Like Facebook But For Extended Family: How Genetic Testing Companies Are Turning Into Social Network Sites
Many sites have internal messaging systems that allow people to connect with third and fourth cousins, aunts and uncles many times removed, and others that have distant familial connections to the user.
The New York Times:
Are Genetic Testing Sites The New Social Networks?
Three years ago Dyan deNapoli, a 57-year-old author and TED speaker who specializes in penguins, was given a 23andMe genetic testing kit for her birthday. Intrigued, she spit in the tube and sent the results to a lab in Burlington, N.C. About two months later she received a pie chart breaking down where her ancestors lived (99.4 percent of them were from Europe). What she was most giddy about, however, was a 41-page list of all the people who had done the test and were genetically related to her: 1,200 in all. (Customers can choose whether their information is shared with others.) (6/16)
In other news —
Home DNA Testing For Health Has Pros And Cons
Rita Adele Steyn's mother had a double mastectomy in her 40s because she had so many lumps in her breasts. Her first cousin died of breast cancer. And Steyn's sister is going through chemotherapy for the disease now. So Steyn worries she might be next. "Sometimes you feel like you beat the odds. And sometimes you feel like the odds are against you," said Steyn, 42, who lives in Tampa, Fla. "And right now I feel like the odds are against me." (Stein, 6/18)