Product Review: Genomelink

With a variety of testing companies which seek to gain profits through marketing their information and analytics expertise to customers, where does Genomelink rank? As someone who is by no means unfamiliar with a variety of genetic testing, I have to admit that Genomelink looks to be the weakest of all of the companies I have yet to see. From what I have been able to see so far, it looks like Genomelink is seeking to provide the least worthwhile options of testing information with a lot less information than their competitors. We will look at three of their reports and examine how it is that these reports stack up with both what information is available at present from third-party sources as well as how Genomelink stacks up with its more premium competitors.

Among the many reports offered by Genomelink is a Viking report that seeks to test whether or not people have viking ancestry. Now, I have already known from a competing company not only that I have Viking ancestry but also seen some specific samples that I have a genetic connection with throughout the Viking world in Russia, Scandinavia, the British Isles, and even Iceland. Genomelink offers none of this information. What it does is give a number for one’s amount of Viking ancestry, discusses what percentile rating this means relative to the customers for the company, and then divides Vikings into four groups of people and gives a qualitative comparison of how closely one is related to each of these strands. It is perhaps unsurprising that I was most closely related to the stay-at-home Scandinavians, somewhat related to both Eastern European and British Vikings, and not very related at all to Finish Vikings. But the details were lacking.

Another test that Genomelink offers is a test for one’s ancestry. It should be noted, though, that this attempt at capitalizing on the desire for ancestry tests is mostly related to ancient populations rather than more recent ones. This is also a test that puts a glossier look to information that is available from third party sources, and again here the information is not very detailed, as one can see from what was provided to me:

Each of these includes links, and comment on the genetic ties that exist between these populations, such that South Asian DNA can include DNA from ancient Indo-European populations and West African DNA can include ancient connections as well. None of this is particularly surprising, and although interesting it is not necessarily something that is genealogically relevant.

The third test that was provided was one that sought to provide a look at global ancestry, also using third-party testing that seeks to aggregate various markers together. Again, this information is a glossy version of information that is readily available via third party sources that looks at the percentage of various deep ancestral ties on each chromosome as well as overall, and eleven different populations were found in my own DNA, including:

[Note: 1% was also found for East African as well as Arctic ancestry.]

Overall, none of these tests is particularly impressing. All of the tests that I have seen mimic those provided by other companies with more information provided. No matching is included, and the company seeks to make its profit off of selling remote and dodgy ancestry tests (the least valuable part of that offered by its many competitors, some of which I have already reviewed [1] as well as equally dodgy tests on genetic traits. The company has no interest in looking at DNA matches, which are a genealogically useful matter. Given that it is far weaker at providing detailed information than its competitors, one wonders if it will be able to survive the tough competition in its field.

[1] See, for example:

https://edgeinducedcohesion.blog/2021/05/29/on-the-problem-of-populations-in-genetic-genealogy/

About nathanalbright

I'm a person with diverse interests who loves to read. If you want to know something about me, just ask.
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