“It never rains but it pours.”
Let’s just say I’m a tad bit overwhelmed right now for numerous reasons. Never, ever even whisper to yourself, “what else could go wrong?” Because you know what happens next, right!
Right now, I need to focus on what needs to be done for RootsTech and on some unexpected matters.
Translated, this means that my blog article publication schedule is slipping, and here’s what to expect.
There won’t be any 52 Ancestors articles for at least two weeks, and perhaps a tad longer. There’s a lot of research and prep that goes into each one, and I just don’t have the cycles right now.
I will *try* to get my regular technical article out this week. I did have a couple queued before RootsTech, but they aren’t finalized. Fingers crossed.
I will try to get at least a short RootsTech article out next week while I’m there. If I manage to do that, the photos will be uncropped and it will be “rough” and brief compared to my normal articles. Think of it as embedded reporting – I’m your correspondent on the ground:)
I do have a couple very interesting newsy items to share with you today.
Nebula Genomics Introduces 30X Whole Genome Sequence, Partners with Family Tree DNA
I just received an e-mail from Nebula Genomics announcing that they are offering a whole genome 30X (30 scan coverage) sequence (WGS) for $299, plus a subscription to maintain access to updates in their research library. The idea is to sequence once and update your data forever, meaning that medical and other information will be at your fingertips as it becomes available. You can read their FAQ, here and the announcement here.
For this price, the DNA is sequenced in Hong Kong, not mainland China (a situation you can read about here,) but by BGI, renamed from Bejing Genomics Institute, a Chinese government-owned firm. This gives me significant pause due to the Chinese political regime and oppression of the Uighur population using genetic data. Nebula states that they are looking to move their processing onshore in the near future. I will be much more comfortable as soon as that happens.
However, there’s more news. Nebula has partnered with Family Tree DNA.
Hey, Family Tree DNA has a world-class lab, GenebyGene. Perhaps Nebula can move their processing there. I would even pay more to *NOT* send my DNA to a Chinese firm.
Beginning in Q2, you’ll be able to transfer at least some of your information from Nebula Genomics to Family Tree DNA’s Y and mitochondrial databases. This appears to be a direct company to company transfer, much easier than a download/upload, assures accuracy and provides enhanced security.
I don’t see details, and it’s not Q2 yet of course, but I would expect this transfer to function similar to others where the transfer and perhaps some basic tools are free, but for advanced tools, an unlock fee at Family Tree DNA would probably be required. I also don’t know if all data would be transferred, or what happens if you’ve already taken a lower level test, or if coverage isn’t sufficient. Lots to work out moving forward.
Unlike the other WGS products that I’ve considered, Nebula provides a genomic browser and available files for download. In other words, you don’t just receive your sequenced file on a disc and wonder what to do next, and how.
I do have questions about this new offering, but for the $299 price, anyone thinking about whole genome sequencing and is OK with BGI should consider Nebula, especially with the possibility of transferring Y and mitochondrial DNA directly.
As far as I’m concerned, whole genome sequencing become a viable option when:
- It’s reasonably priced
- The coverage is adequate, at least 30X
- My data is secure (meaning not BGI or China)
- I can easily transfer portions elsewhere (without having to use third party tools to extract the data) and utilize the Y, mitochondrial and autosomal files as uploads in other locations
- The vendor provides tools or a subscription so I can reap continuing value
When Nebula processing moves onshore, or at least to a western-world lab, I’ll be all in!
My Heritage Colorized Photos Go Viral
I’m pleased to tell you that MyHeritage reports that people have colorized more than a million photos in the first 5 days since they first announced their new photo colorization tool. That means sharing with family and other people getting excited about genealogy.
I’m observing family members on social media realizing they have “long lost” pictures and sharing them when they see the new colorized photos posted. As genealogists, this is EXACTLY what we want to see.
Look at some of these amazing photos in the MyHeritage blog article, here.
Remember, if you’re not a MyHeritage subscriber, you can colorize 10 photos for free and then you can set up a free trial subscription account. When you colorize the photos, MyHeritage saves them beside the original in your MyHeritage account for you. I love this service.
If you’re having problems with older photos, try rescanning the original at the highest scan resolution possible.
I’ve also discovered that this tool doesn’t just colorize photos of people – but of buildings, landscapes and pets too. I’ve found the best results are with something that has a natural green, like leaves, because the software seems to calibrate itself by finding something it can identify.
You’ll forgive me if I go and have a good cry now.
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Thank you so much.
DNA Purchases and Free Transfers
- FamilyTreeDNA – Y, mitochondrial and autosomal DNA testing
- MyHeritage DNA – ancestry autosomal DNA only, not health
- MyHeritage DNA plus Health
- MyHeritage FREE DNA file upload – transfer your results from other vendors free
- AncestryDNA – autosomal DNA only
- 23andMe Ancestry – autosomal DNA only, no Health
- 23andMe Ancestry Plus Health
Genealogy Products and Services
- MyHeritage FREE Tree Builder – genealogy software for your computer
- MyHeritage Subscription with Free Trial
- Legacy Family Tree Webinars – genealogy and DNA classes, subscription based, some free
- Legacy Family Tree Software – genealogy software for your computer
- Charting Companion – Charts and Reports to use with your genealogy software or FamilySearch
- Legacy Tree Genealogists – professional genealogy research
Fun DNA Stuff
- Celebrate DNA – customized DNA themed t-shirts, bags and other items