June 20, 2007 Technology is a wonderous thing, and DNA testing in particular offers us incredible insight into our past – put those results online and create a searchable database and the way is open for reuniting families across the globe through science. That’s exactly what’s about to happen with a new partnership between Ancestry.com and Sorenson Genomics. By taking a US$200 cheek-swab test and comparing results against DNA profiles in a test-results database, each one of us can uncover genealogical associations unimaginable just a few years ago. Initially being in the database might very well be akin to being one of the first to have a telephone (who would you call?), but once numbers reach critical mass, this unique collaboration promises to revolutionize genealogy by allowing people to trace their roots and connect to distant cousins through DNA. This is big and a wonderful example of creative synergy between businesses.
By adding Ancestry.com’s collection of online family trees (the world's largest) and historical documents with Sorenson Genomics' precision ancestral DNA testing, the opportunities to learn about our origins will be immense and the value of both companies and their wares has been enhanced enormously.
UPGRADE TO NEW ATLAS PLUS
More than 1,500 New Atlas Plus subscribers directly support our journalism, and get access to our premium ad-free site and email newsletter. Join them for just US$19 a year.UPGRADE
Prior to the current partnership, Sorenson Genomics provided DNA testing and database matching services through its direct-to-consumer genetic genealogy division Relative Genetics. This new partnership agreement brings former customers of Relative Genetics and its DNA database under The Generations Network's umbrella.
Sorenson Genomics will now provide DNA testing services for The Generations Network, and Ancestry.com will market DNA testing and database-matching services for genealogy purposes. Results of the Relative Genetics' DNA database will be included in Ancestry.com's growing database of more than 14 million users.
Sorenson Genomics is one of the world's foremost laboratories for genetic genealogy testing services, and has been helping genealogists extend branches of their family trees through DNA analysis since 2001.
"Entering the DNA category is a natural and powerful extension of our company's mission to connect families across distance and time," said Tim Sullivan, CEO of The Generations Network. "Our partnership with Sorenson Genomics creates an incredible combination of resources designed to demonstrate how closely we are all related."
In the coming months, Ancestry.com will release technology that captures DNA test results in an ever-expanding, searchable database. Using this database, users can easily identify distant cousins and tap into thousands of hours of already-completed genetic genealogical research, breaking through family tree dead-ends or barriers such as missing or inaccurate records and name changes. Ancestry.com is also developing technology that will allow users to integrate DNA results with the historical documents already in their online family trees.
"DNA research becomes more meaningful to people searching for relatives as more peoples' DNA results become part of the database," said Doug Fogg, COO of Sorenson Genomics. "By combining the powerful networking effect of Ancestry.com's extensive user base with Sorenson Genomics' industry-leading DNA testing capabilities, this partnership will dramatically alter and expand the DNA testing services marketplace."
With 24,000 searchable databases and titles, Ancestry.com is the No. 1 online source for family history information. Since its launch in 1997, Ancestry.com has been the premier resource for family history, simplifying genealogical research for millions of people by providing them with many easy-to-use tools and resources to build their own unique family trees.
The site is home to the only complete online U.S. Federal Census collection, 1790-1930, as well as the world's largest online collection of U.S. ship passenger list records featuring more than 100 million names, 1820-1960. Ancestry.com is part of The Generations Network, Inc., a leading network of family-focused interactive properties, including MyFamily.com, Rootsweb.com, Genealogy.com and Family Tree Maker.
Sorenson Genomics is a genetic testing laboratory certified to ISO 17025 and accredited by the American Association of Blood Banks. It was the world's first laboratory accredited for genetic genealogy testing services. A pioneer in the relatively new science of genetic genealogy, Sorenson Genomics has provided genetic testing solutions to help genealogists extend branches of family trees since 2001.
The company administered the DNA testing for PBS's widely acclaimed series "African American Lives," which traced the roots of icons Oprah Winfrey, Spike Lee, Whoopi Goldberg, Quincy Jones and others. Through its independent business units GeneTree and Sorenson Forensics, Sorenson Genomics provides a wide spectrum of contract services to clients throughout the world, including DNA extraction and purification; DNA sequencing and genotyping; forensic DNA casework; disaster victim identification; ancestral and population assessment, and custom test development.