Justifying the spending of $200 for a DNA test that is of little value other than telling you something you may already know is tough. It is probably as hard as it is to convince your spouse that a new golf club will improve your game! The thing is, I don’t play golf, but I do “play DNA”. So, in early October, when National Genographic announced they, in collaboration with Family Tree DNA, had developed another DNA chip that would provide “unprecedented background blah blah” I was already hooked.
The new test is called Geno 2.0: Next Generation. I think it is a bad name since the previous chip was called Geno 2. They should have called this Geno 3! Ah well, I never did work in the Advertising department.
As before, the data from the chip will be downloadable so you can upload it to other sites for further analysis. Those sites will have to develop software to handle the new data, so don’t expect to do these transfers immediately. You will be able to directly transfer data to FTDNA, just like before. We should be able to run Family Finder tests at FTDNA using this data. (FTDNA is doing the actual DNA processing for National Genographic at their labs in Houston.)
What makes this new test/chip so interesting is its size in SNP count! To be fair, we haven’t seen actual data yet but it is rated to have 700,000+ autosomal, 20,000+ Y-DNA, and 4,000+ mitochondrial SNPs. This is larger than the Chromo2 chip from Britain. The Big Y test from FTDNA has twice as many Y-DNA SNPs, but no autosomal SNPs!
I dabble in deep ancestry Y-DNA analysis, but have never bought the Big Y test nor the Y-Elite tests because of money. But based on cost per Y-DNA SNP, this new National Genographic chip is comparable: all 3 costs about one cent per SNP. But the Geno 2:NG test ALSO gives you a full round of autosomal and mitochondrial SNPs! It is a bargain! I have created a spreadsheet comparing the SNP counts and costs for the tests I am interested in which you can download by clicking here. (updated 10-25-2015)
Please note, I am not recommending this test for everyone. If what you care about is autosomal testing for genealogical purposes, Family Tree DNA and Ancestry.com still provide a $99 bargain. Now that 23andMe has raised their prices, the field has narrowed. But, if you want it all, and are looking for Y-DNA comparisons, then you should think seriously about this new National Genographic test.
We can talk more about this at our next DNA SIG on Saturday November 7.