The California State University System Interviews Me as a Faculty DNA Expert

DNA Double HelixMy summer months are overwhelmingly busy each year, when I take on a second faculty role with the California State University (CSU) system, “…the largest public four-year university system in the world.”1. Year round, I am an academic librarian at California State University, Fullerton. During summer for the past three years, I have taught a graduate-level genealogical research methods course for San Jose State University’s School of Information.

So I am a bit late in sharing this June article published by the CSU system’s news service.

My colleague Hazel Kelley spent quite a bit of time with me on the phone and later via email, eagerly listening to my explanations that pushed the scope of this article further than originally intended, and making sure she had my quotes correct. I very much appreciate her dedication to accuracy.

5 Things to Know Before You Take a Home DNA Test

“Autosomal DNA ethnicity estimates really tell us ethnicity from about 500 years ago,” she says. “People often do not understand that and get confused because they know their ancestors lived in, say, Ireland, 150 years ago.”

And because each company takes a different snapshot of your genome, ethnicity findings can vary significantly from one kit to another. “[Since] they’re not all sequencing the same stuff… [it] leads to variable results,” says Bush. For example, one test may say you’re 50 percent Portuguese, while another may say 30 percent.

Greene adds: “In addition to these differing snapshots, testing companies also use different algorithms to analyze those snapshots, different reference populations to compare data, and different categories for grouping ethnicities.”2.

Read the full article here.

Sources Cited

  1.  California State University Office of the Chancellor. “CSU Fact Sheets,” The California State University, News, n.d ( : accessed 7 August 2018)
  2. Hazel Kelley. “5 Things to Know Before You Take a Home DNA Test.” The California State University, News, 22 June 2018 ( : 7 August 2018)

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