Yesterday I received the March issue of National Geographic and as I unwrapped the cellophane, out fell an insert about their Geno 2.0 program. This got me thinking about how far DNA has come over the past few years.
Back in the day, I'm thinking circa 2006, a co-worker had used the Society's DNA service. I don't remember what the cost was but I remember thinking it was pricey for what she received, a slick brochure that gave her general information about her ethnicity. It told her she was of Greek heritage; since she lived in Tarpon Springs, Florida that was not an Ancestry.com trade in your lederhosen for a kilt revelation. I decided I'd wait until the results became more specific.
After reading the insert in the magazine, I figured the price still must be high as it was not provided, though a special $50.00 off discount was mentioned. Checking the Geno 2.0 Next Generation site, I found that the $199.95 regular price was on sale for $149.95. With the subscriber discount noted on the insert, the price would be $99.95. Guess they're trying to be competitive with the rest of the market.
The results brochure looks quite similar to what my co-worker received over a decade ago. The biggest change appears to be identification of Neanderthal ancestry which my mother would have just relished. She always swore she had Neanderthal DNA long before science proved remnants remain. If she were alive today, this would have been an awesome birthday gift.
The other updates are vague; "improved ancestral results" and "ancestral calls" but it doesn't say how the are improved and "more accurate regional ancestry" to include 60 reference populations.
What does make this offer unique is that you can also purchase a ball cap or t-shirt that provides further advertising for the project. Not that it would influence you to test with them, just sayin'.