From ISOGG Wiki
|Fate||Ceased trading Jul 2017|
|Founded||2005 (as Ethnoancestry) April 2012 as BritainsDNA|
|Founder(s)||Alistair Moffat and Dr. James Wilson|
|Products||Y-DNA SNPs, mtDNA, biogeographical ancestry|
BritainsDNA and its associated companies MyDNA Global, ScotlandsDNA, IrelandsDNA, YorkshiresDNA and CymruDNAWales offered direct-to-consumer genetic tests which explored British, Irish, Scottish and Welsh ancestry. The companies were a new incarnation of the former testing company Ethnoancestry. ScotlandsDNA was founded in late 2011. BritainsDNA, IrelandsDNA and YorkshiresDNA followed in 2012. CymruDNAWales was launched in September 2014. The parent company the Moffat Partnership was acquired by the Nottingham-based sequencing company SourceBioScience on 10 December 2015. The company ceased trading on 3rd July 2017. Results will continue to be accessible via the MyDNA.Global website until 31 August 2018.
The original BritainsDNA test available from November 2011 through to June 2013 was done on a custom-designed Illumina chip. It covered nearly 400 mitochondrial DNA markers and nearly 400 Y chromosome SNPs, all chosen to be non-redundant and informative in Europeans (although there was representation of non-European variation on the chip as well). The company did not publish a list of the SNPs that were included on the chip. A list of the R1b-L21 SNPs on the BritainsDNA chip can be found here. The BritainsDNA test cost £170 for Y-DNA or mtDNA. There was a discount for males who ordered an mtDNA report at the same time.
The company also offered an additional standalone test for £25 for the red-haired gene. This test was only available as an add-on test for customers who have already ordered the deep ancestry test.
BritainsDNA launched the Chromo 2 test on 14 June 2013. Chromo2 was available in three versions:
- Chromo 2 Complete for Men £190 (€240; $264): Y-DNA, mtDNA and autosomal DNA with an ancestral narrative report for the Y-DNA and mtDNA haplogroups, a biogeographical analysis and tests for baldness, red hair and blue eyes
- Chromo2 Complete for Women £160 (€203: $223): mtDNA and autosomal DNA with an ancestral narrative report for the mtDNA haplogroup, biogeographical analysis and tests for baldness, red hair and blue eyes
- Chromo2 Raw YDNA £125 (€160; $199): Y-DNA raw data only with no ancestral narrative report
The Chromo2 test used a custom-designed Illumina chip which covered 250,000 autosomal SNPs, 14,000 Y-chromosome SNPs and 3000 mtDNA SNPs. The autosomal DNA test was known as All My Ancestry. Customers were provided with a chromosome painting, a global connections plot and a population percentage model to infer which proportions of your genome come from seven different world regions.
BritainsDNA used its own proprietary S series names for many of the Y-SNPs and gave its own nicknames to the Y chromosome DNA and mitochondrial DNA haplogroups. See the list of BritainsDNA haplogroup nicknames for the alternative Y-SNP names and nicknames.
A book written by Alistair Moffat and James Wilson entitled The Scots: A Genetic Journey, which included findings from the company's tests, was published in 2012. A second book The British: A Genetic Journey by Alistair Moffat was published in October 2013.
Ethnoancestry was formed in 2004. It was registered in Scotland, and owned and run by Dr. James Wilson. The company offered Y-STR, Y-SNP and mitochondrial DNA products and was the first to commercially offer testing for the M222 SNP amongst others.
Chromo 2 reviews
- Testing ScotlandsDNA by Tariq Ashkanani, The Skinny, 28 October 2015.
- Genetics - the case of BritainsDNA (in French) by Joss Le Gall, Le Gall de Basse Bretagne et d'ailleurs... blog, 3 January 2014.
- A first look at the BritainsDNA Chromo 2 Y-DNA and mtDNA tests Larry Vick shares his Chromo 2 results with Debbie Kennett. Cruwys News, 20 December 2013.
- A first look at the Chromo 2 All My Ancestry test from BritainsDNA Larry Vick shares his Chromo 2 results with Debbie Kennett. Cruwys News, 20 December 2013.
- BritainsDNA Results - Blake yDNA and mtDNA by Elizabeth Kipp, English Research from Canada blog, 27 November 2013.
BritainsDNA in the news
- Damien Gayle. Secret army of red heads: Research reveals there are 20 million red hair gene carriers in the UK. Daily Mail, 24 August 2013.
- Martyn McLaughlin. Half of all Scots have 'ginger gene' say experts, The Scotsman, 8 November 2012.
- DNA project aims to count Scots redheads BBC News Scotland, 7 November 2012.
- Study reveals 'extraordinary' DNA of people in Scotland BBC News Scotland, 17 April 2012.
- Robin McKie. DNA project reveals Tom Conti's Napoleonic blood and rich roots of Scotland's genetic legacy The Guardian, 14 April 2012.
- Dr. Jim Wilson and ScotlandsDNA Release Y-SNP Positions for Chromo2 by CeCe Moore, Your Genetic Genealogist, 4 March 2014.
- BritainsDNA, the BBC and Eddie Izzard by Debbie Kennett, Cruwys News, 11 January 2014.
- The British: A Genetic Muddle A review of Alistair Moffat's book The British: A Genetic Journey by Debbie Kennett, Cruwys News, 16 December 2013.
- Setting the record straight about Sara Sheridan's DNA by Debbie Kennett, Cruwys News, 8 December 2013.
- A list of alternate names for the Y-SNPs from BritainsDNA's Chromo2 test by CeCe Moore, Your Genetic Genealogist, 20 November 2013.
- You might be a Pict if... by Roberta Estes, DNAeXplained, 24 August 2013.
- BritainsDNA, The Times and Prince William - the perils of publication by press release by Debbie Kennett, Cruwys News, 19 June 2013.
- Response to "Exaggerations and errors in the promotion of genetic ancestry testing" a guest post on the Genomes Unzipped blog by James Wilson, Chief Scientist, BritainsDNA, 3 January 2013.
- BritainsDNA - Caveat Emptor by Roberta Estes, 20 December 2012.
- Exaggerations and errors in the promotion of genetic ancestry testing by Vincent Plagnol of Genomes Unzipped, 17 December 2012.
- The Scots genetic journey continues by Amanda Epperson, The Scottish Emigration Blog, 2 September 2012.
- Kennett DA, Timpson A, Balding DJ, Thomas MG (2018). The rise and fall of BritainsDNA The rise and fall of BritainsDNA: a tale of misleading claims, media manipulation and threats to academic freedom. Genealogy 2(4): 47.
- MyDNA.Global website
- MyDNA.Global on Facebook
- MyDNA.Global on Twitter
- BritainsDNA newsletter archive
- Ethnoancestry beta site
- BritainsDNA haplogroup nicknames
- Y-DNA SNP testing chart
- mtDNA testing comparison chart
- Y-DNA haplogroup projects
- mtDNA haplogroup projects
References and footnotes
- Dick Ahlstrom. Discover your genetic ancestors. The Irish Times, 3 May 2012.
- Kennett D. Acquisition of BritainsDNA by Source BioScience. Cruwys News blog, 23 March 2016.
- Lamb E. BritainsDNA - a thing of the past. Not Just Sheep and Rugby blog, 21 July 2017.
- Information provided to ISOGG in December 2011 by Britains DNA's Chief Scientist, James Wilson. Updated marker information provided by James Wilson in January 2013.
- Red Head. Britains DNA product listing. Accessed 28 January 2013.
- Chromo2 Complete BritainsDNA website, accessed 8 May 2016.
- The Scots: A Genetic Journey, Birlinn website. Accessed 31 January 2013.