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Sorenson Genomics

From ISOGG Wiki

Sorenson Genomics LLC is an independent internationally accredited human genomics DNA testing laboratory based in Salt Lake City, Utah. The laboratory was founded in 2001 by the late James LeVoy Sorenson.[1] Sorenson Genomics offers a range of DNA testing including DNA paternity testing, forensic DNA testing, population genetics, and clinical diagnostics.

Sorenson Genomics also does contract testing for outside parties. These include genealogical companies such as African Ancestry. Sorenson previously did the Y-STR testing and mitochondrial DNA testing for AncestryDNA until these tests were discontinued in June 2014.[2] However, Sorenson does not have the contract for AncestryDNA's autosomal DNA test. Sorenson Genomics also did the testing for DNA Heritage until the company was acquired by Family Tree DNA in April 2011. For the contract testing Sorenson Genomics supplies the raw data, while the display and interpretation comes from the contracting company.

Sorenson Molecular Genealogy Foundation

The Sorenson Molecular Genealogy Foundation (SMGF) was a DNA and genealogical research institution with the goal of demonstrating how the peoples of the world are related. SMGF collected DNA samples and genealogical information from individuals across the globe to establish these connections. Although it operated as a not-for-profit foundation it was a wholly owned subsidiary of Sorenson Companies, and was funded entirely by James LeVoy Sorenson.[3]

The assets of the SMGF were acquired by AncestryDNA in March 2012.[4] AncestryDNA initially promised that the Sorenson database would continue to be available to researchers for the 'foreseeable future'.[5] However, the website was taken down by Ancestry on 14 May 2015 after it was used for "purposes other than that which it was intended" and there are no plans to reinstate it.[6]


Sorenson Genomics acquired GeneTree, a small online direct-to-consumer DNA testing company, in 2001.[7] Later Sorenson Genomics acquired Identigene and decided to use that brand name for paternity testing. The domain name was vacated, and ultimately acquired by SMGF. GeneTree was launched as a DNA testing service and social networking website in October 2007.[8] GeneTree offered both Y-DNA and mitochondrial DNA testing. People who had tested with other companies could also create a free account at GeneTree where they could upload their data and search for matches. GeneTree also provided the facility for SMGF participants to "unlock" their tests. This procedure was a convenience (or a way of moving to the head of the queue for testing). It was not necessary if your DNA was actually tested and you were willing to work with the query engine. The goal was to see if GeneTree could generate enough income to make SMGF self-sustaining after the death of James LeVoy Sorenson, but that did not transpire.[9] GeneTree stopped taking orders in about April 2012 and it was announced in May 2012 that GeneTree had been acquired by[10] The GeneTree website closed down at the end of 2012.

Sorenson Forensics

In 2006 the Sorenson Genomics Laboratory created Sorenson Forensics which provides forensic services for federal, state and local crime laboratories. Sorenson Forensics has no involvement with the genealogical market.


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