23andMe, once a pioneer in the DNA testing industry, is facing an uncertain future. Despite its early success in offering affordable and accessible genetic testing to consumers, there are several reasons why the company is destined for failure. Privacy Concerns: One of the biggest issues surrounding 23andMe is the privacy of genetic data. Customers whoContinue reading “The Downfall of 23andMe: Why the DNA Testing Company is Doomed to Fail”
Category Archives: BLOG
Reconstructing the first Levites
The biblical Levites were a group of people from the tribe of Levi set apart for religious service in ancient Israel. The most famous Levite was Aaron, Moses’s big brother and the first priest. The Levites played an important role in the worship and rituals of the Israelites. Their duties included serving as priests, caringContinue reading “Reconstructing the first Levites”
Unearthing Biblical Ashkenaz, the motherland of Ashkenazic Jewry and Yiddish
For the past 1,000 years or so, the search for the land of Ashkenaz — thought to be the birthplace of Ashkanazic Jews and the Yiddish language — is one of the longest quests in human history. It is perhaps second only in length to the search for Noah’s Ark which began in the 3rd century AD.Continue reading “Unearthing Biblical Ashkenaz, the motherland of Ashkenazic Jewry and Yiddish”
How math was recruited to invent the Jewish people
Who is a Jew is a debate that finds its roots in the Iron Age Kingdom of Judah and its conquest by the Achaemenid Persian Empire. The Hebrew word ‘Yehudi’ (Jew in English) has been used at least since 539 BCE to refer to the inhabitants of the conquered Kingdom, now called Yehud. ‘Yehud’ contributedContinue reading “How math was recruited to invent the Jewish people”
Who needs Ancestry informative markers (AIMs)? Are they still useful or relics of the past?
To say that my criticism of PCA rattled some people would be an understatement, and while a pushback against (or just ignoring) the results was expected, some appear to attack the mere concept of AIMs and their usefulness. I am not even certain how it challenges the criticism, but for their benefit – and forContinue reading “Who needs Ancestry informative markers (AIMs)? Are they still useful or relics of the past?”
Warning: scholars are after your child’s penis
“More than the Calf Wants to Suck the Cow Wants to Suckle” from the Jewish Talmud (Pesachim 112a) teaches us that sometimes we want to provide something more than is possible. I thought about it today when I read a study published in the journal AIDS and Behavior. The study titled “The 1982 Medicaid FundingContinue reading “Warning: scholars are after your child’s penis”
Why does genomic dating terrify The Jerusalem Post / JPost.com?
The Jerusalem Post (a right-wing news site that used to be popular) published a very redacted coverage of our latest study of dating genomes using AI here. By now the study has been covered by dozens of news sites around the world and is ranked the top first or second most-read study in Cell ReportsContinue reading “Why does genomic dating terrify The Jerusalem Post / JPost.com?”
As the old saying goes, when dating a mummy – don’t be late!
It is no secret that in dating, timing is everything. When studying the past, whether finding coins, bones, or pathogens buried in a mound – the question of when they are from makes the difference between a meaningful or a misleading discovery. Dating is so crucial that Willard Libby of the University of Chicago won the Nobel PrizeContinue reading “As the old saying goes, when dating a mummy – don’t be late!”
My Bronze Age Origins test – update (1)
In case that you missed my previous post, this is a quick reminder that my latest Bronze Age test has been available on GenePlaza for almost six months now and got mostly excellent feedback. You can read about the test here. You can look at the preview of the test here. Some people may still ponder overContinue reading “My Bronze Age Origins test – update (1)”
New paper: How NOT to apply supervised machine learning in evolutionary studies
Over the past five years, Schrider and Kern developed a series of evolutionary models and tools that aim to apply supervised machine learning to evolutionary studies. What is supervised machine learning? It’s a statistical tool that is trained on a dataset, say how 200 people write the numbers 0-9. Then, the tool learns to identifyContinue reading “New paper: How NOT to apply supervised machine learning in evolutionary studies”