Last weekend there was a lot of buzz about personal genomics (see Genome Technology Daily, "It was a Helluva Weekend for Personal Genomics"; or Eye on DNA, "DNA Network Members Discuss Personal Genomics Service Providers 23andMe, deCODEme, and Navigenics"; or my previous post). This weekend, it's ancestry. Today's papers had two interesting features on ancestry testing, both of which nicely echoed my own post about caution regarding ancestry testing ("On Genes"). First, the New York Times business section ("DNA Tests Find Branches but Few Roots") discusses the business of ancestry testing. The article is nice in that it compares the cost of ancestry testing by various companies, shows that results differ, and quotes Henry Louis Gates Jr. making reasoned assessments of the role that DNA testing can play. Second, the Washington Post reviews "The Genetic Strand: Exploring a Family History Through DNA" by Edward Ball("Blue Blood, Black Genes").
The theme is clear. You can only learn so much about your ancestors from DNA.