One of my cousin’s kits that I manage has transitioned to the new 23andme. Here is the scoop. Most everything you do on the site seems to require that you go through a tutorial before you can participate and most everything seems to have been simplified.
You do have to review your profile information and choose to opt into the Open Sharing the first time you log in. Open sharing lets your matches compare their DNA to yours to see if there are any matching segments without going through the introduction message process. This is recommended if you are doing 23andme for genealogy or adoption research.
The problem is that those of us who are deeply into using DNA for ancestry research will be disappointed by some of the loss of functionality on the new version of the site as well as by the fact that some functions are significantly clunkier for us.
The new main menu is greatly simplified, definitely an improvement. Instead of those fancy drop downs you have just four items; Home, Reports, Tools, and Research plus the little green icon with the number of messages you have listed. You have to click one of those to get to further menus.
HOME is the home page which seems far less useful than the old home page. It has a big graphic to encourage you to go to the research area and answer questions about yourself to help with their research. At the bottom of the home page are links to various tutorials.
REPORTS is where the new health information is as well as traits and ancestry. Happily the terrific ancestry composition by chromosome is still there. To get to it click Ancestry on the Reports page then click Scientific Details and either scroll down or click Your Genotype. Sadly there is no longer a drop down to see the ancestry of your shares. This is too bad as that was sometimes useful for helping to determine which line a match was on.
RESEARCH is where you answer health questions to help with their research.
The messages area seems to have inbox and outbox intermingled and is even less useful than the previous version. I recommend you keep your correspondance in a separate file on your computer and switch to regular email as soon as possible. I will check if the 23andme ++ chrome add-on handles this soon.
TOOLS has six areas:
- Share and Compare This is the new area for looking at what you share with one person
- DNA Relatives This is what I will discuss below, the new packaging of this functionality
Family Tree Lets you build a tree at MyHeritage as before
- DNA Counseling Seems to have the ability to connect you with a counselor
- Forums This format has changed, tagging should make it easier to find posts of interest
- Raw Data Same functionality as before you can download or browse your data, prettier
Share and Compare
This might be a useful way to look at your close family’s shared traits and so forth. For example my Dad has more Neanderthal than my cousin. There is a place to indicate family relationships but I did not have any close family for my cousin to try that with so no report on this yet.
However the list of people you can compare to initially has only 10 people and they are listed alphabetically by first name. It took me five clicks on my cousin’s page to get to Lawrence, my Dad and my cousins has less than 100 shares. This was very annoying.
Manage Your Connections is listed on the share and compare page. Here you can add information about your close family and cancel outgoing invitations or add health sharing to your shares.
The new DNA relatives
This is the primary tool for the genetic genealogist. How has it changed? Well it is certainly simplified. Below is a screen shot. The dot to the right indicates the sharing level as shown in the drop down.
You can sort by Strength of relationship, Percent Shared, or Segments Shared. You can no longer sort by most recent or contact status. You can select to view just your shares, open shares (none yet), pending (not working yet), or not sharing. The not sharing just gets just anonymous matches on the first five load mores for my cousin. I wish there was an option not to see those anonymous matches.
The right hand column gives you more display options one of which is your grandparents’ origin and another is by surname. So I finally found a 3rd to 5th cousin to send a share to and discovered that there are only about 300 characters for messages. Once I sent the share, which did not require a message but I sent one anyway. I saw a nice summary of her ancestral places which included Etne Hordaland, the birthplace of my grandad and where my cousin still lives. Also it showed my potential share’s ancestry composition overview, her haplogroups, and her surnames. I hope I hear from her.
To find the DNA comparison capability you click on DNA listed at the top of the DNA relatives page. When you initially arrive at that page you are defaulted to PEOPLE which what was discussed above.
Comparing DNA has been simplified, you start with a bunch of icons and names on the left to select from, with your own profile coming first in the list. The rest are alphabetical by first name. The first person you select gets compared to the next group (up to five). WARNING, be sure to click the load more before adding names to the comparison as they all disappear if you load more afterwards.
You cannot type names to find people, you have to scroll down and find the relative. I am not looking forward to this on profiles with more shares.
The comparison page however is pretty nice, here is a partial screen shot:
You can no longer get the table view to see the numbers for the segments where you match nor download a CSV file. If you place your mouse on a specific segment the numbers for that segment will appear in a little window. You can then cut and paste that to a text file from which you can either cut and paste each field to your master spreadsheet or if you have several of these you can make it suitable for import to a spreadsheet with a few small changes
So I had five lines like this
P and D, chromosome 3, position 161994639-175177252, 13.70976 cM, 2365 SNPs
which I massaged in a text editor to this
P and D,3,161994639,175177252,13.70976,2365
And then I saved that file with a CSV extension so I could import it to a spreadsheet. Then cut and pasted those lines over to my master sheet. I look forward to using the DNAgedcom client to get this data for me.
Profile pages are gone. If you try one of those URLs from your saved spreadsheets you will get a this is no longer supported message please go to the new 23andme
That’s all for tonight. Apologies for any typos. It is late and I am tired. More soon.
Addendum: In the new forums, Christine has promised that all our complaints above and in the comments below will be addressed so I advise patience to all and a happy thanksgiving.
Here is that URL: