Razib Khan’s raw genotype data on 23andMe, Family Tree DNA, Geno 2.0 and Ancestry

It has been a while since I posted an update on my genotype. Since then I’ve been tested on most of the major platforms. I don’t see any harm in releasing this to the public or researchers who want to look at it (though I don’t know why anyone would).

You can download all the files here.

Having my genotypes public is pretty useful for me. If I inquire about someone’s genetics oftentimes people get weirdly defense and ask “what about you?” I Just invite them to look at my raw data and analyze it for themselves! I’m not a hypocrite about this.

Over the years I’ve had researchers inquire about my ethnicity when they stumble upon my genotype on platforms such as openSNP. So in full disclosure, most of my ancestry is pretty standard eastern Bengali. I’m more East Asian shifted than most Bangladeshi samples in the 1000 Genomes project, but then my family is from Comilla, in the far east of eastern Bengal (anyone who cares, my Y is of course R1a1a-Z93 and my mtDNA U2b).

As before I’ll put the genotype under a Creative Commons license:Creative Commons License

5 thoughts on “Razib Khan’s raw genotype data on 23andMe, Family Tree DNA, Geno 2.0 and Ancestry

  1. This might be as good a place as any to observe a key limit of biometric identification as a password substitute. Pretty much all biometric identification methods involve measuring you, converting that measurement to an electronic format, and then comparing it to an electronic file that was converted from a previous measurement of you.

    You can’t change the reference measurement even if identity thieves get a hold of the electronic reference file, as lots of people will be able to do since many people will have a need to know your biometric identification data for authentication purposes with this or the other secured service, even if you don’t post the reference online for everyone to see.

    Now, of course, other people have a hard time having the same reality to measure as you, particularly in something as data rich as your genome.

    But, for lots of purposes, a fake electronic profile can be substituted for a real one and submitted electronically to compare to the reference. For example, if your cell phone uses your fingerprint or retina to authorize you to use it, and then the cell phone uses the electronic verification locally to access resources in the cloud, anyone with the technological capacity to clone your cell phone can replicate any biometric identification method it uses anywhere, anytime. Indeed, for something like a fingerprint or retina scan, the reference code and a high resolution screen is all that might be necessary.

    So, despite its seeming elegance, I suspect that biometric identification will not be the security solution of the future for applications where high security is actually necessary (as opposed to low security applications like validating gym membership or a loyalty card with a merchant). Instead, I suspect that long, variable length, human friendly passwords (e.g. stanzas of fairly easy to memorize poetry) will likely fill that role.

  2. ohwilleke, yes, biometrics should only be used for local authentication, not long-distance authentication. But that’s already how they are used.

    You use biometrics to get your phone to trust you. You don’t send the biometric signal to the cloud. The phone authenticates with the cloud in some completely different way. If someone could take control over the phone, they would just skip the biometrics and directly access the cloud.

  3. Here’s a palindrome to mark the occasion:

    “Wander Razib’s bizarre DNA, W.”

    I imagine that this is advice given to an ex-President of the US who is wondering how to pass his spare hours on the internet. Alternatively, an ex-President of Harvard might follow this advice:

    “Slander Razib’s bizarre DNA, L.S.”

  4. I might post my DNA if thousands of others were doing it also. Is there some public database with thousands of freely-available human genomes?

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