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Response to Euny Hong's Critique of 23andMe
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Screenshot 2016-08-26 19.23.09

Update: In light of further comments I may have been wrong about Hong’s recent admixture! See the comments below (also, further discussion with Spencer Wells offline). I don’t have total clarity on what’s going on, because I’m sure my friends weren’t lying…but they were also early adopters, and the methods may have changed. And, I do think 23andMe has the talent and methods to resolve Korean ancestry, so it’s a matter of investment, not data.

All that being said, all individuals should pull down the raw data and do a reanalaysis.

End update

Quartz has an article up, 23andMe has a problem when it comes to ancestry reports for people of color, which I want to comment on at length. Though literally taken the title is not something I’d disagree with too much, the tone and details I have serious issues with.

First, some disclosure. Hong talked to me on the phone for an hour about this story. Mostly we talked about her Korean ancestry results. More on that later. Second, I consulted for 2.5 years for Family Tree DNA, am friends with Spencer Wells (who is quoted), and am on friendly terms (I’d like to think!) with Joanna Mountain, and quite respect many of the scientists at 23andMe (e.g., Kaisa Bryc and Ivan Juric off the top of my head).

I will go through the article point by point. First:

I doubt that most 23andMe users realize how paltry the company’s data is for non-Caucasians. For example: The data set that 23andMe used to generate my report has 76 Koreans in it, according to Dr. Joanna Mountain, the company’s senior director of research. 76 Koreans. It is estimated there are at least 7 million Koreans living outside of the Korean peninsula—including 1.7 million in the US—among a worldwide population of 83 million.

Seventy-six Koreans seemed small to me, but what do I know? I’m just a journalist. So I spoke to geneticist Spencer Wells, founder and former director of National Geographic’s Genographic Project (arguably a 23andMe competitor), which he ran from 2005-2015. “[76] is a really low number,” he concurred.

The small sample sizes seem really, really problematic if you are a lay person, or a journalist. The issue is that with genotype technology that looks for common polymorphisms you really don’t get that much more information from 1,000 individuals than you do from 100. All things equal, more sample size is better, but the gap between 10 and 100 is much much greater than 100 and 1,000 or 100 and 10,000. You can see this in the robustness of results for model-based clustering conditional on different sample sizes. For a homogeneous population like the peoples of the Korean peninsula, who seem relatively panmictic, a bigger sample size would have only marginal effect on the overall outcomes using these methods (also, it might matter if you were looking at low-frequency alleles from whole genome sequencing).

Before I talked to Hong I checked in with a friend who was half north Korean (in that her father’s family was from the northern half of the peninsula and migrated south) and half central Korean (i.e., her mother’s family was from around Seoul). Just like her husband, whose family was from Busan in the far south, her results came back as 99% Korean. Some genetic research has been done on Koreans, and there just isn’t that much structure. The Koreans have a composite origin if you go far back enough, but they’ve been intermarrying with each other a long time.

Next:

Also, astonishingly, the report shows that I am 13.4% Japanese and 14% Chinese—and only 61.6% Korean. I was looking forward to watching my parents freak out. My sister texted me, “Oh [Dad will] probably blame Mom.”

To my disappointment, my parents did not freak out, nor did they get into an amusing argument about which of their ancestors was the ho. Because they simply did not believe the data. And, for once, they were right.

The public relies on journalists for the truth. Sometimes the truth can be slippery. But sometimes it is clear. Most of conversation between Hong and myself was about her Korean ancestry. As I said to her, I asked a handful of my Korean friends about their 23andMe results before we spoke. From that I told Hong I was 99% sure that she had recent non-Korean ancestry. 23andMe’s results are really robust. I tried to emphasize that over and over. Hong can believe what she wants, but it is obvious that she almost certainly has non-Korean ancestry relatively recently in the past.

Because 23andMe uses chromosome painting, you can see she has very long segments of inferred Chinese and Japanese ancestry. This non-Korean ancestry is probably from within the last three generations because ancestry tract lengths indicate that recombination hasn’t broken apart the associations across the chromosomes (there are 20-40 recombination events across the genome per generation).

Next:

I asked Wells whether my percentage breakdowns of Korean, Chinese, and Japanese meant anything. “Yes,” he said, “but I think it is misleading to go to a decimal place or even to go out two digits.” Wells said that another problem with the data is that “Most of those [samples] are from the US. They’re not terribly useful for studies of indigenous composition—which is effectively what this analysis is trying to do.”

I had a long text conversation with Spencer on this after the article came out. I can see where he’s coming from. And 23andMe does have a shortfall of indigenous and non-European samples. But as I said, I asked around to Korean friends who had used 23andMe before and the population is pretty homogeneous, and the friends’ results I cited above were representative. I have also worked with and seen samples from Family Tree DNA, and it’s the same story. There might be undersampled populations from Korea, but I’d bet against it. Koreans are relatively homogeneous, with a position between Japanese and North Chinese. Where you would expect them to be.

Spencer is correct about the decimal places issue. They give people a false impression of precision. I do know that scientists within DTC companies struggle against it. But scientists don’t always win these arguments.

Next:

I also interviewed Harvard geneticist Robert Green, who made the important point that private companies have different methods and standards from those of an academic lab. “There is a difference between analysis you can do with hundreds of [genetic] markers at a research level, and the kind of analysis that even the best companies can do, which is more an approximation,” he said.

Green is a medical geneticist who does great work. But I’ll be generous and assume he’s taken totally out of context here, because what he says makes no sense. The genotyping platforms do have error rates (no-calls, mistypings, etc.) on the order of 1%. But they’re using hundreds of thousands of SNPs. This error rate doesn’t matter too much for what 23andMe is doing in relation to ancestry. And with population structure inference these errors usually don’t cause a major issue if they aren’t systematic.

Then there’s this:

A few of the geneticists I interviewed for this article (but not Green or Wells) outright accused 23andMe of commercially driven ethnic bias. For example, no distinction is made between northern and southern Chinese, who have very different traits. This was a serious allegation, so I put the question directly before 23andMe’s Mountain. “As a scientist, I find that insulting,” she said in a phone interview.

I brought up the issue with the Chinese to Hong, and I apologize to Mountain here if it came off as offensive, because I certainly didn’t mean it that way. My point, which I’ve brought up for years both in public, and when I have consulted for DTC companies, is that South and East Asians are huge groups, and it’s incongruous that they aren’t differentiated as much as the Europeans. These tests basically tell you are South Asian, or Chinese, or Korean, or Japanese. In the case of Koreans and Japanese there isn’t that much structure within these groups, but that is not the case with the Han Chinese. There is an decent amount of structure, but last I checked 23andMe has a catchall Han Chinese group. Why? I’ll get to that later. (It’s not because they don’t have the data.)

Though I disagree with the tone and the emphasis, a simple inspection by Hong has shed light on something that has been glaringly obvious in the genetic genealogy community: there is laser-like focus on differentiating very close Northern European groups, such as Irish and English, and not so much emphasis on differentiating diverse populations such as South Asians. This was one thing I did talk to Hong about at length. I don’t think it’s crass racism, and I think that I made that clear to her, but I’m not happy with the situation either (23andMe representatives know I’m not happy, and have talked to me about it at ASHG).

The final sections involve Hong reviewing the disparities in sample representation. As I said above, some of this overdone. But, it is a little ridiculous that there are only a few hundred African population samples in their data. Granted, it turns out that between-population genetic distance in Africa is actually not as much as you’d think based on aggregate variation (the within population variation is what makes all the news). I think Hong is correct that 23andMe should have made more effort on sample collection these past few years…but I’m not CEO of 23andMe, and Joanna Mountain and her scientists don’t call all the shots. I think Hong’s piece leaves Mountain and the researchers holding the bag for something that really isn’t their doing (perhaps it is, but I’m really skeptical of that).

Finally:

Could the company be doing a better job with collecting ethnographic data? “Absolutely they could,” Wells said, “but it’s not their raison d’être.” Which, of course, is pharma and health research. Fair enough—it’s their money. But how about a disclaimer attached to the ancestry part of the report? Like, “for entertainment purposes only?” Because data based on 76 Koreans (or any other ethnic group) is definitely not worth potentially causing family discord or a blood feud. I don’t know whether the company understands the realities of deadly global ethnic tensions and the potential damage created by people’s trust in these reports.

I think Spencer has highlighted the major dynamic here: 23andMe is pivoting towards biomedical research. It has a database of north of a million, mostly European-origin individuals. The real money now comes from leveraging the database to collect information on health, and combining it with the genotypes they already have. On the margin, getting greater population diversity is probably not a major avenue by which they could gain higher valuations. And getting from one million to ten million genotypes is nothing without increasing their database of phenotypes.

The real story here is not one of racism. It’s one of capitalism. Most of 23andMe’s customers are white European in ancestry, and a disproportionate number of those are Northern European. Is it a surprise that their tools breakdown Northern European ancestry so finely? That’s their customer base.

Second, many Asians I’ve talked to are relatively uninterested in fine-grained breakdowns in their ancestry. For several years I worked with an engineer from Fujian, and his Family Tree DNA results showed that he was shifted toward the southern end of the north-south Chinese cline. He didn’t care at all, because he was from Fujian, so of course he knew this. Many Asians seem to have this attitude where the ancestry results are viewed as confirmatory. Hong’s case, where there was a surprise, is exceptional.

If 23andMe wanted to they could easily breakdown Asians into further subcomponents. I think there are two reasons they don’t want to aside from the firm’s recent focus on health and pharma. First, they don’t have that many Asian customers. Second, their Asian customers might actually get a bit irritated!

Ultimately, Hong can think whatever she wants to about her 23andMe results. But the data are out there. It’s pretty obvious that unless there was a sample mix-up, she has recent Chinese and Japanese ancestry (she could put the raw results in the public domain and have people cross-check with other methods, like PCA; I’m pretty sure they would confirm the 23andMe results).

On a last nerdy note: the data generated by DTC companies is great. Their Illumina SNP-chips are really good, with 99% or so correct-call rates. Hong referred to data in the piece when she really meant results. The thing is that results are basically generated through a sieve of methods geared toward human digestibility. 23andMe and other DTC companies differ because of different methods and parameters in those methods, that are determined by what humans want out of these techniques. But the data, that’s pretty straightforward and robust.

If you are interested in a more philosophical take, Joe Pickrell’s What is ancestry?

Addendum: My conversation with Hong was very wide-ranging. We talked about EDAR, random mating populations, and local ancestry deconvolution. Well, perhaps not in those words. It’s a little saddening to me that ultimately what came out of all that is a piece which tries to paint 23andMe as prejudiced against minorities. The only prejudice they exhibit as a firm is against smaller market share.

 
• Category: Science • Tags: 23andMe 
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  1. I once talked to a reporter who said ” but isn’t that an obvious consequence of the central limit theorem?”

    Once.

    • Replies: @Lars
    which one?
  2. Never mind the whole nonsense of mentioning “epigenetics” as an explanation for conversion…I have long ago come to the conclusion that journalists should simply be dismissed on most matter…particularly if it is in regards to science.

  3. There might be undersampled populations from Korea, but I’d bet against it. Koreans are relatively homogeneous

    You don’t think the Paekchong are likely to be distinct? Judging by the wikipedia article, they were a pretty distinct caste as recently as the early 20th century.

    • Replies: @Razib Khan
    i doubt it. i told you, i've seen ftDNA korea data. a fair amount. no structure.
  4. @Michael Watts
    There might be undersampled populations from Korea, but I’d bet against it. Koreans are relatively homogeneous

    You don't think the Paekchong are likely to be distinct? Judging by the wikipedia article, they were a pretty distinct caste as recently as the early 20th century.

    i doubt it. i told you, i’ve seen ftDNA korea data. a fair amount. no structure.

    • Replies: @Anonymous
    Some South Koreans that live along Yellow Sea Coast have a rare blood Abo group allele called cis-AB. This allele is present among chinese islanders and some japanese people from Shikoku Island. These koreans from West Jeolla related to ancient Silla Kingdom are not quite different to another Koreans but some genotypes are exactly the same as japanese and chinese people.
  5. “It’s a little saddening to me that ultimately what came out of all that is a piece which tries to paint 23andMe as prejudiced against minorities.”

    But in the age of SJW clickbait, can you say you’re surprised? 23andme’s biggest problem is that their new website is awful.

    “First, they don’t have that many Asian customers. Second, their Asian customers might actually get a bit irritated!”

    Could you explain this more? Do you think Asians set greater store by their ancestry results? The author of this article definitely seems miffed by hers.

    Incidentally, would you be willing to look over individual/family results (if paid), or do you know someone who would? I have some questions about my family’s results.

    • Replies: @coplyfe
    Hello, Razib.

    You gave a rebuttal to why 23andme doesn't have more specificity to East Asians (all non-Europeans really) because you say basically, "they just don't want to." That's okay.

    But what about YOU and Family Tree DNA's pretty awful myOrigins?
    If I'm not mistaken, YOU were behind FTDNA's myOrigins.
    Can't help but notice that you were silent on this issue.

    The previous Population Finder had a decent list of East Asian reference populations. Multiple groups within China.
    http://www.dna-testing-adviser.com/population-finder.html
    It was probably the best test for East Asians at the time.

    The Native American panel on Population Finder was the same as it is on 23andme, Tribecode, and maybe ancestry.com's ancestryDNA (who doesn't list their reference populations, as far as I'm aware of): the Five HGDP groups.

    Also, while West African data was definitely not good (it only had two references: Yoruba and Mandenka) , things were a bit better than they would become with my Origins.....


    For some strange reason, when myOrigins was done.... you or someone at FTDNA or both you and that someone at FTDNA... decided to subtract quite a lot of the Population Finder's non-European reference populations....
    The East Asian references were reduced so badly that there's just a genetic "East Asian" result with no specificity at all.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0Mt5vWjT8ko

    Three of the five Native American references were taken away which skewed results for people of Native American ancestry.
    http://forums.familytreedna.com/showthread.php?t=34997

    "This is probably because myOrigins dropped Maya, Pima and Columbian as reference populations. They were included in Population Finder. The only reference populations for America that were kept are Karitiana and Surui. As a result it now appears that Native American % has dropped slightly and the remaining % is being picked up as Northeast Asian. Why they did this is anyone’s guess."

    http://forums.familytreedna.com/archive/index.php/t-34997.html
    "Now that they have gotten rid of Pima, Columbian and Maya as reference populations the new and decidedly not improved myOrigins"

    You took also away one of only two West African references which skewed the results people of West African descent as high percentages of "East African."

    Over the last two years, there hasn't been an explanation that one can find online for why this was done.

    Since you are acknowledging how non-Europeans do have it worse on these tests than European, maybe you could also take sometime to address why myOrigins, which you were a part of, was handled as poorly as it was.

    I've been involved in genetic genealogy companies over the past 5 years...aside from Family Tree DNA's myOrigins, not one other company has regressed on their tests. FTDNA was the only company to do this. If you couldn't add any new references, what was the purpose of subtracting them and screwing up peoples' results?

    Would you mind finally addressing this Razib, or are you going to continue to be silent on why such a poor job was done?

    It came across as not just "well we just don't have any new references for non-Europeans," but "non-Europeans can go to hell. We'll improve ethnicity just for Europeans only." Yes, it did seem like FTDNA just had a neglectful attitude for non-Europeans.

    You can't just come up with the excuse of "well, most of the customers are white European," because that's still no excuse to just cut SO MANY of the non-European references, even if it were true that no new non-Europeans were attainable, which is doubtful because 1000 Genomes does have some new African references, for example.
    http://www.1000genomes.org/faq/which-populations-are-part-your-study/

    https://dna-explained.com/2015/11/18/2015-family-tree-dna-11th-international-conference-the-best-yet/
    If you are going to finally address it, please also address why is it that late last year, there were reports that myOrigins would update its ethnicity in the first quarter of 2016.
    The first quarter means the first three months.
    Obviously, it's almost September, way past the first quarter.

    No myOrigins update, and no explanation has been given why there hasn't been.


    I'll be looking forward for an explanation. Please try not to use a cop out like, "well, Family Tree DNA isn't the only company you can do 23andme or ancestryDNA..."
    Again, I'd like to know about you at FTDNA and why myOrigins was handled so badly.
    , @Michelle
    Gawd yes, 23andme's new website is awful! I went from visiting it daily to visiting only when a new match sends me an invitation to share genomes. Even then, the experience is very disappointing. I did get an invitation from a cool new relative last week, a mixed race Bermudan woman who lives in the UK. She is descended from a Danish immigrant who married a mixed African, Indian and British woman. I believe, due to research, that we are related by the British side. Although, any Danish DNA I have is by way of my British ancestry. Her family is deeply involved in the Bermuda Police Department and they have been noted physicians, as well.

    GEDmatch is so much more fun than 23andme that I continue to support them with my hard earned dollars. In contrast, I only paid 23andme once, with my original payment. I would never give them any more money until they revamp their "new" website.
  6. I would recommend that anyone really interested in their results should immediately download their data set. If they have a parent or children, then encourage them to also have the same type of genome analysis.

    Then there are easy tools online to analyze it further. You can impute missing markers ( which are usually pretty good, I’ve tested leaving out 10% of the actual data and comparing ). You can phase your data ( much better with a parent of child to compare ). You can upload it to other sites for family finding and ancestry analysis. You can practice writing Python code to compare it to other data sets… lots of things to do.

    I agree that 23andme has a crappy and frustrating web site, but I also understand why it is that way.

    But… if they were really smart, they would give people 100% free DNA tests ( and throw in a free one for a parent or child ) if they honestly filled out all the phenotype data ( and the honesty could be judged by genetics known with high accuracy ).

    • Replies: @Jim Ancona

    But… if they were really smart, they would give people 100% free DNA tests ( and throw in a free one for a parent or child ) if they honestly filled out all the phenotype data ( and the honesty could be judged by genetics known with high accuracy ).
     
    That seems to be exactly what Genes for Good (https://genesforgood.sph.umich.edu) is doing. Does anyone have any experience with them?
  7. Anonymous • Disclaimer says:

    Generally, I’m very happy with 23andme.

    For the one-off price of the test, I feel that I got my money’s worth in the weird and wonderful data returned – it’s a real shocked for anyone of European ancestry to find out to just who and whom they are related to, suffice to say many of the nations and ethnicities ‘discovered’ are unexpected to say the least.

    My only little quibble is that I’ve been waiting to be ‘updated’ – held in limbo, effectively, for high on a year now, and that my old favorite ‘countries of ancestry’ feature vanished.

    Other than that, it’s one of the best spent 99 dollars I’ve ever made.

    I know my ethnicity, so there were no surprises there. What many users, including myself, are likely to encounter is a hitherto unknown close cousin, who was adopted as a baby, making earnest enquiries about his hereditary. That is worth the purchase price alone.

  8. What’s wrong with having Japanese/Chinese ancestry?

    I think the main issue this opens up is Korean Ethnic Nationalism.

    “Dad will blame mom” … Definitely not worth causing a blood feud.

    https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Korean_ethnic_nationalism

  9. Ultimately, Hong can think whatever she wants to about her 23andMe results. But the data are out there. It’s pretty obvious that unless there was a sample mix-up, she has recent Chinese and Japanese ancestry (she could put the raw results in the public domain and have people cross-check with other methods, like PCA, I’m pretty sure they would confirm the 23andMe results).

    Would a PCA work very well for her? Koreans tend to be between Chinese and Japanese in PCA’s featuring them all, and if she has 1/8 of her ancestry from both it could cancel out.

    Regarding European focus it’s understandable that commercial interests take priority but DNAland has several clusters for both Europe and South&Central Asia (not counting clusters covering Altai and eastwards). They probably aren’t too difficult or expensive to add.

    • Replies: @Razib Khan

    Would a PCA work very well for her? Koreans tend to be between Chinese and Japanese in PCA’s featuring them all, and if she has 1/8 of her ancestry from both it could cancel out.


    not just PC 1 and and PC 2. there is surely one that separates north vs. south chinese.
  10. I tripped over “people of colour” in the title. I live among a population that is 93.6% Chinese, and they do not see themselves as “people of colour”. They refer to ‘whites’ as “Europeans” and themselves as “Chinese”. I saw this usage somewhere else recently, where Chinese were referred to as, or included among, “people of colour”, and it really confused me. I guess Chinese in America might see themselves included among “people of colour”, although I am somewhat skeptical. Chinese in China surely do not, although they may colloquially refer to themselves as “yellow” rather than “white”. But they definitely do not group themselves into some conglomerate group which includes South Asians and Africans. They also clearly differentiate between South Asians and sub-Saharan Africans also. Lumping them all into one group has no utility. Perhaps in America it might, although I have difficulty in discerning what useful purpose it would serve.

    I nearly stopped reading at “possible epigenetic explanation for my Jewish conversion”, which I saw as a red flag that the writer was not very informed or rational. But I did persevere, and I have to say that I think she has not written a fair and balanced article. And I have no special reason to defend 23andMe, although I am one of their clients.

    I do not know why 23andMe do not differentiate between northern and southern Chinese in their ancestry reports. My half-Chinese daughter would have appreciated having that information. However, from what I have seen of Chinese in PCA plots, there is more of a cline from north to south, rather than two distinct clusters. The spread of data points is not that great anyway, certainly not on a global scale. And some of the “ethnic minorities” in China who can be strongly differentiated in real life on the basis of culture fall on the same PCA splatter of data points, which doesn’t assist differentiation at all. So perhaps the problem is where to set the dividing line between who is considered northern and who is considered southern. This problem exists in the real world also – Chinese people argue over where northern China stops and where southern China starts. Most people seem to generally agree that it happens somewhere around Shanghai, but there is no clear general agreement about exactly where. And Shanghainese themselves don’t seem to be regarded as one thing or the other, but rather just ‘different’ – there, the differentiation is made on the basis of language grouping, which is taken as a proxy for ancient differentiation.

    Razib, do you happen to know why 23andMe do not differentiate Chinese? Am I anywhere near close to guessing why, or is it lack of interest on the part of the people themselves, who know where their ‘ancestral villages’ are and which Chinese dialects/languages they speak, so a simple north-south dichotomy is just not of interest or use to them, when they already have much more fine grained information about their point of origin in the motherland? I guess I could write and ask them, but it’s not such a big deal that I had previously thought of doing that.

    And it might not be of much use in my daughter’s case anyway – she plots with Uygurs and Hazara, which makes absolute sense. Sorry for overly long comment.

    • Replies: @notanon

    I saw this usage somewhere else recently, where Chinese were referred to as, or included among, “people of colour”, and it really confused me....(snip)...Lumping them all into one group has no utility. Perhaps in America it might, although I have difficulty in discerning what useful purpose it would serve.
     
    excludes white people
    , @Shaikorth
    Have you tried uploading 23andMe data to DNAland? Should have a better resolution for China and neighbourhood.
    , @yaqub the mad scientist
    I tripped over “people of colour” in the title. I live among a population that is 93.6% Chinese, and they do not see themselves as “people of colour”. They refer to ‘whites’ as “Europeans” and themselves as “Chinese”. I saw this usage somewhere else recently, where Chinese were referred to as, or included among, “people of colour”, and it really confused me.

    Let me introduce you to Steve Sailer, another writer on Unz who can explain in often hilarious detail the whole "people of color" thing.
  11. so…her family being miffed grandma possibly went with a Japanese soldier
    ->
    evil white debils

    family secrets

    could make quite a funny comedy sketch – although maybe not consensual so maybe not

    i guess maybe Chinese like being Chinese and don’t want to find out if they’re 2/3 Han and 1/3 some other group while Euros are more particular and want to be their own local thing.

    • LOL: BB753
  12. @John Massey
    I tripped over "people of colour" in the title. I live among a population that is 93.6% Chinese, and they do not see themselves as "people of colour". They refer to 'whites' as "Europeans" and themselves as "Chinese". I saw this usage somewhere else recently, where Chinese were referred to as, or included among, "people of colour", and it really confused me. I guess Chinese in America might see themselves included among "people of colour", although I am somewhat skeptical. Chinese in China surely do not, although they may colloquially refer to themselves as "yellow" rather than "white". But they definitely do not group themselves into some conglomerate group which includes South Asians and Africans. They also clearly differentiate between South Asians and sub-Saharan Africans also. Lumping them all into one group has no utility. Perhaps in America it might, although I have difficulty in discerning what useful purpose it would serve.

    I nearly stopped reading at "possible epigenetic explanation for my Jewish conversion", which I saw as a red flag that the writer was not very informed or rational. But I did persevere, and I have to say that I think she has not written a fair and balanced article. And I have no special reason to defend 23andMe, although I am one of their clients.

    I do not know why 23andMe do not differentiate between northern and southern Chinese in their ancestry reports. My half-Chinese daughter would have appreciated having that information. However, from what I have seen of Chinese in PCA plots, there is more of a cline from north to south, rather than two distinct clusters. The spread of data points is not that great anyway, certainly not on a global scale. And some of the "ethnic minorities" in China who can be strongly differentiated in real life on the basis of culture fall on the same PCA splatter of data points, which doesn't assist differentiation at all. So perhaps the problem is where to set the dividing line between who is considered northern and who is considered southern. This problem exists in the real world also - Chinese people argue over where northern China stops and where southern China starts. Most people seem to generally agree that it happens somewhere around Shanghai, but there is no clear general agreement about exactly where. And Shanghainese themselves don't seem to be regarded as one thing or the other, but rather just 'different' - there, the differentiation is made on the basis of language grouping, which is taken as a proxy for ancient differentiation.

    Razib, do you happen to know why 23andMe do not differentiate Chinese? Am I anywhere near close to guessing why, or is it lack of interest on the part of the people themselves, who know where their 'ancestral villages' are and which Chinese dialects/languages they speak, so a simple north-south dichotomy is just not of interest or use to them, when they already have much more fine grained information about their point of origin in the motherland? I guess I could write and ask them, but it's not such a big deal that I had previously thought of doing that.

    And it might not be of much use in my daughter's case anyway - she plots with Uygurs and Hazara, which makes absolute sense. Sorry for overly long comment.

    I saw this usage somewhere else recently, where Chinese were referred to as, or included among, “people of colour”, and it really confused me….(snip)…Lumping them all into one group has no utility. Perhaps in America it might, although I have difficulty in discerning what useful purpose it would serve.

    excludes white people

  13. @John Massey
    I tripped over "people of colour" in the title. I live among a population that is 93.6% Chinese, and they do not see themselves as "people of colour". They refer to 'whites' as "Europeans" and themselves as "Chinese". I saw this usage somewhere else recently, where Chinese were referred to as, or included among, "people of colour", and it really confused me. I guess Chinese in America might see themselves included among "people of colour", although I am somewhat skeptical. Chinese in China surely do not, although they may colloquially refer to themselves as "yellow" rather than "white". But they definitely do not group themselves into some conglomerate group which includes South Asians and Africans. They also clearly differentiate between South Asians and sub-Saharan Africans also. Lumping them all into one group has no utility. Perhaps in America it might, although I have difficulty in discerning what useful purpose it would serve.

    I nearly stopped reading at "possible epigenetic explanation for my Jewish conversion", which I saw as a red flag that the writer was not very informed or rational. But I did persevere, and I have to say that I think she has not written a fair and balanced article. And I have no special reason to defend 23andMe, although I am one of their clients.

    I do not know why 23andMe do not differentiate between northern and southern Chinese in their ancestry reports. My half-Chinese daughter would have appreciated having that information. However, from what I have seen of Chinese in PCA plots, there is more of a cline from north to south, rather than two distinct clusters. The spread of data points is not that great anyway, certainly not on a global scale. And some of the "ethnic minorities" in China who can be strongly differentiated in real life on the basis of culture fall on the same PCA splatter of data points, which doesn't assist differentiation at all. So perhaps the problem is where to set the dividing line between who is considered northern and who is considered southern. This problem exists in the real world also - Chinese people argue over where northern China stops and where southern China starts. Most people seem to generally agree that it happens somewhere around Shanghai, but there is no clear general agreement about exactly where. And Shanghainese themselves don't seem to be regarded as one thing or the other, but rather just 'different' - there, the differentiation is made on the basis of language grouping, which is taken as a proxy for ancient differentiation.

    Razib, do you happen to know why 23andMe do not differentiate Chinese? Am I anywhere near close to guessing why, or is it lack of interest on the part of the people themselves, who know where their 'ancestral villages' are and which Chinese dialects/languages they speak, so a simple north-south dichotomy is just not of interest or use to them, when they already have much more fine grained information about their point of origin in the motherland? I guess I could write and ask them, but it's not such a big deal that I had previously thought of doing that.

    And it might not be of much use in my daughter's case anyway - she plots with Uygurs and Hazara, which makes absolute sense. Sorry for overly long comment.

    Have you tried uploading 23andMe data to DNAland? Should have a better resolution for China and neighbourhood.

    • Replies: @John Massey
    I uploaded my own raw data file to DNAland, and they thoroughly confused me by telling me I am 4.4% Sardinian - no idea where that came from, and I have been trying to think it through. But it's not something absolutely ridiculous; there are possible explanations. I believe them, I'm just puzzling through where it came from, but not with a huge amount of enthusiasm. Real life intrudes, and I have been very busy with work from my real job, which is very far removed from human genomics. To be honest, I have very little interest in my own family genealogy and much more interest in ancient human origins, so I am not strongly motivated to try to sort it out. It is what it is, I was just struck by it because the Sardinians are a group of interest in resolving the origins of modern Europeans.

    I suggested to my daughter that she could do the same with her own raw data file, but she has been very busy lately, and has probably not done it. She's a big girl now, with a first degree majoring in biochemistry and genetics, and there is absolutely nothing of value that I can now tell her about human genetics. If she is interested enough, she might get around to it, but I think she is pretty much over her initial interest in the subject. She was initially interested because her Chinese component derives from Shandong Province, which is definitely counted as "north" among Chinese, but her mt DNA seemed to be a haplogroup that is more strongly represented in the south, and she was initially keen to try to unscramble that. But now she is pretty much over the ancestry thing, so may no longer feel motivated.

    But thanks for the suggestion. I will suggest it to her again, but in the knowledge that she will respond "too busy now" and put it in the "pending" basket for later. Alternatively, I could do it for her; I have her raw data file, but don't feel at liberty to use her personal genetic data without her wanting me to.

    The joke about my daughter is that she successfully passed herself off as a Uygur in order to get an invitation to a party being held by Mainland Chinese students at her first university, but then had to maintain the pretence in order not to blow her story, and tolerate being referred to as "the Uygur girl" by all of the Mainland university students for the rest of the year. The other joke is that she was standing at a railway station recently in a different Australian city, and an old Turkish woman in a head scarf walked up to her, stared hard into her face and said "Turkish." My daughter shook her head vigorously, but the old woman just smiled and said "Yes, Turkish. God is great." and then walked away smiling. My daughter is more amused than irritated by this sort of stuff these days. If the old woman wanted to believe that such a pretty and respectable young woman must to Turkish, my daughter didn't feel inclined to run after her and disabuse her.
  14. There is a historical explanation for a Japanese component within the last few generations, and an obvious reason why Hong’s family would be vehement about denying its existence.

  15. @Shaikorth
    Have you tried uploading 23andMe data to DNAland? Should have a better resolution for China and neighbourhood.

    I uploaded my own raw data file to DNAland, and they thoroughly confused me by telling me I am 4.4% Sardinian – no idea where that came from, and I have been trying to think it through. But it’s not something absolutely ridiculous; there are possible explanations. I believe them, I’m just puzzling through where it came from, but not with a huge amount of enthusiasm. Real life intrudes, and I have been very busy with work from my real job, which is very far removed from human genomics. To be honest, I have very little interest in my own family genealogy and much more interest in ancient human origins, so I am not strongly motivated to try to sort it out. It is what it is, I was just struck by it because the Sardinians are a group of interest in resolving the origins of modern Europeans.

    I suggested to my daughter that she could do the same with her own raw data file, but she has been very busy lately, and has probably not done it. She’s a big girl now, with a first degree majoring in biochemistry and genetics, and there is absolutely nothing of value that I can now tell her about human genetics. If she is interested enough, she might get around to it, but I think she is pretty much over her initial interest in the subject. She was initially interested because her Chinese component derives from Shandong Province, which is definitely counted as “north” among Chinese, but her mt DNA seemed to be a haplogroup that is more strongly represented in the south, and she was initially keen to try to unscramble that. But now she is pretty much over the ancestry thing, so may no longer feel motivated.

    But thanks for the suggestion. I will suggest it to her again, but in the knowledge that she will respond “too busy now” and put it in the “pending” basket for later. Alternatively, I could do it for her; I have her raw data file, but don’t feel at liberty to use her personal genetic data without her wanting me to.

    The joke about my daughter is that she successfully passed herself off as a Uygur in order to get an invitation to a party being held by Mainland Chinese students at her first university, but then had to maintain the pretence in order not to blow her story, and tolerate being referred to as “the Uygur girl” by all of the Mainland university students for the rest of the year. The other joke is that she was standing at a railway station recently in a different Australian city, and an old Turkish woman in a head scarf walked up to her, stared hard into her face and said “Turkish.” My daughter shook her head vigorously, but the old woman just smiled and said “Yes, Turkish. God is great.” and then walked away smiling. My daughter is more amused than irritated by this sort of stuff these days. If the old woman wanted to believe that such a pretty and respectable young woman must to Turkish, my daughter didn’t feel inclined to run after her and disabuse her.

  16. 23andMe uses chromosome painting? I thought they used Germline IBD, the data from which may be turned into a “chromosome painting.” 23andMe might be in the back-end DNA-data business, but their upfront approach is tripartite: “Ancestry,” Health-Reports, and find your cousins. Finding your cousins can not be accomplished successfully with 79 {or 100} sample individuals. Who is my Japanese cousin on Chromosome 13? I can’t email him/her and have yet to replicate 7 cM of sharing with anyone in my own database!

    • Replies: @Razib Khan
    23andMe uses chromosome painting? I thought they used Germline IBD, the data from which may be turned into a “chromosome painting.”

    they don't use germline.

    http://blog.23andme.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/11/20121027_ancestry_painting_methods_poster.pdf
  17. @Sgt
    23andMe uses chromosome painting? I thought they used Germline IBD, the data from which may be turned into a "chromosome painting." 23andMe might be in the back-end DNA-data business, but their upfront approach is tripartite: "Ancestry," Health-Reports, and find your cousins. Finding your cousins can not be accomplished successfully with 79 {or 100} sample individuals. Who is my Japanese cousin on Chromosome 13? I can't email him/her and have yet to replicate 7 cM of sharing with anyone in my own database!

    23andMe uses chromosome painting? I thought they used Germline IBD, the data from which may be turned into a “chromosome painting.”

    they don’t use germline.

    http://blog.23andme.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/11/20121027_ancestry_painting_methods_poster.pdf

    • Replies: @Sgt
    In 2014 they moved to GERMLINE & HaploScore for at least part of their process.
    http://blog.23andme.com/23andme-research/23andme-scientists-improve-methods-for-finding-relatives/

    I don't know that the old ancestry pipeline is being used. Don't mean to be difficult... just saying...
  18. @Shaikorth


    Ultimately, Hong can think whatever she wants to about her 23andMe results. But the data are out there. It’s pretty obvious that unless there was a sample mix-up, she has recent Chinese and Japanese ancestry (she could put the raw results in the public domain and have people cross-check with other methods, like PCA, I’m pretty sure they would confirm the 23andMe results).
     

    Would a PCA work very well for her? Koreans tend to be between Chinese and Japanese in PCA's featuring them all, and if she has 1/8 of her ancestry from both it could cancel out.


    Regarding European focus it's understandable that commercial interests take priority but DNAland has several clusters for both Europe and South&Central Asia (not counting clusters covering Altai and eastwards). They probably aren't too difficult or expensive to add.


    Would a PCA work very well for her? Koreans tend to be between Chinese and Japanese in PCA’s featuring them all, and if she has 1/8 of her ancestry from both it could cancel out.

    not just PC 1 and and PC 2. there is surely one that separates north vs. south chinese.

    • Replies: @Shaikorth
    In my experience the Chinese cline is often incorporated into PC1 or PC2 already, even when there's something extreme like Ainu included.

    http://www.nature.com/jhg/journal/v60/n10/fig_tab/jhg201579f1.html#figure-title

    But perhaps one of the less significant dimensions can repeat the cline without making Koreans intermediate between China and Japan.
  19. @Razib Khan

    Would a PCA work very well for her? Koreans tend to be between Chinese and Japanese in PCA’s featuring them all, and if she has 1/8 of her ancestry from both it could cancel out.


    not just PC 1 and and PC 2. there is surely one that separates north vs. south chinese.

    In my experience the Chinese cline is often incorporated into PC1 or PC2 already, even when there’s something extreme like Ainu included.

    http://www.nature.com/jhg/journal/v60/n10/fig_tab/jhg201579f1.html#figure-title

    But perhaps one of the less significant dimensions can repeat the cline without making Koreans intermediate between China and Japan.

  20. @Razib Khan
    23andMe uses chromosome painting? I thought they used Germline IBD, the data from which may be turned into a “chromosome painting.”

    they don't use germline.

    http://blog.23andme.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/11/20121027_ancestry_painting_methods_poster.pdf

    In 2014 they moved to GERMLINE & HaploScore for at least part of their process.
    http://blog.23andme.com/23andme-research/23andme-scientists-improve-methods-for-finding-relatives/

    I don’t know that the old ancestry pipeline is being used. Don’t mean to be difficult… just saying…

  21. @gcochran
    I once talked to a reporter who said " but isn't that an obvious consequence of the central limit theorem?"

    Once.

    which one?

  22. Anonymous • Disclaimer says:

    For myself and my mum it would have been great if there was a breakdown of our non-European components a bit more. We are mixed race and were very surprised when we came out more Asian than we were African. People always said to my mum growing up that they thought she looked Chinese but she dismissed it having been told that we are European and African. Turns out these people were right and my mum is in fact about 1/3 Asian. Our African they attribute almost entirely to West Africa but their samples for East Africa are not great, they only have 119 in total, 29 from 23andme and the rest public, and I’m not sure if they have any Malagasy at all for example. I originally set out with the DNA to find out more about my mother’s side of the family because it is half of her heritage that she knew very little about. The thing that has been the most handy isn’t actually the ethnicity estimates but the genetic matches, they have helped guide my research and broken down so many brick walls so it wasn’t all a complete waste of time. I’ve made contact with 2nd cousins I didn’t know to 4th/5th cousins from all over the world. I was told take the ethnicity estimates with a pinch of salt and back it up with paper research if you can (I know that isn’t always possible where the records are missing). The fact that my mother has 4th and 5th cousins in China and are 100% Asian probably means that her Chinese isn’t “noise” though 1/3 is probably way too much to be “noise”. It’s a topic that has been discussed a lot on various groups with regards to non-European populations.

  23. As part of our agreement, I refrained from commenting at Razib’s blog but this is just too much. Razib should read how 23andme’s ancestry report is generated.
    Those who have an account at 23andme can see for themselves.
    https://you.23andme.com/reports/ancestry_composition/details/

    South Asians don’t get much resolution because there is just 1 in the reference panel.
    There are only 8 East Asians that include SE Asians.
    Koreans were only recently added so I strongly suspect there is just 1 against multiple Chinese and Japanese samples. If A Korean has a shared segment with Chinese or Japanese it will be assigned as “Chinese” or “Japanese”. Not only because there are greater numbers(maybe 2-3) of Chinese and Japanese but also because the algorithm favors an “older” classification.
    Most Korean samples I have access to have 10-20 percent of Chinese and 20-30 percent Japanese ancestry whereas Chinese and Japanese have >90 percent of their own. That does not mean Koreans are mixtures of Chinese and Japanese as amateurs like Razib may infer.

    Also the segmental length pictured there is misleading unless one knows how it was developed.
    It is NOT the actual length of a shared segment. There used to be a graph that showed the actual lengths of shared segments but I no longer see it. As the way they presented many Koreans have many whole chromosomes entirely belonging to Japanese and segments about half the size of the whole chromosome belonging to Chinese. These are NOT actual lengths of shared segments.

    Euny Hongs’ 15 percent fictitious Japanese and Chinese ancestry is typical for South Koreans.
    I suspect that her ancestry is more toward Central and Northern Korea and probably Western part. Southeastern Koreans have a strong bias in favor of Japanese and Chinese component is often less than 8 percent for them even on the “speculative”.

    Also this setting is on “speculative”. If you move the knob to “conservative” you get much lower percentages, not only for Japanese and Chinese segments but for Korean segments as well as it is unlikely that one shares too many segments with the sample Korean, the size of 1!! The default setting used be “moderate” but 23andme moved it to “speculative” probably for a commercial concern.

    There used to be a PCA graph that was probably removed now but Koreans and Japanese have no overlap but close enough to nearly touch each other while Chinese, even northern Chinese, are far from all Koreans. This was discussed in some academic papers as well but Chinese occupy intermediate positions between Koreans and SE Asians.

  24. Anonymous • Disclaimer says:

    Correction: the numbers inside the ovals are probably the number of populations, not the actual sample size. Actually it explains better why there is a bias in favor of assigning a segment to Chinese or Japanese origin.
    78 for 8 populations means that there were probably 3 Koreans there at most and bias can be substantial.

    Hector

  25. I have access to about 40 Korean data sets at 23andme alone and none of them had a Korean percentage greater than 65. 99 percent is definitely an “East Asian and broadly East Asian” percentage. Hong most likely does not have a recent Japanese or Chinese ancestry.
    It is just the algorithm that 23andme uses.

    P.S. I made a correction to my misinterpreting the 23andme data, but if they utilized all 76 Korean samples mine is the most likely explanation for the discrepancy.

    • Replies: @ohwilleke
    My wife and her sister have four known North Korean grandparents with known sub-localization within North Korea, at least two known great-grandparents are also of North Korean ancestry. Family genealogy beyond that was lost in flight from North Korea to South Korea. But there is no known non-North Korean ancestry in the family, and if there was any the most likely source would be Siberia/Manchuria which is consistent with their mtDNA (something found in far more unrelated Korean-Americans on 23andMe than mtDNA studies of Korea and random chance would suggest). Any phenotypic deviation from the North Korean mean in them and their parents also tends to be more in the Siberian direction and less in the Japanese direction.

    But, 23andMe classifies them as about 25% Japanese, and my son is actually classified as more Japanese than Korean (more than 25%) (I'm a European mutt).

    Admittedly, cryptic Japanese ancestry in their great-grandparents generation is possible, there are cultural reasons why Japanese ancestry in an ancestor might not be acknowledged, and that generation would have lived at a time of Japanese dominance of Korean affairs.

    But, I agree with Hector, that in light of the larger sample of purportedly pure-blooded Korean results at 23andMe, I think it is at least as plausible that the Korean samples are misclassifying some ancestry as Chinese or Japanese, when a label like "broadly East Asian" would be more appropriate, or in the case of the Japanese, perhaps because a probably regional rural Korean population that contributed significantly to the Yaoyi migrations to Japan (possibly now found in much greater proportions in North Korea) is undersampled in the 23andMe reference group (which probably heavily oversamples affluent Seoul South Koreans), or in the case of Chinese, due to admixture into Korea both gradual and punctuated over the last 1000 years.
    , @artichoke
    If they have a lot of say Chinese samples and only 1 Korean sample, and they get a sample that appears halfway between, it makes sense to classify it with the Chinese. This is because whatever dimensional space you are using to determine distance (say, by K nearest neighbor pattern recognition) you are likely to be missing some relevant dimensions. Effectively what's going on in those dimensions is "luck" as far as you're concerned, or random chance. But the role of luck is greater if you are comparing two single samples (your sample, and your 1 known Korean in your database) you know very little about that region of space. On some missing dimension the distance might be very great. But the connection to the Chinese data is more data-driven and less speculative.

    This is the same principle La Griffe du Lion used to show that other things being equal, you should hire (or admit to school) from the high IQ group even if tested IQ's are equal between two candidates. The one from the low IQ group more likely got lucky on test day.
  26. My wife is 1/8 Kalmyk (she, her father and grandfather show progressively more Asian features), a small Asian ethnic group in Russia, originally from near Mongolia (Kalmyks were allowed to settle in European Russia because they were Muslim-fighters). The 23andme algorithm for some reason has her as being 99.6% European, .3% Mongolian. If they have only 76 Korean samples I suspect they have zero Kalmyk samples and that the Kalmyk ancestry is simply placed under “Eastern European.”

    • Replies: @Shaikorth
    Did you try DNAland? I've seen 23andMe results that exaggarate East European in part russian part minority tester but neither MyOrigins or DNAland had this issue for the same people.
    , @jimmyriddle
    Having a Kalmyk great-grandfather doesn't mean you'll necessarily inherit 1/8 of your genome from him.

    It's more like picking 13 cards at random from a deck. On average you'll get 3.25 Spades but in any one sample you might get none.
  27. Sigh. I wish I knew whether my 0.1% mongolian ancestry really came from Genghis Khan or was just some kind of error.

  28. I take your point about the concentration on NW europe. Yet I wish I had finer detail on the bit of mine that is “21.3 % broadly NW european”. When I look at relatives on the site, almost everyone is american, i.e european emigrants. Do you think as the company gets more actual european customers, anything will change, or will your 10/100 or 100/10000 rule apply?

  29. @AP
    My wife is 1/8 Kalmyk (she, her father and grandfather show progressively more Asian features), a small Asian ethnic group in Russia, originally from near Mongolia (Kalmyks were allowed to settle in European Russia because they were Muslim-fighters). The 23andme algorithm for some reason has her as being 99.6% European, .3% Mongolian. If they have only 76 Korean samples I suspect they have zero Kalmyk samples and that the Kalmyk ancestry is simply placed under "Eastern European."

    Did you try DNAland? I’ve seen 23andMe results that exaggarate East European in part russian part minority tester but neither MyOrigins or DNAland had this issue for the same people.

    • Replies: @AP
    Thanks. I'll check to see if data are transferable.
  30. @Shaikorth
    Did you try DNAland? I've seen 23andMe results that exaggarate East European in part russian part minority tester but neither MyOrigins or DNAland had this issue for the same people.

    Thanks. I’ll check to see if data are transferable.

  31. In addition to the long DNA segments that inferred recent Chinese
    ancestry, the surname itself also inferred ancient Chinese ancestry,
    i.e.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hong_(Korean_surname)

    There are about four main Korean Hong clans, the biggest of which
    is the Namyang clan of which about 80% have distant Tang Chinese
    ancestry. Historically anytime ancient Chinese imperial court
    officials had ‘serious disagreement’ with the emperors they tended
    to self-excile to places like Goryeo/Goguryeo. The common Chinese
    surname Ko is also linked to the Goryeo dynasty. The ancient capital
    of Goguryeo is currently a UNESCO heritage site in China.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Capital_Cities_and_Tombs_of_the_Ancient_Koguryo_Kingdom

    There were also many Tang elites migrated to Fujian and they also shared
    many common word pronounciations and meaning with Korean, e.g. gangnam
    is pronounced exactly the same and has the exact cultural meaning.

    And during the Korean war there were two million Chinese soldiers
    in Korea …

    • Replies: @Anonymous
    "The ancient capital of Goguryeo is currently a UNESCO heritage site in China."

    So how long has it been inhabited by Chinese? Jilin is Manchuria and opened up for mass Han settlement very late, in the latter Qing.
    , @Twinkie

    The common Chinese surname Ko is also linked to the Goryeo dynasty.
     
    That's because Gogureyo was vanquished by the Tang-Silla alliance, and the Tang carried off the surviving elites. Mr. Khan and I had a discussion about the impact of the Battle of Talas at some point, and I should note that the Tang commander at Talas was one Gao Xianzhi, the son of a Gogureyo exile: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gao_Xianzhi
  32. I’m a plant genomicist, and understand the methodolgy, but not the reference populations used in, say 23andMe or your friends DNA.land. 23andMe tells me I’m 6.6% Ashkenazi, wheras DNA.land says 1.7%. I have no idea which is closer to the truth–my paternal grandparents are 2nd generation Americans from Poland whose parents never talked about their past and were all about assimilation (and Catholicism). I’m too lazy to spend more time figuring out in detail what their databases are, but it appears you have spoken with both, and might no more, specifically.
    I’ll also note, and am sure because I was just asked for the details over again, that 23andMe, if they are adding anything to their database based on your stated ancestry, asks where your grandparents were born, and for most Euro-Ancenstry Americans, that is in the US, and so irrelevant to ancestral populations. It’s unclear to me whether they’re using responses to this self report question to add to the 23andMe set (more substantial than Public set), or what.

  33. @Rick
    I would recommend that anyone really interested in their results should immediately download their data set. If they have a parent or children, then encourage them to also have the same type of genome analysis.

    Then there are easy tools online to analyze it further. You can impute missing markers ( which are usually pretty good, I've tested leaving out 10% of the actual data and comparing ). You can phase your data ( much better with a parent of child to compare ). You can upload it to other sites for family finding and ancestry analysis. You can practice writing Python code to compare it to other data sets... lots of things to do.

    I agree that 23andme has a crappy and frustrating web site, but I also understand why it is that way.

    But... if they were really smart, they would give people 100% free DNA tests ( and throw in a free one for a parent or child ) if they honestly filled out all the phenotype data ( and the honesty could be judged by genetics known with high accuracy ).

    But… if they were really smart, they would give people 100% free DNA tests ( and throw in a free one for a parent or child ) if they honestly filled out all the phenotype data ( and the honesty could be judged by genetics known with high accuracy ).

    That seems to be exactly what Genes for Good (https://genesforgood.sph.umich.edu) is doing. Does anyone have any experience with them?

  34. We probably expect too much from these “DNA” service-companies. In reality using allele frequencies and/or haplotype groups we can provide broad backgrounds of ancestry; what we can not reliably do is date* ancestral “clines” and delineate precise ancestral populations. One reason for this are reference-sets. Virtually all current populations are admixed to some degree, and many of the ancient and medieval populations no longer exist. The DNA companies themselves have helped sell us expectations they can not deliver. If you are an Ashkenazi, 23andMe or FTDNA will tell you, you are an Ashkenazi {which may be as exciting as being told your current shoe size} you will also get to see 1500 close relatives who are most likely unrelated to you in any traceable way. And Ashkenazi is an easy one because it is somewhere between an ethnic-group and an extended family. My biggest complaint with the two above companies is the exploration of their findings is mostly closed. How did they arrive at 7 cM Japanese? 2% Central Asian? etc. These are things you need to explore yourself with your own data, and possibly conclude that all “minority” ancestry is possibly real and yet speculative.

    * Larger data sets can “date” admixture using Alder, GlobeTrotter, TRACTs etc. Many folks regard these admixture-dates with suspicion.

    BTW DNALand’s ancestry program was written by Joe Pickrell based on a supervised version of STRUCTURE. Results are interesting but… see above

  35. Anonymous • Disclaimer says:
    @Razib Khan
    i doubt it. i told you, i've seen ftDNA korea data. a fair amount. no structure.

    Some South Koreans that live along Yellow Sea Coast have a rare blood Abo group allele called cis-AB. This allele is present among chinese islanders and some japanese people from Shikoku Island. These koreans from West Jeolla related to ancient Silla Kingdom are not quite different to another Koreans but some genotypes are exactly the same as japanese and chinese people.

  36. @AP
    My wife is 1/8 Kalmyk (she, her father and grandfather show progressively more Asian features), a small Asian ethnic group in Russia, originally from near Mongolia (Kalmyks were allowed to settle in European Russia because they were Muslim-fighters). The 23andme algorithm for some reason has her as being 99.6% European, .3% Mongolian. If they have only 76 Korean samples I suspect they have zero Kalmyk samples and that the Kalmyk ancestry is simply placed under "Eastern European."

    Having a Kalmyk great-grandfather doesn’t mean you’ll necessarily inherit 1/8 of your genome from him.

    It’s more like picking 13 cards at random from a deck. On average you’ll get 3.25 Spades but in any one sample you might get none.

    • Replies: @Shaikorth
    In this case the reason could be 23andMe method, the Kalmyk ancestry's broken down enough that many of the segments don't show it, but if that's the case a STRUCTURE-based method still would.
  37. http://www.pri.org/stories/2015-07-21/korean-adoptees-are-using-dna-kits-get-glimpse-their-ancestry
    I learned about a DNA kit that provides ancestry information…Korean American adoptee, Thomas Park Clement, was offering to cover the $99 cost of the kit for any adoptee who wanted one. […] The kits are from the California-based genetic testing company “23andMe.” […] The Indiana-based inventor and scientist recently set aside a million dollars of his own money to fund the DNA kit project.

  38. @jimmyriddle
    Having a Kalmyk great-grandfather doesn't mean you'll necessarily inherit 1/8 of your genome from him.

    It's more like picking 13 cards at random from a deck. On average you'll get 3.25 Spades but in any one sample you might get none.

    In this case the reason could be 23andMe method, the Kalmyk ancestry’s broken down enough that many of the segments don’t show it, but if that’s the case a STRUCTURE-based method still would.

  39. @dux.ie
    In addition to the long DNA segments that inferred recent Chinese
    ancestry, the surname itself also inferred ancient Chinese ancestry,
    i.e.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hong_(Korean_surname)

    There are about four main Korean Hong clans, the biggest of which
    is the Namyang clan of which about 80% have distant Tang Chinese
    ancestry. Historically anytime ancient Chinese imperial court
    officials had 'serious disagreement' with the emperors they tended
    to self-excile to places like Goryeo/Goguryeo. The common Chinese
    surname Ko is also linked to the Goryeo dynasty. The ancient capital
    of Goguryeo is currently a UNESCO heritage site in China.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Capital_Cities_and_Tombs_of_the_Ancient_Koguryo_Kingdom

    There were also many Tang elites migrated to Fujian and they also shared
    many common word pronounciations and meaning with Korean, e.g. gangnam
    is pronounced exactly the same and has the exact cultural meaning.

    And during the Korean war there were two million Chinese soldiers
    in Korea ...

    “The ancient capital of Goguryeo is currently a UNESCO heritage site in China.”

    So how long has it been inhabited by Chinese? Jilin is Manchuria and opened up for mass Han settlement very late, in the latter Qing.

    • Replies: @dixie
    Nationality is a late social/political construct. There are major gene flow across the Yalu river since time immemorial and were also recorded in written ancient Chinese history since before the Zhou dynasty (before 1000 BCE) which was formed by the alliance of the Ji and Jiang people. The part of the Jiang people who would not submit to the Zhou crossed the Yalu river to the other site.

    The decendents of the Goguryeo Royal family with surname Go/Ko/Gao are mostly now Chinese and living in China Liaoyang city.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ko_(Korean_surname)

    One branch of the surname Ko/Gao https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gao_(surname) traces back to the ancient Jiang people of China

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gao_(surname)

    The Chinese is not a monolith population, it changes with time. The founding emperor of Tang dynasty was from the far north, so were many of the Tange elites and some of them were the major forces in colonizing south China, till this day most southern Chinese in their local dialects still consider themselves to be Tang Chinese, not Han Chinese. The various so called "China Towns" in the west are named as "street of Tang people" in Mandarin. Most of their ancient paternal lines are from the far north east of China. In contrast, the various ancient names of Seoul were 한주 漢州, 한성 漢城, 한양 漢陽, i.e. Han city.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Seoul#Etymology
  40. @Anonymous
    "The ancient capital of Goguryeo is currently a UNESCO heritage site in China."

    So how long has it been inhabited by Chinese? Jilin is Manchuria and opened up for mass Han settlement very late, in the latter Qing.

    Nationality is a late social/political construct. There are major gene flow across the Yalu river since time immemorial and were also recorded in written ancient Chinese history since before the Zhou dynasty (before 1000 BCE) which was formed by the alliance of the Ji and Jiang people. The part of the Jiang people who would not submit to the Zhou crossed the Yalu river to the other site.

    The decendents of the Goguryeo Royal family with surname Go/Ko/Gao are mostly now Chinese and living in China Liaoyang city.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ko_(Korean_surname)

    One branch of the surname Ko/Gao https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gao_(surname) traces back to the ancient Jiang people of China

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gao_(surname)

    The Chinese is not a monolith population, it changes with time. The founding emperor of Tang dynasty was from the far north, so were many of the Tange elites and some of them were the major forces in colonizing south China, till this day most southern Chinese in their local dialects still consider themselves to be Tang Chinese, not Han Chinese. The various so called “China Towns” in the west are named as “street of Tang people” in Mandarin. Most of their ancient paternal lines are from the far north east of China. In contrast, the various ancient names of Seoul were 한주 漢州, 한성 漢城, 한양 漢陽, i.e. Han city.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Seoul#Etymology

    • Replies: @qiorulsk
    "The Chinese is not a monolith population, it changes with time."

    Or maybe "Chinese" is a political contrivance and not a population except in the way that the Russian Empire was a "population" (one that "that changed with time" mind you).
  41. @dux.ie
    In addition to the long DNA segments that inferred recent Chinese
    ancestry, the surname itself also inferred ancient Chinese ancestry,
    i.e.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hong_(Korean_surname)

    There are about four main Korean Hong clans, the biggest of which
    is the Namyang clan of which about 80% have distant Tang Chinese
    ancestry. Historically anytime ancient Chinese imperial court
    officials had 'serious disagreement' with the emperors they tended
    to self-excile to places like Goryeo/Goguryeo. The common Chinese
    surname Ko is also linked to the Goryeo dynasty. The ancient capital
    of Goguryeo is currently a UNESCO heritage site in China.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Capital_Cities_and_Tombs_of_the_Ancient_Koguryo_Kingdom

    There were also many Tang elites migrated to Fujian and they also shared
    many common word pronounciations and meaning with Korean, e.g. gangnam
    is pronounced exactly the same and has the exact cultural meaning.

    And during the Korean war there were two million Chinese soldiers
    in Korea ...

    The common Chinese surname Ko is also linked to the Goryeo dynasty.

    That’s because Gogureyo was vanquished by the Tang-Silla alliance, and the Tang carried off the surviving elites. Mr. Khan and I had a discussion about the impact of the Battle of Talas at some point, and I should note that the Tang commander at Talas was one Gao Xianzhi, the son of a Gogureyo exile: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gao_Xianzhi

  42. Because 23andMe uses chromosome painting, you can see she has very long segments of inferred Chinese and Japanese ancestry. This non-Korean ancestry is probably from within the last three generations

    Ooops, someone’s grandpa or grandma mated with a communist Chinese invader or a Japanese colonial overlord!

    Oh, no, someone’s sense of race purism has been hurt: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Cleanest_Race

    • Replies: @John Massey
    There's a lot of it going around these days. None of the white Australians I know is remotely interested in hearing from me about the origins of modern Europeans. I guess most people don't enjoy having their personal origin myths pricked. I sense there's going to be a whole lot more indignant spluttering or people covering their eyes and ears when they start unravelling the origins of modern Han. Me, I can hardly wait. I love this stuff.
    , @qiorulsk
    "Ooops, someone’s grandpa or grandma mated with a communist Chinese invader or a Japanese colonial overlord!"

    Grandpa? Explain how that'd work?

    I think Razib is wrong. I've seen a fair number, and no Korean sample I'm aware of on 23andMe gets anything close to a "99% Korean" output -- there's nothing atypical about Hong's case. (I bet 99% was just the overall East Asian score.)

    ALL of them, just way too universally to be reasonably explained through recent mixture, get parsed as low majority "Korean" (usually in the range of 50-60%) + "Japanese" somewhere in the region of 20% + remainder Chinese, with low amounts of other stuff. And as I think was mentioned you see peculiar things like the whole X chromosome getting painted as "Japanese". Just smells wonky.
    , @AG

    Oh, no, someone’s sense of race purism has been hurt:
     
    A lot of western travelers have impression of northern Chinese as very nationalistic people. Yes, they are right about that. In fact, most northerners are more nationalistic in general, which include both northern Asians (Mongolian, Manchurian, Northern Han, also Korean) and northern Europeans( like German, Russian, Norwegian, ect). Not sure how this happens. I bet it is more to do with survive in harsh cold climate without any one else mercy. Also historically, it was always for northerners conquering southerners in both Asia and European histories.

    http://ichef-1.bbci.co.uk/news/624/cpsprodpb/DC92/production/_89466465_identity_poll_intermarriage_chart_624.png

    This data is directly contradictory to some people's wishful thinking (delusion) about northwest European as least tribal people.

    If you wonder how crazy Korean people are proud of themselves over other people, well, that is how northerners in general are, not just Korean. Do you wonder why North Korea is so confrontational toward USA? All Asian northerners (Mongolian, Manchurian, Northern Han, also Korean) are proud of ourselves no matter how miserable life is.

    Bottom-line, northern people (both Asian and European) are just proud of themselves in their DNA which do not depend on others approval. Bad commentaries from others are meaningless to them. They are highly competitive people. Northern people are fighters who never accept loss. Lost one battle is not reason to surrender your soul. You always seek the chance to win next time. Olympic games reflect such competitive attitude also for people of north origin.

    Southern Chinese on the other hand seems always displaying pessimistic attitude toward themselves. Southeast Asians are even worse. Pureblood of southeast Asian seems to be a shame for them so that every body claimed some kind of Chinese ancestry. That is really pathetic.


    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BX4fY5deK08

    This most patriotic guy had nerve to perform this patriotic/anti-American piece of music right there in front of US president in White House in USA. He is full of national pride.

    Lang Lang 郎朗 was born in Northern China (Shenyang, Liaoning, China). His father Lang Guoren is a descendant of the Manchu Niohuru family, which brought forth a long line of Qing Empresses

    Yes he is a fellow northerner, a Manchurian, proud of his nation. Not coincidence. You see more this type of people in north.
  43. @Twinkie

    Because 23andMe uses chromosome painting, you can see she has very long segments of inferred Chinese and Japanese ancestry. This non-Korean ancestry is probably from within the last three generations
     
    Ooops, someone's grandpa or grandma mated with a communist Chinese invader or a Japanese colonial overlord!

    Oh, no, someone's sense of race purism has been hurt: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Cleanest_Race

    There’s a lot of it going around these days. None of the white Australians I know is remotely interested in hearing from me about the origins of modern Europeans. I guess most people don’t enjoy having their personal origin myths pricked. I sense there’s going to be a whole lot more indignant spluttering or people covering their eyes and ears when they start unravelling the origins of modern Han. Me, I can hardly wait. I love this stuff.

  44. @Twinkie

    Because 23andMe uses chromosome painting, you can see she has very long segments of inferred Chinese and Japanese ancestry. This non-Korean ancestry is probably from within the last three generations
     
    Ooops, someone's grandpa or grandma mated with a communist Chinese invader or a Japanese colonial overlord!

    Oh, no, someone's sense of race purism has been hurt: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Cleanest_Race

    “Ooops, someone’s grandpa or grandma mated with a communist Chinese invader or a Japanese colonial overlord!”

    Grandpa? Explain how that’d work?

    I think Razib is wrong. I’ve seen a fair number, and no Korean sample I’m aware of on 23andMe gets anything close to a “99% Korean” output — there’s nothing atypical about Hong’s case. (I bet 99% was just the overall East Asian score.)

    ALL of them, just way too universally to be reasonably explained through recent mixture, get parsed as low majority “Korean” (usually in the range of 50-60%) + “Japanese” somewhere in the region of 20% + remainder Chinese, with low amounts of other stuff. And as I think was mentioned you see peculiar things like the whole X chromosome getting painted as “Japanese”. Just smells wonky.

    • Replies: @Twinkie

    Grandpa? Explain how that’d work?
     
    I know a Korean-American whose great-grandmother was Japanese. His great-grandfather was apparently quite successful during the Japanese occupation of Korea (which likely means that he was a collaborator) and married a Japanese woman.

    This was obscured by the family in the post-colonial era.* He only found out, because he ended up marrying a Japanese-American woman, and his mother finally confessed to him before the wedding that she was 1/4th Japanese (and he 1/8th Japanese) and that his children would be slightly more Japanese than Korean (9/16th).

    Real life melodrama, like something out of some K-drama program.

    Just as many Frenchmen claimed to have been Maquisards during the German occupation when in reality they collaborated to varying degrees, post-colonial Koreans often claim that their families valiantly resisted the Japanese occupation when most probably collaborated and even adopted Japanese names (e.g. the South Korean military dictator - and the father of its industrialization - President Park Chung-Hee was at one time an ethnic Korean Japanese Imperial Army officer Takagi Masao who informed on Korean guerillas).
  45. @dixie
    Nationality is a late social/political construct. There are major gene flow across the Yalu river since time immemorial and were also recorded in written ancient Chinese history since before the Zhou dynasty (before 1000 BCE) which was formed by the alliance of the Ji and Jiang people. The part of the Jiang people who would not submit to the Zhou crossed the Yalu river to the other site.

    The decendents of the Goguryeo Royal family with surname Go/Ko/Gao are mostly now Chinese and living in China Liaoyang city.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ko_(Korean_surname)

    One branch of the surname Ko/Gao https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gao_(surname) traces back to the ancient Jiang people of China

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gao_(surname)

    The Chinese is not a monolith population, it changes with time. The founding emperor of Tang dynasty was from the far north, so were many of the Tange elites and some of them were the major forces in colonizing south China, till this day most southern Chinese in their local dialects still consider themselves to be Tang Chinese, not Han Chinese. The various so called "China Towns" in the west are named as "street of Tang people" in Mandarin. Most of their ancient paternal lines are from the far north east of China. In contrast, the various ancient names of Seoul were 한주 漢州, 한성 漢城, 한양 漢陽, i.e. Han city.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Seoul#Etymology

    “The Chinese is not a monolith population, it changes with time.”

    Or maybe “Chinese” is a political contrivance and not a population except in the way that the Russian Empire was a “population” (one that “that changed with time” mind you).

  46. @Twinkie

    Because 23andMe uses chromosome painting, you can see she has very long segments of inferred Chinese and Japanese ancestry. This non-Korean ancestry is probably from within the last three generations
     
    Ooops, someone's grandpa or grandma mated with a communist Chinese invader or a Japanese colonial overlord!

    Oh, no, someone's sense of race purism has been hurt: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Cleanest_Race

    Oh, no, someone’s sense of race purism has been hurt:

    A lot of western travelers have impression of northern Chinese as very nationalistic people. Yes, they are right about that. In fact, most northerners are more nationalistic in general, which include both northern Asians (Mongolian, Manchurian, Northern Han, also Korean) and northern Europeans( like German, Russian, Norwegian, ect). Not sure how this happens. I bet it is more to do with survive in harsh cold climate without any one else mercy. Also historically, it was always for northerners conquering southerners in both Asia and European histories.

    This data is directly contradictory to some people’s wishful thinking (delusion) about northwest European as least tribal people.

    If you wonder how crazy Korean people are proud of themselves over other people, well, that is how northerners in general are, not just Korean. Do you wonder why North Korea is so confrontational toward USA? All Asian northerners (Mongolian, Manchurian, Northern Han, also Korean) are proud of ourselves no matter how miserable life is.

    Bottom-line, northern people (both Asian and European) are just proud of themselves in their DNA which do not depend on others approval. Bad commentaries from others are meaningless to them. They are highly competitive people. Northern people are fighters who never accept loss. Lost one battle is not reason to surrender your soul. You always seek the chance to win next time. Olympic games reflect such competitive attitude also for people of north origin.

    Southern Chinese on the other hand seems always displaying pessimistic attitude toward themselves. Southeast Asians are even worse. Pureblood of southeast Asian seems to be a shame for them so that every body claimed some kind of Chinese ancestry. That is really pathetic.

    This most patriotic guy had nerve to perform this patriotic/anti-American piece of music right there in front of US president in White House in USA. He is full of national pride.

    Lang Lang 郎朗 was born in Northern China (Shenyang, Liaoning, China). His father Lang Guoren is a descendant of the Manchu Niohuru family, which brought forth a long line of Qing Empresses

    Yes he is a fellow northerner, a Manchurian, proud of his nation. Not coincidence. You see more this type of people in north.

    • LOL: BB753
    • Replies: @Razib Khan
    i refute you thus: the vietnamese.
    , @PD Shaw
    That linked poll on intermarriage doesn't really support your point -- it looks like Western Europeans are more likely to support it, than eastern.

    Spain > UK > France > Germany(*) > Russia

    (*) Germany has an oddly large number of undecideds, depending on how those are treated, Germany and Russia could swap.
    , @Hector
    I don't understand why a Manchu nationalist would be pro-Han Chinese. A typical Manchu nationalist of the 17th Century probably would have considered Chinese subhuman as they showed no mercy when they massacred 7-80 percent of Han Chinese they initially conquered. It was so brutal that well documented and well researched papers exist in regard to the sharp population reduction(up to 5 ~10 fold) in northern China.

    Chinese called to drive out "foreign devils" when they rose against their Manchu overlords in the late 19th Century. Manchu were your overlords and more importantly foreigners, not your fellow Chinese up until 1945 or so when you desperately needed their lands.

    漢城 etc derives from 漢水 - Han River. It was probably a phonetic transcription since there is an alternative transcription - 寒水 (Cold River) which has the same phonetic value in Korean. Actually the wiki link the Chinese jingoist provided specifically says so. LOL.

    This region was a gateway to China as ports like 唐項城 (Tang Neck Port - Gateway to Tang) exist so 漢城 probably won out over other alternative transcriptions.

    Finally, to the best of my knowledge 23andme does not sequence actual segments(unless you call matching primers as sequencing). The cost would be prohibitive otherwise. They type SNPs and make statistical decisions. The link Razib provided specifically states that this method does not work for "closely related populations". Even though there are sharp distinctions between Chinese and Korean, for global consideration, the two are "closely related".
    , @Twinkie

    All Asian northerners (Mongolian, Manchurian, Northern Han, also Korean) are proud of ourselves no matter how miserable life is.

    Bottom-line, northern people (both Asian and European) are just proud of themselves in their DNA which do not depend on others approval. Bad commentaries from others are meaningless to them. They are highly competitive people. Northern people are fighters who never accept loss. Lost one battle is not reason to surrender your soul.
     
    Is that why Korea was a long-time tributary state of China and then occupied by Japan for decades? Because they never accepted a loss due to this "Northern spirit"?

    Southern Chinese on the other hand seems always displaying pessimistic attitude toward themselves. Southeast Asians are even worse. Pureblood of southeast Asian seems to be a shame for them so that every body claimed some kind of Chinese ancestry. That is really pathetic.
     
    As Mr. Khan already and pithily retorted, the only Asians to defeat Western power consistently in the modern era have been the Vietnamese. Dien Bien Phu '54 and Saigon '75 ring a bell? They seem to have taught the Chinese invaders a lesson or two, for that matter, around '79. Some "pathetic" people.
    , @Jason Liu
    What a strange and sweeping generalization. Northern Europeans are some of the least nationalistic humans ever to exist.
  47. @AG

    Oh, no, someone’s sense of race purism has been hurt:
     
    A lot of western travelers have impression of northern Chinese as very nationalistic people. Yes, they are right about that. In fact, most northerners are more nationalistic in general, which include both northern Asians (Mongolian, Manchurian, Northern Han, also Korean) and northern Europeans( like German, Russian, Norwegian, ect). Not sure how this happens. I bet it is more to do with survive in harsh cold climate without any one else mercy. Also historically, it was always for northerners conquering southerners in both Asia and European histories.

    http://ichef-1.bbci.co.uk/news/624/cpsprodpb/DC92/production/_89466465_identity_poll_intermarriage_chart_624.png

    This data is directly contradictory to some people's wishful thinking (delusion) about northwest European as least tribal people.

    If you wonder how crazy Korean people are proud of themselves over other people, well, that is how northerners in general are, not just Korean. Do you wonder why North Korea is so confrontational toward USA? All Asian northerners (Mongolian, Manchurian, Northern Han, also Korean) are proud of ourselves no matter how miserable life is.

    Bottom-line, northern people (both Asian and European) are just proud of themselves in their DNA which do not depend on others approval. Bad commentaries from others are meaningless to them. They are highly competitive people. Northern people are fighters who never accept loss. Lost one battle is not reason to surrender your soul. You always seek the chance to win next time. Olympic games reflect such competitive attitude also for people of north origin.

    Southern Chinese on the other hand seems always displaying pessimistic attitude toward themselves. Southeast Asians are even worse. Pureblood of southeast Asian seems to be a shame for them so that every body claimed some kind of Chinese ancestry. That is really pathetic.


    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BX4fY5deK08

    This most patriotic guy had nerve to perform this patriotic/anti-American piece of music right there in front of US president in White House in USA. He is full of national pride.

    Lang Lang 郎朗 was born in Northern China (Shenyang, Liaoning, China). His father Lang Guoren is a descendant of the Manchu Niohuru family, which brought forth a long line of Qing Empresses

    Yes he is a fellow northerner, a Manchurian, proud of his nation. Not coincidence. You see more this type of people in north.

    i refute you thus: the vietnamese.

  48. @Yudi
    "It’s a little saddening to me that ultimately what came out of all that is a piece which tries to paint 23andMe as prejudiced against minorities."

    But in the age of SJW clickbait, can you say you're surprised? 23andme's biggest problem is that their new website is awful.

    "First, they don’t have that many Asian customers. Second, their Asian customers might actually get a bit irritated!"

    Could you explain this more? Do you think Asians set greater store by their ancestry results? The author of this article definitely seems miffed by hers.

    Incidentally, would you be willing to look over individual/family results (if paid), or do you know someone who would? I have some questions about my family's results.

    Hello, Razib.

    You gave a rebuttal to why 23andme doesn’t have more specificity to East Asians (all non-Europeans really) because you say basically, “they just don’t want to.” That’s okay.

    But what about YOU and Family Tree DNA’s pretty awful myOrigins?
    If I’m not mistaken, YOU were behind FTDNA’s myOrigins.
    Can’t help but notice that you were silent on this issue.

    The previous Population Finder had a decent list of East Asian reference populations. Multiple groups within China.
    http://www.dna-testing-adviser.com/population-finder.html
    It was probably the best test for East Asians at the time.

    The Native American panel on Population Finder was the same as it is on 23andme, Tribecode, and maybe ancestry.com’s ancestryDNA (who doesn’t list their reference populations, as far as I’m aware of): the Five HGDP groups.

    Also, while West African data was definitely not good (it only had two references: Yoruba and Mandenka) , things were a bit better than they would become with my Origins…..

    For some strange reason, when myOrigins was done…. you or someone at FTDNA or both you and that someone at FTDNA… decided to subtract quite a lot of the Population Finder’s non-European reference populations….
    The East Asian references were reduced so badly that there’s just a genetic “East Asian” result with no specificity at all.

    Three of the five Native American references were taken away which skewed results for people of Native American ancestry.
    http://forums.familytreedna.com/showthread.php?t=34997

    “This is probably because myOrigins dropped Maya, Pima and Columbian as reference populations. They were included in Population Finder. The only reference populations for America that were kept are Karitiana and Surui. As a result it now appears that Native American % has dropped slightly and the remaining % is being picked up as Northeast Asian. Why they did this is anyone’s guess.”

    http://forums.familytreedna.com/archive/index.php/t-34997.html
    “Now that they have gotten rid of Pima, Columbian and Maya as reference populations the new and decidedly not improved myOrigins”

    You took also away one of only two West African references which skewed the results people of West African descent as high percentages of “East African.”

    Over the last two years, there hasn’t been an explanation that one can find online for why this was done.

    Since you are acknowledging how non-Europeans do have it worse on these tests than European, maybe you could also take sometime to address why myOrigins, which you were a part of, was handled as poorly as it was.

    I’ve been involved in genetic genealogy companies over the past 5 years…aside from Family Tree DNA’s myOrigins, not one other company has regressed on their tests. FTDNA was the only company to do this. If you couldn’t add any new references, what was the purpose of subtracting them and screwing up peoples’ results?

    Would you mind finally addressing this Razib, or are you going to continue to be silent on why such a poor job was done?

    It came across as not just “well we just don’t have any new references for non-Europeans,” but “non-Europeans can go to hell. We’ll improve ethnicity just for Europeans only.” Yes, it did seem like FTDNA just had a neglectful attitude for non-Europeans.

    You can’t just come up with the excuse of “well, most of the customers are white European,” because that’s still no excuse to just cut SO MANY of the non-European references, even if it were true that no new non-Europeans were attainable, which is doubtful because 1000 Genomes does have some new African references, for example.
    http://www.1000genomes.org/faq/which-populations-are-part-your-study/

    https://dna-explained.com/2015/11/18/2015-family-tree-dna-11th-international-conference-the-best-yet/
    If you are going to finally address it, please also address why is it that late last year, there were reports that myOrigins would update its ethnicity in the first quarter of 2016.
    The first quarter means the first three months.
    Obviously, it’s almost September, way past the first quarter.

    No myOrigins update, and no explanation has been given why there hasn’t been.

    I’ll be looking forward for an explanation. Please try not to use a cop out like, “well, Family Tree DNA isn’t the only company you can do 23andme or ancestryDNA…”
    Again, I’d like to know about you at FTDNA and why myOrigins was handled so badly.

    • Replies: @Razib Khan
    1) you should post on the open thread.

    2) one answer is i don't know why myOrigins v2 is late. i stopped working for them this spring due to my various other commitments. when they do release the next version, i will help in any way i can. but they'll loop me in only on a need to know basis (yeah, it's late, i don't know why, the goal was to get to release it in winter).*

    3) the native american references were producing false positives. the decision was made to err on the side of false negatives. the next version is going to try and strike a balance.

    4) The East Asian references were reduced so badly that there’s just a genetic “East Asian” result with no specificity at all. this isn't true. ? the labels are a little weird. but that wan't my doing.

    you should chill on the conspiratorial tone. it's annoying.

    (follow ups on open thread)

    * there are some issues relating to engineering and scalability where i wasn't totally clued in, and i think that's it, because the reference sets are there. also, we were trying hard to add more clusters relatively late.... (stay tuned)

  49. @AG

    Oh, no, someone’s sense of race purism has been hurt:
     
    A lot of western travelers have impression of northern Chinese as very nationalistic people. Yes, they are right about that. In fact, most northerners are more nationalistic in general, which include both northern Asians (Mongolian, Manchurian, Northern Han, also Korean) and northern Europeans( like German, Russian, Norwegian, ect). Not sure how this happens. I bet it is more to do with survive in harsh cold climate without any one else mercy. Also historically, it was always for northerners conquering southerners in both Asia and European histories.

    http://ichef-1.bbci.co.uk/news/624/cpsprodpb/DC92/production/_89466465_identity_poll_intermarriage_chart_624.png

    This data is directly contradictory to some people's wishful thinking (delusion) about northwest European as least tribal people.

    If you wonder how crazy Korean people are proud of themselves over other people, well, that is how northerners in general are, not just Korean. Do you wonder why North Korea is so confrontational toward USA? All Asian northerners (Mongolian, Manchurian, Northern Han, also Korean) are proud of ourselves no matter how miserable life is.

    Bottom-line, northern people (both Asian and European) are just proud of themselves in their DNA which do not depend on others approval. Bad commentaries from others are meaningless to them. They are highly competitive people. Northern people are fighters who never accept loss. Lost one battle is not reason to surrender your soul. You always seek the chance to win next time. Olympic games reflect such competitive attitude also for people of north origin.

    Southern Chinese on the other hand seems always displaying pessimistic attitude toward themselves. Southeast Asians are even worse. Pureblood of southeast Asian seems to be a shame for them so that every body claimed some kind of Chinese ancestry. That is really pathetic.


    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BX4fY5deK08

    This most patriotic guy had nerve to perform this patriotic/anti-American piece of music right there in front of US president in White House in USA. He is full of national pride.

    Lang Lang 郎朗 was born in Northern China (Shenyang, Liaoning, China). His father Lang Guoren is a descendant of the Manchu Niohuru family, which brought forth a long line of Qing Empresses

    Yes he is a fellow northerner, a Manchurian, proud of his nation. Not coincidence. You see more this type of people in north.

    That linked poll on intermarriage doesn’t really support your point — it looks like Western Europeans are more likely to support it, than eastern.

    Spain > UK > France > Germany(*) > Russia

    (*) Germany has an oddly large number of undecideds, depending on how those are treated, Germany and Russia could swap.

  50. @coplyfe
    Hello, Razib.

    You gave a rebuttal to why 23andme doesn't have more specificity to East Asians (all non-Europeans really) because you say basically, "they just don't want to." That's okay.

    But what about YOU and Family Tree DNA's pretty awful myOrigins?
    If I'm not mistaken, YOU were behind FTDNA's myOrigins.
    Can't help but notice that you were silent on this issue.

    The previous Population Finder had a decent list of East Asian reference populations. Multiple groups within China.
    http://www.dna-testing-adviser.com/population-finder.html
    It was probably the best test for East Asians at the time.

    The Native American panel on Population Finder was the same as it is on 23andme, Tribecode, and maybe ancestry.com's ancestryDNA (who doesn't list their reference populations, as far as I'm aware of): the Five HGDP groups.

    Also, while West African data was definitely not good (it only had two references: Yoruba and Mandenka) , things were a bit better than they would become with my Origins.....


    For some strange reason, when myOrigins was done.... you or someone at FTDNA or both you and that someone at FTDNA... decided to subtract quite a lot of the Population Finder's non-European reference populations....
    The East Asian references were reduced so badly that there's just a genetic "East Asian" result with no specificity at all.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0Mt5vWjT8ko

    Three of the five Native American references were taken away which skewed results for people of Native American ancestry.
    http://forums.familytreedna.com/showthread.php?t=34997

    "This is probably because myOrigins dropped Maya, Pima and Columbian as reference populations. They were included in Population Finder. The only reference populations for America that were kept are Karitiana and Surui. As a result it now appears that Native American % has dropped slightly and the remaining % is being picked up as Northeast Asian. Why they did this is anyone’s guess."

    http://forums.familytreedna.com/archive/index.php/t-34997.html
    "Now that they have gotten rid of Pima, Columbian and Maya as reference populations the new and decidedly not improved myOrigins"

    You took also away one of only two West African references which skewed the results people of West African descent as high percentages of "East African."

    Over the last two years, there hasn't been an explanation that one can find online for why this was done.

    Since you are acknowledging how non-Europeans do have it worse on these tests than European, maybe you could also take sometime to address why myOrigins, which you were a part of, was handled as poorly as it was.

    I've been involved in genetic genealogy companies over the past 5 years...aside from Family Tree DNA's myOrigins, not one other company has regressed on their tests. FTDNA was the only company to do this. If you couldn't add any new references, what was the purpose of subtracting them and screwing up peoples' results?

    Would you mind finally addressing this Razib, or are you going to continue to be silent on why such a poor job was done?

    It came across as not just "well we just don't have any new references for non-Europeans," but "non-Europeans can go to hell. We'll improve ethnicity just for Europeans only." Yes, it did seem like FTDNA just had a neglectful attitude for non-Europeans.

    You can't just come up with the excuse of "well, most of the customers are white European," because that's still no excuse to just cut SO MANY of the non-European references, even if it were true that no new non-Europeans were attainable, which is doubtful because 1000 Genomes does have some new African references, for example.
    http://www.1000genomes.org/faq/which-populations-are-part-your-study/

    https://dna-explained.com/2015/11/18/2015-family-tree-dna-11th-international-conference-the-best-yet/
    If you are going to finally address it, please also address why is it that late last year, there were reports that myOrigins would update its ethnicity in the first quarter of 2016.
    The first quarter means the first three months.
    Obviously, it's almost September, way past the first quarter.

    No myOrigins update, and no explanation has been given why there hasn't been.


    I'll be looking forward for an explanation. Please try not to use a cop out like, "well, Family Tree DNA isn't the only company you can do 23andme or ancestryDNA..."
    Again, I'd like to know about you at FTDNA and why myOrigins was handled so badly.

    1) you should post on the open thread.

    2) one answer is i don’t know why myOrigins v2 is late. i stopped working for them this spring due to my various other commitments. when they do release the next version, i will help in any way i can. but they’ll loop me in only on a need to know basis (yeah, it’s late, i don’t know why, the goal was to get to release it in winter).*

    3) the native american references were producing false positives. the decision was made to err on the side of false negatives. the next version is going to try and strike a balance.

    4) The East Asian references were reduced so badly that there’s just a genetic “East Asian” result with no specificity at all. this isn’t true. ? the labels are a little weird. but that wan’t my doing.

    you should chill on the conspiratorial tone. it’s annoying.

    (follow ups on open thread)

    * there are some issues relating to engineering and scalability where i wasn’t totally clued in, and i think that’s it, because the reference sets are there. also, we were trying hard to add more clusters relatively late…. (stay tuned)

  51. That’s the Native American and East Asian.
    1) What about the West African. There were only two references: Yoruba and Mandenka, which is bad enough. But you made the decision to cut one of them (the Mandenka), even though you should have known that Africa has the greatest genetic variety, so having only one reference was really going to be worse than having at least two.
    Why was the decision made to leave only *one* West African reference?

    2) back to the Native America. What do you mean that having five references were producing “false positives?” This is the first time that I’ve heard such a thing anywhere. I’ve never heard of this at 23andme, ancestryDNA, Tribecode, etc.

    • Replies: @Razib Khan
    1) What about the West African. There were only two references: Yoruba and Mandenka, which is bad enough. But you made the decision to cut one of them (the Mandenka), even though you should have known that Africa has the greatest genetic variety, so having only one reference was really going to be worse than having at least two.



    the mandenka have old west eurasian ancestry (0-5% interval, but it's detectable and relatively even throughout the group). the yoruba probably do too...but the are the 'best' we can get.

    as for african diversity, that's true within population, and the in the aggregate. but the between population diversity of west african & bantu speaking groups isn't that big. e.g., the Fst btwn kenya bantu and west africans is on the same order as central vs. sw europe.

    2) back to the Native America. What do you mean that having five references were producing “false positives?” This is the first time that I’ve heard such a thing anywhere. I’ve never heard of this at 23andme, ancestryDNA, Tribecode, etc


    some of those groups (e.g., maya) seem to have really old and widely distributed european admixture. selecting the amazonian groups eliminated that problem. but they caused another problem because those are not typical amerindian groups (e.g., austro-melanesian admixture at low %). so there was a false negative problem.

    i won't publish any future comments not on the open thread.
  52. @coplyfe
    That's the Native American and East Asian.
    1) What about the West African. There were only two references: Yoruba and Mandenka, which is bad enough. But you made the decision to cut one of them (the Mandenka), even though you should have known that Africa has the greatest genetic variety, so having only one reference was really going to be worse than having at least two.
    Why was the decision made to leave only *one* West African reference?

    2) back to the Native America. What do you mean that having five references were producing "false positives?" This is the first time that I've heard such a thing anywhere. I've never heard of this at 23andme, ancestryDNA, Tribecode, etc.

    1) What about the West African. There were only two references: Yoruba and Mandenka, which is bad enough. But you made the decision to cut one of them (the Mandenka), even though you should have known that Africa has the greatest genetic variety, so having only one reference was really going to be worse than having at least two.

    the mandenka have old west eurasian ancestry (0-5% interval, but it’s detectable and relatively even throughout the group). the yoruba probably do too…but the are the ‘best’ we can get.

    as for african diversity, that’s true within population, and the in the aggregate. but the between population diversity of west african & bantu speaking groups isn’t that big. e.g., the Fst btwn kenya bantu and west africans is on the same order as central vs. sw europe.

    2) back to the Native America. What do you mean that having five references were producing “false positives?” This is the first time that I’ve heard such a thing anywhere. I’ve never heard of this at 23andme, ancestryDNA, Tribecode, etc

    some of those groups (e.g., maya) seem to have really old and widely distributed european admixture. selecting the amazonian groups eliminated that problem. but they caused another problem because those are not typical amerindian groups (e.g., austro-melanesian admixture at low %). so there was a false negative problem.

    i won’t publish any future comments not on the open thread.

  53. @AG

    Oh, no, someone’s sense of race purism has been hurt:
     
    A lot of western travelers have impression of northern Chinese as very nationalistic people. Yes, they are right about that. In fact, most northerners are more nationalistic in general, which include both northern Asians (Mongolian, Manchurian, Northern Han, also Korean) and northern Europeans( like German, Russian, Norwegian, ect). Not sure how this happens. I bet it is more to do with survive in harsh cold climate without any one else mercy. Also historically, it was always for northerners conquering southerners in both Asia and European histories.

    http://ichef-1.bbci.co.uk/news/624/cpsprodpb/DC92/production/_89466465_identity_poll_intermarriage_chart_624.png

    This data is directly contradictory to some people's wishful thinking (delusion) about northwest European as least tribal people.

    If you wonder how crazy Korean people are proud of themselves over other people, well, that is how northerners in general are, not just Korean. Do you wonder why North Korea is so confrontational toward USA? All Asian northerners (Mongolian, Manchurian, Northern Han, also Korean) are proud of ourselves no matter how miserable life is.

    Bottom-line, northern people (both Asian and European) are just proud of themselves in their DNA which do not depend on others approval. Bad commentaries from others are meaningless to them. They are highly competitive people. Northern people are fighters who never accept loss. Lost one battle is not reason to surrender your soul. You always seek the chance to win next time. Olympic games reflect such competitive attitude also for people of north origin.

    Southern Chinese on the other hand seems always displaying pessimistic attitude toward themselves. Southeast Asians are even worse. Pureblood of southeast Asian seems to be a shame for them so that every body claimed some kind of Chinese ancestry. That is really pathetic.


    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BX4fY5deK08

    This most patriotic guy had nerve to perform this patriotic/anti-American piece of music right there in front of US president in White House in USA. He is full of national pride.

    Lang Lang 郎朗 was born in Northern China (Shenyang, Liaoning, China). His father Lang Guoren is a descendant of the Manchu Niohuru family, which brought forth a long line of Qing Empresses

    Yes he is a fellow northerner, a Manchurian, proud of his nation. Not coincidence. You see more this type of people in north.

    I don’t understand why a Manchu nationalist would be pro-Han Chinese. A typical Manchu nationalist of the 17th Century probably would have considered Chinese subhuman as they showed no mercy when they massacred 7-80 percent of Han Chinese they initially conquered. It was so brutal that well documented and well researched papers exist in regard to the sharp population reduction(up to 5 ~10 fold) in northern China.

    Chinese called to drive out “foreign devils” when they rose against their Manchu overlords in the late 19th Century. Manchu were your overlords and more importantly foreigners, not your fellow Chinese up until 1945 or so when you desperately needed their lands.

    漢城 etc derives from 漢水 – Han River. It was probably a phonetic transcription since there is an alternative transcription – 寒水 (Cold River) which has the same phonetic value in Korean. Actually the wiki link the Chinese jingoist provided specifically says so. LOL.

    This region was a gateway to China as ports like 唐項城 (Tang Neck Port – Gateway to Tang) exist so 漢城 probably won out over other alternative transcriptions.

    Finally, to the best of my knowledge 23andme does not sequence actual segments(unless you call matching primers as sequencing). The cost would be prohibitive otherwise. They type SNPs and make statistical decisions. The link Razib provided specifically states that this method does not work for “closely related populations”. Even though there are sharp distinctions between Chinese and Korean, for global consideration, the two are “closely related”.

  54. @Yudi
    "It’s a little saddening to me that ultimately what came out of all that is a piece which tries to paint 23andMe as prejudiced against minorities."

    But in the age of SJW clickbait, can you say you're surprised? 23andme's biggest problem is that their new website is awful.

    "First, they don’t have that many Asian customers. Second, their Asian customers might actually get a bit irritated!"

    Could you explain this more? Do you think Asians set greater store by their ancestry results? The author of this article definitely seems miffed by hers.

    Incidentally, would you be willing to look over individual/family results (if paid), or do you know someone who would? I have some questions about my family's results.

    Gawd yes, 23andme’s new website is awful! I went from visiting it daily to visiting only when a new match sends me an invitation to share genomes. Even then, the experience is very disappointing. I did get an invitation from a cool new relative last week, a mixed race Bermudan woman who lives in the UK. She is descended from a Danish immigrant who married a mixed African, Indian and British woman. I believe, due to research, that we are related by the British side. Although, any Danish DNA I have is by way of my British ancestry. Her family is deeply involved in the Bermuda Police Department and they have been noted physicians, as well.

    GEDmatch is so much more fun than 23andme that I continue to support them with my hard earned dollars. In contrast, I only paid 23andme once, with my original payment. I would never give them any more money until they revamp their “new” website.

  55. @Hector
    I have access to about 40 Korean data sets at 23andme alone and none of them had a Korean percentage greater than 65. 99 percent is definitely an "East Asian and broadly East Asian" percentage. Hong most likely does not have a recent Japanese or Chinese ancestry.
    It is just the algorithm that 23andme uses.

    P.S. I made a correction to my misinterpreting the 23andme data, but if they utilized all 76 Korean samples mine is the most likely explanation for the discrepancy.

    My wife and her sister have four known North Korean grandparents with known sub-localization within North Korea, at least two known great-grandparents are also of North Korean ancestry. Family genealogy beyond that was lost in flight from North Korea to South Korea. But there is no known non-North Korean ancestry in the family, and if there was any the most likely source would be Siberia/Manchuria which is consistent with their mtDNA (something found in far more unrelated Korean-Americans on 23andMe than mtDNA studies of Korea and random chance would suggest). Any phenotypic deviation from the North Korean mean in them and their parents also tends to be more in the Siberian direction and less in the Japanese direction.

    But, 23andMe classifies them as about 25% Japanese, and my son is actually classified as more Japanese than Korean (more than 25%) (I’m a European mutt).

    Admittedly, cryptic Japanese ancestry in their great-grandparents generation is possible, there are cultural reasons why Japanese ancestry in an ancestor might not be acknowledged, and that generation would have lived at a time of Japanese dominance of Korean affairs.

    But, I agree with Hector, that in light of the larger sample of purportedly pure-blooded Korean results at 23andMe, I think it is at least as plausible that the Korean samples are misclassifying some ancestry as Chinese or Japanese, when a label like “broadly East Asian” would be more appropriate, or in the case of the Japanese, perhaps because a probably regional rural Korean population that contributed significantly to the Yaoyi migrations to Japan (possibly now found in much greater proportions in North Korea) is undersampled in the 23andMe reference group (which probably heavily oversamples affluent Seoul South Koreans), or in the case of Chinese, due to admixture into Korea both gradual and punctuated over the last 1000 years.

  56. @qiorulsk
    "Ooops, someone’s grandpa or grandma mated with a communist Chinese invader or a Japanese colonial overlord!"

    Grandpa? Explain how that'd work?

    I think Razib is wrong. I've seen a fair number, and no Korean sample I'm aware of on 23andMe gets anything close to a "99% Korean" output -- there's nothing atypical about Hong's case. (I bet 99% was just the overall East Asian score.)

    ALL of them, just way too universally to be reasonably explained through recent mixture, get parsed as low majority "Korean" (usually in the range of 50-60%) + "Japanese" somewhere in the region of 20% + remainder Chinese, with low amounts of other stuff. And as I think was mentioned you see peculiar things like the whole X chromosome getting painted as "Japanese". Just smells wonky.

    Grandpa? Explain how that’d work?

    I know a Korean-American whose great-grandmother was Japanese. His great-grandfather was apparently quite successful during the Japanese occupation of Korea (which likely means that he was a collaborator) and married a Japanese woman.

    This was obscured by the family in the post-colonial era.* He only found out, because he ended up marrying a Japanese-American woman, and his mother finally confessed to him before the wedding that she was 1/4th Japanese (and he 1/8th Japanese) and that his children would be slightly more Japanese than Korean (9/16th).

    Real life melodrama, like something out of some K-drama program.

    Just as many Frenchmen claimed to have been Maquisards during the German occupation when in reality they collaborated to varying degrees, post-colonial Koreans often claim that their families valiantly resisted the Japanese occupation when most probably collaborated and even adopted Japanese names (e.g. the South Korean military dictator – and the father of its industrialization – President Park Chung-Hee was at one time an ethnic Korean Japanese Imperial Army officer Takagi Masao who informed on Korean guerillas).

  57. @AG

    Oh, no, someone’s sense of race purism has been hurt:
     
    A lot of western travelers have impression of northern Chinese as very nationalistic people. Yes, they are right about that. In fact, most northerners are more nationalistic in general, which include both northern Asians (Mongolian, Manchurian, Northern Han, also Korean) and northern Europeans( like German, Russian, Norwegian, ect). Not sure how this happens. I bet it is more to do with survive in harsh cold climate without any one else mercy. Also historically, it was always for northerners conquering southerners in both Asia and European histories.

    http://ichef-1.bbci.co.uk/news/624/cpsprodpb/DC92/production/_89466465_identity_poll_intermarriage_chart_624.png

    This data is directly contradictory to some people's wishful thinking (delusion) about northwest European as least tribal people.

    If you wonder how crazy Korean people are proud of themselves over other people, well, that is how northerners in general are, not just Korean. Do you wonder why North Korea is so confrontational toward USA? All Asian northerners (Mongolian, Manchurian, Northern Han, also Korean) are proud of ourselves no matter how miserable life is.

    Bottom-line, northern people (both Asian and European) are just proud of themselves in their DNA which do not depend on others approval. Bad commentaries from others are meaningless to them. They are highly competitive people. Northern people are fighters who never accept loss. Lost one battle is not reason to surrender your soul. You always seek the chance to win next time. Olympic games reflect such competitive attitude also for people of north origin.

    Southern Chinese on the other hand seems always displaying pessimistic attitude toward themselves. Southeast Asians are even worse. Pureblood of southeast Asian seems to be a shame for them so that every body claimed some kind of Chinese ancestry. That is really pathetic.


    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BX4fY5deK08

    This most patriotic guy had nerve to perform this patriotic/anti-American piece of music right there in front of US president in White House in USA. He is full of national pride.

    Lang Lang 郎朗 was born in Northern China (Shenyang, Liaoning, China). His father Lang Guoren is a descendant of the Manchu Niohuru family, which brought forth a long line of Qing Empresses

    Yes he is a fellow northerner, a Manchurian, proud of his nation. Not coincidence. You see more this type of people in north.

    All Asian northerners (Mongolian, Manchurian, Northern Han, also Korean) are proud of ourselves no matter how miserable life is.

    Bottom-line, northern people (both Asian and European) are just proud of themselves in their DNA which do not depend on others approval. Bad commentaries from others are meaningless to them. They are highly competitive people. Northern people are fighters who never accept loss. Lost one battle is not reason to surrender your soul.

    Is that why Korea was a long-time tributary state of China and then occupied by Japan for decades? Because they never accepted a loss due to this “Northern spirit”?

    Southern Chinese on the other hand seems always displaying pessimistic attitude toward themselves. Southeast Asians are even worse. Pureblood of southeast Asian seems to be a shame for them so that every body claimed some kind of Chinese ancestry. That is really pathetic.

    As Mr. Khan already and pithily retorted, the only Asians to defeat Western power consistently in the modern era have been the Vietnamese. Dien Bien Phu ’54 and Saigon ’75 ring a bell? They seem to have taught the Chinese invaders a lesson or two, for that matter, around ’79. Some “pathetic” people.

  58. Euny Hong is not a journalist, she has a degree in Philosophy. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Euny_Hong. This is very common in the mainstream media. Journalists with actual degrees in journalism are not as common as you might think.

  59. Anonymous • Disclaimer says:

    A little knowledge is a dangerous thing Razib. You have a high degree of confidence based on talking with one Korean friend…

    If you google this issue, you will see that NO other korean on 23andme is getting anything over 70% Korean. It adds a lot of doubt to your friend’s claim. Unless you saw the actual report, I’d be inclined to say that he or she is lying or mistaken in some regard.

    Both I and my wife are 100% Korean. All Koreans have family records that date back hundreds if not over a thousand years (although the accuracy of some of these can be questioned), and we are both Korean as far back as the records go. However, somehow she is 50% Japanese and I am 50% Chinese according to 23andme. Based on your logic and confidence, somehow each of us has a parent who is non-Korean despite the fact that neither of our parents hadn’t even met a non-Korean before emigrating.

    You place a foolhardy blind belief on this data which is based on extremely limited data. The more common interpretation of this issue is that the greater sample size of Chinese and Japanese data tends to weight to those races whenever there is similar DNA.

    • Replies: @Alden
    Supposedly the present day Japanese are descended from people who immigrated/
    invaded about 2,500 or less years ago

    This theory infuriates Japanese because they consider themselves sooooo superior to the Koreans. So if the 2 people have common ancestry that may be why yours showed part Japanese.
    , @Jason Liu
    I'm not a geneticist, but don't all humans "overlap" with each other, especially their neighbors?

    I find it hard to believe there is one distinct marker for every ethnic group. By that logic, testing anyone would show a result mixed result of being partially related to neighboring groups. Or is there something I'm missing here?
  60. @John Massey
    I tripped over "people of colour" in the title. I live among a population that is 93.6% Chinese, and they do not see themselves as "people of colour". They refer to 'whites' as "Europeans" and themselves as "Chinese". I saw this usage somewhere else recently, where Chinese were referred to as, or included among, "people of colour", and it really confused me. I guess Chinese in America might see themselves included among "people of colour", although I am somewhat skeptical. Chinese in China surely do not, although they may colloquially refer to themselves as "yellow" rather than "white". But they definitely do not group themselves into some conglomerate group which includes South Asians and Africans. They also clearly differentiate between South Asians and sub-Saharan Africans also. Lumping them all into one group has no utility. Perhaps in America it might, although I have difficulty in discerning what useful purpose it would serve.

    I nearly stopped reading at "possible epigenetic explanation for my Jewish conversion", which I saw as a red flag that the writer was not very informed or rational. But I did persevere, and I have to say that I think she has not written a fair and balanced article. And I have no special reason to defend 23andMe, although I am one of their clients.

    I do not know why 23andMe do not differentiate between northern and southern Chinese in their ancestry reports. My half-Chinese daughter would have appreciated having that information. However, from what I have seen of Chinese in PCA plots, there is more of a cline from north to south, rather than two distinct clusters. The spread of data points is not that great anyway, certainly not on a global scale. And some of the "ethnic minorities" in China who can be strongly differentiated in real life on the basis of culture fall on the same PCA splatter of data points, which doesn't assist differentiation at all. So perhaps the problem is where to set the dividing line between who is considered northern and who is considered southern. This problem exists in the real world also - Chinese people argue over where northern China stops and where southern China starts. Most people seem to generally agree that it happens somewhere around Shanghai, but there is no clear general agreement about exactly where. And Shanghainese themselves don't seem to be regarded as one thing or the other, but rather just 'different' - there, the differentiation is made on the basis of language grouping, which is taken as a proxy for ancient differentiation.

    Razib, do you happen to know why 23andMe do not differentiate Chinese? Am I anywhere near close to guessing why, or is it lack of interest on the part of the people themselves, who know where their 'ancestral villages' are and which Chinese dialects/languages they speak, so a simple north-south dichotomy is just not of interest or use to them, when they already have much more fine grained information about their point of origin in the motherland? I guess I could write and ask them, but it's not such a big deal that I had previously thought of doing that.

    And it might not be of much use in my daughter's case anyway - she plots with Uygurs and Hazara, which makes absolute sense. Sorry for overly long comment.

    I tripped over “people of colour” in the title. I live among a population that is 93.6% Chinese, and they do not see themselves as “people of colour”. They refer to ‘whites’ as “Europeans” and themselves as “Chinese”. I saw this usage somewhere else recently, where Chinese were referred to as, or included among, “people of colour”, and it really confused me.

    Let me introduce you to Steve Sailer, another writer on Unz who can explain in often hilarious detail the whole “people of color” thing.

    • Replies: @John Massey
    I remembered where I saw it - it was Constance Wu, the Taiwanese American actress, complaining about Matt Damon being cast in a leading role in a block-buster Chinese-American production about the Great Wall (a necessary device to make the film appeal to American audiences; otherwise it was likely to be a financial disaster at the American box office), wherein she referred to herself as a "person of colour".

    I don't recall her complaining about the Greater China production of Mulan (not the Disney cartoon, the excellent Chinese block-buster film starring Zhao Wei) having a solitary European guy cast in a less prominent but pivotal role. Maybe she doesn't watch Chinese films. (By Greater China, I'm referring to a collaboration on that film between Mainland China, Taiwan and Hong Kong - not something you read much about, but it happens.)
  61. @Hector
    I have access to about 40 Korean data sets at 23andme alone and none of them had a Korean percentage greater than 65. 99 percent is definitely an "East Asian and broadly East Asian" percentage. Hong most likely does not have a recent Japanese or Chinese ancestry.
    It is just the algorithm that 23andme uses.

    P.S. I made a correction to my misinterpreting the 23andme data, but if they utilized all 76 Korean samples mine is the most likely explanation for the discrepancy.

    If they have a lot of say Chinese samples and only 1 Korean sample, and they get a sample that appears halfway between, it makes sense to classify it with the Chinese. This is because whatever dimensional space you are using to determine distance (say, by K nearest neighbor pattern recognition) you are likely to be missing some relevant dimensions. Effectively what’s going on in those dimensions is “luck” as far as you’re concerned, or random chance. But the role of luck is greater if you are comparing two single samples (your sample, and your 1 known Korean in your database) you know very little about that region of space. On some missing dimension the distance might be very great. But the connection to the Chinese data is more data-driven and less speculative.

    This is the same principle La Griffe du Lion used to show that other things being equal, you should hire (or admit to school) from the high IQ group even if tested IQ’s are equal between two candidates. The one from the low IQ group more likely got lucky on test day.

  62. Hong herself says in the article she took the test because she has some physical and mental traits that are untypical of Koreans.

    • Replies: @John Massey
    If you check photos of her on the Internet, she doesn't look to have any stand-out atypical physical traits. She says something at the beginning about her atypical hair texture - well, not so you'd notice, particularly, but hair texture is not a universal constant among East Asians, it does vary somewhat. She doesn't look to me to be outside the normal range of variation.
  63. “The public relies on journalists for the truth” not this member of the public.

    Most of the time, journalists write the exact opposite of the truth, such as that the Christian Serbians were the Nazi aggressors against the virtuous and blameless Muslim Kosovans.

    So I knew who were the good guys in that war. When I read about an evil racist cop shooting an unarmed black man, I know the unarmed black man has an extensive criminal record.

    I have little interest in DNA heritage. My sister had it done. It came back exactly as our names, appearance and family heritage suggest.

  64. @Anonymous
    A little knowledge is a dangerous thing Razib. You have a high degree of confidence based on talking with one Korean friend...

    If you google this issue, you will see that NO other korean on 23andme is getting anything over 70% Korean. It adds a lot of doubt to your friend's claim. Unless you saw the actual report, I'd be inclined to say that he or she is lying or mistaken in some regard.

    Both I and my wife are 100% Korean. All Koreans have family records that date back hundreds if not over a thousand years (although the accuracy of some of these can be questioned), and we are both Korean as far back as the records go. However, somehow she is 50% Japanese and I am 50% Chinese according to 23andme. Based on your logic and confidence, somehow each of us has a parent who is non-Korean despite the fact that neither of our parents hadn't even met a non-Korean before emigrating.

    You place a foolhardy blind belief on this data which is based on extremely limited data. The more common interpretation of this issue is that the greater sample size of Chinese and Japanese data tends to weight to those races whenever there is similar DNA.

    Supposedly the present day Japanese are descended from people who immigrated/
    invaded about 2,500 or less years ago

    This theory infuriates Japanese because they consider themselves sooooo superior to the Koreans. So if the 2 people have common ancestry that may be why yours showed part Japanese.

    • Replies: @ohwilleke
    Genetic evidence rather strongly confirms historical, archaeological and linguistic evidence that suggests that the Japanese predominantly descend from two source populations, an initially male dominated Yaoyi superstrate population within the last couple thousand years, and a Jomon substrate popuulation, with a significant but much smaller female dominated contribution of migrants from China over many centuries at a slow and steady rate.

    The Yaoyi arrived in Japan via Korea (probably closer to 2900 years ago although admixture datas between the populations vary across Japan by centuries due to the long process of conquest of the island chain) so it makes sense that there is deep genetic affinity between Korean and Japanese genetics with a Korean source admixed with a Jomon component that is specifically Japanese and a smattering of other minor contributions.

    Early Japanese derives heavily from the Yaoyi language with significant loan word borrowing from Chinese that accumulates, but has virtually zero Jomon contribution. But, which historical Korean or Northeast Asian language it derives from is controversial. The Yaoyi brought cavalry in warfare and rice farming to what was mostly a fairly advanced for hunter-gatherer sedentary, pottery using, fishing based culture of Jomon (probably closely related in genetics and language to the Relict Ainu population, although certainly speaking a different dialect of the Ainu language family and maybe whole different language(s) within the family).

    The real notable thing about the Yaoyi-Jomon admixture story is the stunning staying power of the Jomon in the mix (autosomally, 54.3∼62.3% in Ryukyuans and 23.1∼39.5% in mainland Japanese, respectively, according to a 2012 study), particularly male Jomon ancestry (with something on the order of 35-45% of Y-DNA in Japan having Jomon ancestry and about a third of Japanese mtDNA being distinctively Japanese Jomon in origin) despite a near complete lack of Jomon contributions to the Japanese language and a rather minimal cultural contribution from the Jomon substrate generally. Most places that have had a male dominated superstrate population haver much lower percentages of substrate Y-DNA than Japan. The possibility that there is more male than female source Jomon ancestry is also remarkable.

  65. @AG

    Oh, no, someone’s sense of race purism has been hurt:
     
    A lot of western travelers have impression of northern Chinese as very nationalistic people. Yes, they are right about that. In fact, most northerners are more nationalistic in general, which include both northern Asians (Mongolian, Manchurian, Northern Han, also Korean) and northern Europeans( like German, Russian, Norwegian, ect). Not sure how this happens. I bet it is more to do with survive in harsh cold climate without any one else mercy. Also historically, it was always for northerners conquering southerners in both Asia and European histories.

    http://ichef-1.bbci.co.uk/news/624/cpsprodpb/DC92/production/_89466465_identity_poll_intermarriage_chart_624.png

    This data is directly contradictory to some people's wishful thinking (delusion) about northwest European as least tribal people.

    If you wonder how crazy Korean people are proud of themselves over other people, well, that is how northerners in general are, not just Korean. Do you wonder why North Korea is so confrontational toward USA? All Asian northerners (Mongolian, Manchurian, Northern Han, also Korean) are proud of ourselves no matter how miserable life is.

    Bottom-line, northern people (both Asian and European) are just proud of themselves in their DNA which do not depend on others approval. Bad commentaries from others are meaningless to them. They are highly competitive people. Northern people are fighters who never accept loss. Lost one battle is not reason to surrender your soul. You always seek the chance to win next time. Olympic games reflect such competitive attitude also for people of north origin.

    Southern Chinese on the other hand seems always displaying pessimistic attitude toward themselves. Southeast Asians are even worse. Pureblood of southeast Asian seems to be a shame for them so that every body claimed some kind of Chinese ancestry. That is really pathetic.


    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BX4fY5deK08

    This most patriotic guy had nerve to perform this patriotic/anti-American piece of music right there in front of US president in White House in USA. He is full of national pride.

    Lang Lang 郎朗 was born in Northern China (Shenyang, Liaoning, China). His father Lang Guoren is a descendant of the Manchu Niohuru family, which brought forth a long line of Qing Empresses

    Yes he is a fellow northerner, a Manchurian, proud of his nation. Not coincidence. You see more this type of people in north.

    What a strange and sweeping generalization. Northern Europeans are some of the least nationalistic humans ever to exist.

  66. @Anonymous
    A little knowledge is a dangerous thing Razib. You have a high degree of confidence based on talking with one Korean friend...

    If you google this issue, you will see that NO other korean on 23andme is getting anything over 70% Korean. It adds a lot of doubt to your friend's claim. Unless you saw the actual report, I'd be inclined to say that he or she is lying or mistaken in some regard.

    Both I and my wife are 100% Korean. All Koreans have family records that date back hundreds if not over a thousand years (although the accuracy of some of these can be questioned), and we are both Korean as far back as the records go. However, somehow she is 50% Japanese and I am 50% Chinese according to 23andme. Based on your logic and confidence, somehow each of us has a parent who is non-Korean despite the fact that neither of our parents hadn't even met a non-Korean before emigrating.

    You place a foolhardy blind belief on this data which is based on extremely limited data. The more common interpretation of this issue is that the greater sample size of Chinese and Japanese data tends to weight to those races whenever there is similar DNA.

    I’m not a geneticist, but don’t all humans “overlap” with each other, especially their neighbors?

    I find it hard to believe there is one distinct marker for every ethnic group. By that logic, testing anyone would show a result mixed result of being partially related to neighboring groups. Or is there something I’m missing here?

    • Replies: @Razib Khan
    I find it hard to believe there is one distinct marker for every ethnic group. By that logic, testing anyone would show a result mixed result of being partially related to neighboring groups. Or is there something I’m missing here?

    you're missing something. these methods rely on thousands of markers, which in aggregate allow one to differentiate population and individuals within populations to a high degree of precision.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Human_Genetic_Diversity:_Lewontin%27s_Fallacy#Edwards.27_critique

    an analogy might help. if you said someone had black hair, that's not too informative. some populations don't have black hair, but many do. how about straight black hair? ok, you've narrowed it, but not much. if you said someone had black hair and very light skin, you have narrowed the range of populations considerably more. so what if i told you that someone had black hair and an epicanthic fold? and, they had a small nose and high cheekbones? you can probably guess the ethnicity of this person.

    now, none of these traits are specific to one single population. for example, the bushmen have epicanthic folds and high cheekbones. but they don't have straight hair (or very light skin). they don't have the joint combination of traits. similarly, the joint distribution of allele frequencies is very specific to populations.

  67. @Jason Liu
    I'm not a geneticist, but don't all humans "overlap" with each other, especially their neighbors?

    I find it hard to believe there is one distinct marker for every ethnic group. By that logic, testing anyone would show a result mixed result of being partially related to neighboring groups. Or is there something I'm missing here?

    I find it hard to believe there is one distinct marker for every ethnic group. By that logic, testing anyone would show a result mixed result of being partially related to neighboring groups. Or is there something I’m missing here?

    you’re missing something. these methods rely on thousands of markers, which in aggregate allow one to differentiate population and individuals within populations to a high degree of precision.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Human_Genetic_Diversity:_Lewontin%27s_Fallacy#Edwards.27_critique

    an analogy might help. if you said someone had black hair, that’s not too informative. some populations don’t have black hair, but many do. how about straight black hair? ok, you’ve narrowed it, but not much. if you said someone had black hair and very light skin, you have narrowed the range of populations considerably more. so what if i told you that someone had black hair and an epicanthic fold? and, they had a small nose and high cheekbones? you can probably guess the ethnicity of this person.

    now, none of these traits are specific to one single population. for example, the bushmen have epicanthic folds and high cheekbones. but they don’t have straight hair (or very light skin). they don’t have the joint combination of traits. similarly, the joint distribution of allele frequencies is very specific to populations.

    • Replies: @Jason Liu
    I see, thanks.
  68. @Alden
    Supposedly the present day Japanese are descended from people who immigrated/
    invaded about 2,500 or less years ago

    This theory infuriates Japanese because they consider themselves sooooo superior to the Koreans. So if the 2 people have common ancestry that may be why yours showed part Japanese.

    Genetic evidence rather strongly confirms historical, archaeological and linguistic evidence that suggests that the Japanese predominantly descend from two source populations, an initially male dominated Yaoyi superstrate population within the last couple thousand years, and a Jomon substrate popuulation, with a significant but much smaller female dominated contribution of migrants from China over many centuries at a slow and steady rate.

    The Yaoyi arrived in Japan via Korea (probably closer to 2900 years ago although admixture datas between the populations vary across Japan by centuries due to the long process of conquest of the island chain) so it makes sense that there is deep genetic affinity between Korean and Japanese genetics with a Korean source admixed with a Jomon component that is specifically Japanese and a smattering of other minor contributions.

    Early Japanese derives heavily from the Yaoyi language with significant loan word borrowing from Chinese that accumulates, but has virtually zero Jomon contribution. But, which historical Korean or Northeast Asian language it derives from is controversial. The Yaoyi brought cavalry in warfare and rice farming to what was mostly a fairly advanced for hunter-gatherer sedentary, pottery using, fishing based culture of Jomon (probably closely related in genetics and language to the Relict Ainu population, although certainly speaking a different dialect of the Ainu language family and maybe whole different language(s) within the family).

    The real notable thing about the Yaoyi-Jomon admixture story is the stunning staying power of the Jomon in the mix (autosomally, 54.3∼62.3% in Ryukyuans and 23.1∼39.5% in mainland Japanese, respectively, according to a 2012 study), particularly male Jomon ancestry (with something on the order of 35-45% of Y-DNA in Japan having Jomon ancestry and about a third of Japanese mtDNA being distinctively Japanese Jomon in origin) despite a near complete lack of Jomon contributions to the Japanese language and a rather minimal cultural contribution from the Jomon substrate generally. Most places that have had a male dominated superstrate population haver much lower percentages of substrate Y-DNA than Japan. The possibility that there is more male than female source Jomon ancestry is also remarkable.

    • Replies: @Twinkie
    Some small knitpicks:

    the Japanese predominantly descend from two source populations, an initially male dominated Yaoyi superstrate population within the last couple thousand years, and a Jomon substrate popuulation
     
    It's "Yayoi," not "Yaoyi."

    The Yaoyi brought cavalry in warfare and rice farming to what was mostly a fairly advanced for hunter-gatherer sedentary, pottery using, fishing based culture of Jomon (probably closely related in genetics and language to the Relict Ainu population, although certainly speaking a different dialect of the Ainu language family and maybe whole different language(s) within the family).
     
    Rice farming, yes. Cavalry questionable. The later Yamato conquerors had considerable difficulty in dealing with the more mobile Ainu with their facility with cavalry hit-and-run tactics. I would be more comfortable with the idea that the Yayoi brought a more organized ("continental") form of warfare to Insular Japan.

    At one point, the Yamato supposedly fielded "Chinese-like" armies with tight infantry formations. Some scholars variously posit that their experiences with the horse-riding Ainu guerillas or the defeat of their expeditionary force on the Korean peninsua (in support of their Baekche allies) by cavalry-heavy Korean armies led them to transition away from infantry-based armies to the more mobile horse-archer-based armies (which in turn became more lancer-based during the civil wars).

    In other words, the cavalry emphasis happened long after the Yayoi arrival, and the idea of the conquest of the Insular Japan by horse-rising invaders from the continent is nowadays either discredited or disputed vehemently.
  69. @Razib Khan
    I find it hard to believe there is one distinct marker for every ethnic group. By that logic, testing anyone would show a result mixed result of being partially related to neighboring groups. Or is there something I’m missing here?

    you're missing something. these methods rely on thousands of markers, which in aggregate allow one to differentiate population and individuals within populations to a high degree of precision.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Human_Genetic_Diversity:_Lewontin%27s_Fallacy#Edwards.27_critique

    an analogy might help. if you said someone had black hair, that's not too informative. some populations don't have black hair, but many do. how about straight black hair? ok, you've narrowed it, but not much. if you said someone had black hair and very light skin, you have narrowed the range of populations considerably more. so what if i told you that someone had black hair and an epicanthic fold? and, they had a small nose and high cheekbones? you can probably guess the ethnicity of this person.

    now, none of these traits are specific to one single population. for example, the bushmen have epicanthic folds and high cheekbones. but they don't have straight hair (or very light skin). they don't have the joint combination of traits. similarly, the joint distribution of allele frequencies is very specific to populations.

    I see, thanks.

  70. @ohwilleke
    Genetic evidence rather strongly confirms historical, archaeological and linguistic evidence that suggests that the Japanese predominantly descend from two source populations, an initially male dominated Yaoyi superstrate population within the last couple thousand years, and a Jomon substrate popuulation, with a significant but much smaller female dominated contribution of migrants from China over many centuries at a slow and steady rate.

    The Yaoyi arrived in Japan via Korea (probably closer to 2900 years ago although admixture datas between the populations vary across Japan by centuries due to the long process of conquest of the island chain) so it makes sense that there is deep genetic affinity between Korean and Japanese genetics with a Korean source admixed with a Jomon component that is specifically Japanese and a smattering of other minor contributions.

    Early Japanese derives heavily from the Yaoyi language with significant loan word borrowing from Chinese that accumulates, but has virtually zero Jomon contribution. But, which historical Korean or Northeast Asian language it derives from is controversial. The Yaoyi brought cavalry in warfare and rice farming to what was mostly a fairly advanced for hunter-gatherer sedentary, pottery using, fishing based culture of Jomon (probably closely related in genetics and language to the Relict Ainu population, although certainly speaking a different dialect of the Ainu language family and maybe whole different language(s) within the family).

    The real notable thing about the Yaoyi-Jomon admixture story is the stunning staying power of the Jomon in the mix (autosomally, 54.3∼62.3% in Ryukyuans and 23.1∼39.5% in mainland Japanese, respectively, according to a 2012 study), particularly male Jomon ancestry (with something on the order of 35-45% of Y-DNA in Japan having Jomon ancestry and about a third of Japanese mtDNA being distinctively Japanese Jomon in origin) despite a near complete lack of Jomon contributions to the Japanese language and a rather minimal cultural contribution from the Jomon substrate generally. Most places that have had a male dominated superstrate population haver much lower percentages of substrate Y-DNA than Japan. The possibility that there is more male than female source Jomon ancestry is also remarkable.

    Some small knitpicks:

    the Japanese predominantly descend from two source populations, an initially male dominated Yaoyi superstrate population within the last couple thousand years, and a Jomon substrate popuulation

    It’s “Yayoi,” not “Yaoyi.”

    The Yaoyi brought cavalry in warfare and rice farming to what was mostly a fairly advanced for hunter-gatherer sedentary, pottery using, fishing based culture of Jomon (probably closely related in genetics and language to the Relict Ainu population, although certainly speaking a different dialect of the Ainu language family and maybe whole different language(s) within the family).

    Rice farming, yes. Cavalry questionable. The later Yamato conquerors had considerable difficulty in dealing with the more mobile Ainu with their facility with cavalry hit-and-run tactics. I would be more comfortable with the idea that the Yayoi brought a more organized (“continental”) form of warfare to Insular Japan.

    At one point, the Yamato supposedly fielded “Chinese-like” armies with tight infantry formations. Some scholars variously posit that their experiences with the horse-riding Ainu guerillas or the defeat of their expeditionary force on the Korean peninsua (in support of their Baekche allies) by cavalry-heavy Korean armies led them to transition away from infantry-based armies to the more mobile horse-archer-based armies (which in turn became more lancer-based during the civil wars).

    In other words, the cavalry emphasis happened long after the Yayoi arrival, and the idea of the conquest of the Insular Japan by horse-rising invaders from the continent is nowadays either discredited or disputed vehemently.

  71. @Sean
    Hong herself says in the article she took the test because she has some physical and mental traits that are untypical of Koreans.

    If you check photos of her on the Internet, she doesn’t look to have any stand-out atypical physical traits. She says something at the beginning about her atypical hair texture – well, not so you’d notice, particularly, but hair texture is not a universal constant among East Asians, it does vary somewhat. She doesn’t look to me to be outside the normal range of variation.

    • Replies: @Sean
    Read her article on plastic surgery's popularity among Korean women (including her).
  72. @yaqub the mad scientist
    I tripped over “people of colour” in the title. I live among a population that is 93.6% Chinese, and they do not see themselves as “people of colour”. They refer to ‘whites’ as “Europeans” and themselves as “Chinese”. I saw this usage somewhere else recently, where Chinese were referred to as, or included among, “people of colour”, and it really confused me.

    Let me introduce you to Steve Sailer, another writer on Unz who can explain in often hilarious detail the whole "people of color" thing.

    I remembered where I saw it – it was Constance Wu, the Taiwanese American actress, complaining about Matt Damon being cast in a leading role in a block-buster Chinese-American production about the Great Wall (a necessary device to make the film appeal to American audiences; otherwise it was likely to be a financial disaster at the American box office), wherein she referred to herself as a “person of colour”.

    I don’t recall her complaining about the Greater China production of Mulan (not the Disney cartoon, the excellent Chinese block-buster film starring Zhao Wei) having a solitary European guy cast in a less prominent but pivotal role. Maybe she doesn’t watch Chinese films. (By Greater China, I’m referring to a collaboration on that film between Mainland China, Taiwan and Hong Kong – not something you read much about, but it happens.)

  73. I don’t understand how a Korean person could be astonished to find out she has some Japanese and Chinese DNA. A cursory knowledge of Korean history would tell anyone this is possible. The notion that women cheat or are raped isn’t controversial or not well known.

    • Replies: @John Massey
    Women cheat a lot less than a lot of people like to imagine.

    But for the Korean peninsula during the 20th Century, I don't think you need to invoke women cheating to explain this. 'Shameful' stuff does get hushed up a lot.
  74. As a related question, how does one get a DNA test without going into a database or being connected with other people? I really don’t trust the people that run these companies. Ancestry.com basically promotes globalism under its new ownership.

  75. @anonymous
    I don't understand how a Korean person could be astonished to find out she has some Japanese and Chinese DNA. A cursory knowledge of Korean history would tell anyone this is possible. The notion that women cheat or are raped isn't controversial or not well known.

    Women cheat a lot less than a lot of people like to imagine.

    But for the Korean peninsula during the 20th Century, I don’t think you need to invoke women cheating to explain this. ‘Shameful’ stuff does get hushed up a lot.

    • Replies: @Anonymous
    @John Massey said:

    "Women cheat a lot less than a lot of people like to imagine."

    Wondering where you got that information.

    According to studies, women (and men) cheat vastly more than people would imagine.

    http://nytlive.nytimes.com/womenintheworld/2016/08/22/scientists-say-women-are-genetically-programmed-to-have-affairs-its-like-mate-insurance/

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/five-myths-about-cheating/2012/02/08/gIQANGdaBR_story.html?utm_term=.8408f8627475

    We're talking about numbers north of 50%!

    If you are fortunate enough to some day talk to someone in the genetics counselling field, you will get a huge eye opener about the number of cases of "misattributed paternity" that result in uncovering an affair the mother (and even grannies from the supposed golden age before the sexual revolution) has kept completely undercover (counsellors never tell the spouse/partner about these affairs, IME.)
  76. If someone wants to organise a comprehensive family data base of total genome records for the benefit or interest of future generations at a non extortionate price is 23andMe the place to go? And given the percentage of error to be expected is it worth going somewhere else to double up? If so where?

  77. Anonymous • Disclaimer says:
    @John Massey
    Women cheat a lot less than a lot of people like to imagine.

    But for the Korean peninsula during the 20th Century, I don't think you need to invoke women cheating to explain this. 'Shameful' stuff does get hushed up a lot.

    said:

    “Women cheat a lot less than a lot of people like to imagine.”

    Wondering where you got that information.

    According to studies, women (and men) cheat vastly more than people would imagine.

    http://nytlive.nytimes.com/womenintheworld/2016/08/22/scientists-say-women-are-genetically-programmed-to-have-affairs-its-like-mate-insurance/

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/five-myths-about-cheating/2012/02/08/gIQANGdaBR_story.html?utm_term=.8408f8627475

    We’re talking about numbers north of 50%!

    If you are fortunate enough to some day talk to someone in the genetics counselling field, you will get a huge eye opener about the number of cases of “misattributed paternity” that result in uncovering an affair the mother (and even grannies from the supposed golden age before the sexual revolution) has kept completely undercover (counsellors never tell the spouse/partner about these affairs, IME.)

    • Replies: @syonredux

    If you are fortunate enough to some day talk to someone in the genetics counselling field, you will get a huge eye opener about the number of cases of “misattributed paternity” that result in uncovering an affair the mother (and even grannies from the supposed golden age before the sexual revolution) has kept completely undercover (counsellors never tell the spouse/partner about these affairs, IME.)
     
    Dunno. The studies that I've seen indicate that cuckoldry is pretty rare:

    This survey of published estimates of nonpaternity suggests that for men with high paternity confidence, nonpaternity rates are typically 1.7% (if we exclude studies of unknown methodology) to 3.3% (if we include such studies). These figures are substantially lower than the “typical” nonpaternity rate of 10% or higher cited by many researchers, often without substantiation…or the median worldwide nonpaternity rate of 9% reported by Baker and Bellis…

    Men who have low paternity confidence and have chosen to challenge their paternity through laboratory testing are much less likely than men with high paternity confidence to be the fathers of their putative children. Although these men presumably have lower paternity confidence than men who do not seek paternity tests, this group is heterogeneous; some men may be virtually certain that the putative child is not theirs, while others may simply have sufficient doubts to warrant testing. Most of these men are in fact the fathers of their putative genetic children; only 29.8% could be excluded as biological fathers of the children in question.

     

    http://blogs.discovermagazine.com/gnxp/2010/06/the-paternity-myth-the-rarity-of-cuckoldry/#.V8cZsfkrLIU
    , @John Massey
    What syonredux said.

    Please don't quote people like Shere Hite at me.

    Where hard data on non-paternity cases are available, they are consistently low; a lot lower than a lot of people seem to expect. And that also goes for periods of history when reliable birth control was not available.
  78. @Anonymous
    @John Massey said:

    "Women cheat a lot less than a lot of people like to imagine."

    Wondering where you got that information.

    According to studies, women (and men) cheat vastly more than people would imagine.

    http://nytlive.nytimes.com/womenintheworld/2016/08/22/scientists-say-women-are-genetically-programmed-to-have-affairs-its-like-mate-insurance/

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/five-myths-about-cheating/2012/02/08/gIQANGdaBR_story.html?utm_term=.8408f8627475

    We're talking about numbers north of 50%!

    If you are fortunate enough to some day talk to someone in the genetics counselling field, you will get a huge eye opener about the number of cases of "misattributed paternity" that result in uncovering an affair the mother (and even grannies from the supposed golden age before the sexual revolution) has kept completely undercover (counsellors never tell the spouse/partner about these affairs, IME.)

    If you are fortunate enough to some day talk to someone in the genetics counselling field, you will get a huge eye opener about the number of cases of “misattributed paternity” that result in uncovering an affair the mother (and even grannies from the supposed golden age before the sexual revolution) has kept completely undercover (counsellors never tell the spouse/partner about these affairs, IME.)

    Dunno. The studies that I’ve seen indicate that cuckoldry is pretty rare:

    This survey of published estimates of nonpaternity suggests that for men with high paternity confidence, nonpaternity rates are typically 1.7% (if we exclude studies of unknown methodology) to 3.3% (if we include such studies). These figures are substantially lower than the “typical” nonpaternity rate of 10% or higher cited by many researchers, often without substantiation…or the median worldwide nonpaternity rate of 9% reported by Baker and Bellis…

    Men who have low paternity confidence and have chosen to challenge their paternity through laboratory testing are much less likely than men with high paternity confidence to be the fathers of their putative children. Although these men presumably have lower paternity confidence than men who do not seek paternity tests, this group is heterogeneous; some men may be virtually certain that the putative child is not theirs, while others may simply have sufficient doubts to warrant testing. Most of these men are in fact the fathers of their putative genetic children; only 29.8% could be excluded as biological fathers of the children in question.

    http://blogs.discovermagazine.com/gnxp/2010/06/the-paternity-myth-the-rarity-of-cuckoldry/#.V8cZsfkrLIU

  79. @John Massey
    If you check photos of her on the Internet, she doesn't look to have any stand-out atypical physical traits. She says something at the beginning about her atypical hair texture - well, not so you'd notice, particularly, but hair texture is not a universal constant among East Asians, it does vary somewhat. She doesn't look to me to be outside the normal range of variation.

    Read her article on plastic surgery’s popularity among Korean women (including her).

    • Replies: @John Massey
    Seriously, Sean, no thanks. I've seen and heard all on that subject that I ever want to, and a lot I didn't.

    She referred specifically in the article Razib posted to the texture of her hair, as 'evidence' of some mysterious Middle Eastern ancestry, which somehow pushed her epigenetically towards conversion to Judaism. I don't know how that happens (in fact I'm damn sure it doesn't), but I was referring to that.
  80. @Sean
    Read her article on plastic surgery's popularity among Korean women (including her).

    Seriously, Sean, no thanks. I’ve seen and heard all on that subject that I ever want to, and a lot I didn’t.

    She referred specifically in the article Razib posted to the texture of her hair, as ‘evidence’ of some mysterious Middle Eastern ancestry, which somehow pushed her epigenetically towards conversion to Judaism. I don’t know how that happens (in fact I’m damn sure it doesn’t), but I was referring to that.

  81. @Anonymous
    @John Massey said:

    "Women cheat a lot less than a lot of people like to imagine."

    Wondering where you got that information.

    According to studies, women (and men) cheat vastly more than people would imagine.

    http://nytlive.nytimes.com/womenintheworld/2016/08/22/scientists-say-women-are-genetically-programmed-to-have-affairs-its-like-mate-insurance/

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/five-myths-about-cheating/2012/02/08/gIQANGdaBR_story.html?utm_term=.8408f8627475

    We're talking about numbers north of 50%!

    If you are fortunate enough to some day talk to someone in the genetics counselling field, you will get a huge eye opener about the number of cases of "misattributed paternity" that result in uncovering an affair the mother (and even grannies from the supposed golden age before the sexual revolution) has kept completely undercover (counsellors never tell the spouse/partner about these affairs, IME.)

    What syonredux said.

    Please don’t quote people like Shere Hite at me.

    Where hard data on non-paternity cases are available, they are consistently low; a lot lower than a lot of people seem to expect. And that also goes for periods of history when reliable birth control was not available.

  82. Hmmm, intriguing what syonredux and John Massey consider to be “low” numbers.

    BTW- who is Shere Hite?

  83. Interesting. The fact is that with any of these companies their database is only representative of the people who take the test. 23andMe made a concerted effort about 10 years ago to get more African Americans in their database and for a short period offered the test for free. That’s how I was able to test. There are many, often remote, areas where very few, if any, people get tested.

    There are other factors to consider also. Some Native tribes refuse to be tested for cultural reasons. As an African American, my biggest pet peeve is that these tests only reveal areas where people ARE CURRENTLY LIVING, who share your dna. It doesn’t really help me much to know that, for example, I match someone who is currently living in Liberia. My ancestors were in this country prior to Liberia being formed. That relative(s) in Liberia now may well be someone descended from an enslaved African American who decided to go to Liberia.

  84. Not only is 23andme weaker at differentiating among North/South Chinese and other Asians, but also the diverse groups in South Asia. As a South Asian customer for 23andme, I learnt nothing from their ancestry composition percentages which had me as almost 99% South Asian, with minute Middle Eastern, East Asian and European percentages which may well be noise. This gives me no information that I already do not know. So I used the raw data from 23andme on other open calculators from GEDMatch, DNALand and the others, and voila much more information with very ancient ancestry from South India, Central Asia, Caucasus, Anatolia, Steppe, Siberia, Baltics and NorthEast Europe/Volga. Now this is all very distant ancestry (may well be thousands of BC) I understand but still much more useful information. It would be great of 23andme could have differentiation on modern ethnic groups from South Asia, since very distant past data also does not provide extra information. Hopefully this will happen soon.

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