results of tests from different companies.

Any genealogist thinking of getting a genetic genealogy test in 2009 should certainly ask the testing company if their test meets or exceeds the new SRM-2395 genetic genealogy test standard.

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