23andMe joins MyHeritage to trace your family tree using DNA

23andMe, the biotech company company that sells personal DNA kits consumers can use at home, has joined forces with the Israel-based ancestry research company MyHeritage to enable people to discover their heritage based on genetics testing and documented family history.

The two companies will combine their data to allow people to trace their genealogy using DNA analysis, historical records and matching technologies. Consumers will be able to discover the geographic origins of distant ancestors, find unknown relatives and piece together a family tree, according to a statement released by the companies on Tuesday. It may be one of the most robust tools for tracing ancestry.

“Combining genealogy with DNA-based ancestry is the next evolution in uncovering family history,” said Gilad Japhet, founder and chief executive of MyHeritage. “DNA testing can connect you to relatives you never knew existed, who descend from shared ancestors centuries ago, but family trees and historical records are critical to map and fully understand these connections.”

Mountain View-based 23andMe, which is backed by Google’s venture arm and Google co-founder Sergey Brin, has pioneered the sale of home genetic tests, through which it has collected the genetic information of more than 700,000 people. The company, which is run by Brin’s wife Anne Wojcicki, now owns one of the largest databases of personal genetics information in the world, and is selling that data to researchers and pharmaceutical companies to conduct large-scale medical studies on illnesses such as Parkinson’s and inflammatory bowel disease.

The partnership with MyHeritage, which helps families find their history with digital family tree tools and a library of more than 5.5 billion historical records, will bolster 23andMe’s ancestry services less than a year after the company was delivered a blow by the Food and Drug Administration. 23andMe used to offer health-related genetic reports, whereby consumers could get information on their risk of developing certain health conditions and illnesses, but that service was shut down in November after regulators questioned the accuracy of the results and warned of the danger of consumers receiving life-changing health information that doesn’t come from a doctor. 23andMe is still negotiating with the FDA to resume that service.

Image from 23andme.com


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  • Jean

    I have my DNA done on 23andme.com but they never contacted me to say where I could do ancestry , so here I am reading this article and see nothing either to explain how to upload our date to Heritage …very strange

    • It’s a brand new partnership, and the integration between the two platforms won’t be complete until 2015.