DNA Consultants’ blog

Read reviews of science articles, new research and news reports on ancestry testing, ancient DNA and popular genetics

Book Review: The Language of Life by Francis Collins

Nature 463/298-299 (21 January 2010)

Abdallah S. Daar in reviewing this new book by NIH director Francis Collins maintains that “we have entered the era of rapid, inexpensive genetic testing and genome sequencing” and must simply come to terms with the phenomenon of personal genomics and consumer genetics.

Hunter Gatherer DNA from the Don

The successful extraction of ancient DNA has been a rare accomplishment in genetic circles until recently. In the journal Current Biology, a German-Russian team details how it was possible to avoid the common pitfalls of contamination with modern human DNA in the instance of a 30,000 year-old hunter gatherer’s grave in Russia.

Bradshaw Foundation, Stephen Oppenheimer, INORA

Bradshaw Foundation

A Phoenix business contact recently turned me on to the most fascinating website I have yet encountered devoted to prehistoric times and the migrations of humans. Named after the age-old and stunning Bradshaw rock art inscriptions in Australia, the Bradshaw Foundation focuses on rock art around the world and the brilliant discoveries of Oxford geneticist Stephen Oppenheimer.

Confirms Beachcomber Route to Asia out of Africa

Other Companies Must Revise Their Human Migration Maps
Since Stephen Oppenheimer’s The Real Eve suggested that the main out-of-Africa migration of humans proceeded across the mouth of the Gulf of Suez and around the coasts of Arabia, India and Southeast Asia (the “beachcomber route”), controversy has raged about the origin of Asians, whether they split off from the first out-of-Africa groups, sometimes called macro-haplogroup M, in the north central Asian highlands or the Middle East or elsewhere.

deCODE’s Bankruptcy Signal a False Promise of Genetic Medicine?

Future Shock or Future Letdown?

New York Times reporter and DNA author Nicholas Wade raised an interesting question in his report on the bankruptcy last month of Iceland’s deCODE Genetics, which attempted to make it possible for an ordinary consumer to buy the latest applicable information on the connection between their personal genes and their personal disease risk. The article was titled “A Genetics Company Fails, Its Research Too Complex.”

Iceland’s deCODE Defunct

Icelandic genomics firm goes bankrupt

In a report by Erika Check Hayden, the journal Nature gloated that the innovative personal genomics company deCODE Genetics went out of business, leaving the disposition of valuable genetic data unclear.