Genographics 2.0 Update, Oct. 21, 2012 (Initial Review, before any testing)

I have gotten a few hits in regard to the Genographics kit through google. More specifically, reviews on it.

It’s far too early for me to comment on the project in its entirety, but I must say so far I am quite impressed. This is coming from someone going into it slightly skeptical. As I stated before, it’s a fair bit of money… and I’m cheap. lol

I found there wasn’t a lot of information available in regard to technical information at first(maybe I just wasn’t find it, it’s a possibility). I wanted to know how thorough this was, maybe see some technology actually mentioned specifically other than generic terms like “DNA analysis”.

I have done the cheek swabs, packed em, the envelope is ready to go I just have to go to the post office and pay to mail it. That is one thing that kind’ve bugs me. It’s an expensive thing to take part in and they don’t even send you a prepaid postal package to return it with. lol It’s only a few bucks… but come on… over 200 bucks and you can’t cover the stamps? lol
(Tid bit… National Geographic spends more money on mailing out “Please resubscribe!” letters when you subscribe to their magazine than they would if they’d offer you, say, ten bucks off to convince you. Not even kidding. I let mine go and they must have sent over a dozen of the same letters. lol Not a big deal, just a quirk in the company… kinda wasteful too.)

Anyway, the thing is technically considered a package and not a letter, so maybe they weren’t really able to set things up to cover the cost easily…. the weight may vary too. I didn’t get the baggy in my kit (you put the phials in it before putting it in the envelope to prevent them from moving much, it’s mentioned in the instructions), but I spoke with customer service and they explained any baggy will do, or even none at all if need be. (Unsure of how strict their acceptance policies were, so I felt it was worth it to double check so I don’t inadvertently delay the thing. No baggy increases the risk of the  phials moving more and potentially opening up, contaminating your sample; I believe they will send you a new one, free, if this occurs. It’s the testing that is expensive, not the kits. Though one could argue that once the cost of equipment is paid for, it becomes rather inexpensive for them… relatively speaking. This could be said for any number of industries.)

So I got the package ready and was discussing the project with someone I met today (a rather interesting mathematician… though mathematics was not really any topic of discussion; I like the subject, but usually the more practical uses for it. He is far beyond my understanding of it). I explained what I could, but felt I lacked a lot of information about the details of the project. Because of this I decided to go to the website and register my number. I’d be surprised if he or his girlfriend don’t maybe order it themselves, but I understand this is not for everyone.

So I logged in and started by reading the privacy agreements and TOS (Terms of Service).
Unfortunately, as I understood anyway, a lot of the results you aren’t allowed to share. No recreation of data, or linking to the results and the like. I’ll double check this with customer service later. I’d rather get a solid “yes” or “no” for sharing as I don’t want to run afoul of the project. I will report on this later more specifically; do not take it as gospel, or any of this really. Just a friendly review.

I’m also going to send them an email explicitly denying them any right to share my DNA with any agency (private or government) without proper warrant (There is mention of third party sharing, though this may only include information other than actual DNA; didn’t have as much time to read it as I’d like). You can email them and opt out of the program should you choose to take part fully at any time as well (if you choose to participate fully, your information becomes public to the program as I understood it, maybe even public public). Participation at that level is entirely optional, but if you don’t register with your email and the like you have no recourse if you ever lose your login information. I believe they aren’t allowed to share your DNA, except with Law Enforcement agencies if deemed necessary, but I’m a fan of redundancies so I’ll make my wishes explicit and see what they say. Probably not necessary, but DNA is probably the most important thing you or I own… so… protect it.

Also, any information you add to the project through their site, becomes their intellectual property, though it may be that the odd personal right is maintained. It’s kinda the same way Facebook does thing, last I heard anyway. I probably will not be writing much on that site because of this… not that I’d be able to contribute much anyway, though I’d love to enter Anthropological discussions… especially with experts.

I found the information I was interested in is much more accessible when you’re logged into it with your registration number. Fairly impressive really.
I’m not knowledgeable enough in the field of genetics to begin going over the technology and exactly how it is applied (I don’t think they get THAT detailed anyway), but I will further my study of interest in the field in order to understand the process more. Maybe even go to school in a similar field of study. I do intend on attending university (have been to college, or trade school rather), I just need to actually pick a path of study! 🙂 Suggestions on that always welcome.

My interests would be: Cognitive Science, Environmental Science, Environment and Sustainability, Anthropology, Physics and Astronomy, Law to some extent (human rights) and a whole whack of other subjects. You see my problem.

Anyway, I am happy at the moment with doing this. It’s interesting and will keep me slightly entertained for the better part of the next year, though on a trickle through basis. lol Sloooow process, but still very neat! There is a lot more on the website which I haven’t even gotten to look at yet. I believe there is even general public access to much of the reports being generated from this project. Dry, but interesting.

I’m going to learn a lot in doing this I think. Not just about myself, but our race in general. Looking forward to it.

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