DNA.LAND aims to crowd-source genetic information for scientific study from individuals who already have access to their genomes
Do you want to learn more about your DNA and contribute to genome research? Drs. Yaniv Erlich and Joseph Pickrell, geneticists from Columbia University and the New York Genome Centre, respectively, hope that many individuals do. They have recently launched DNA.LAND, a large genome research study that aims to crowd-source genomes from millions of individuals who already have access to them from other genetic testing sites like 23andMe, FamilyTree DNA, and Ancestry.com.
DNA.LAND puts a non-traditional spin on how large amounts of genomic data can be assembled. The scientific goal of DNA.LAND is to re-purpose genome data for research that will spur new genetic discoveries, such as genes associated with disease or insight into human evolution. If new knowledge is discovered on gene variants gathered through imputation, or filling of genome gaps through inference, the DNA.LAND group will provide this information to its participants.
Although there is no financial compensation for participating in DNA.LAND, participants will be able to better understand their genomes and connect with the scientific community. Once a participant’s genetic data has been uploaded, it will be analyzed and results on ancestry, relatives, and different traits will be returned to them. If participants are active on social media, they can also choose to provide information from their profiles for novel research on social preference traits.
To date, DNA.LAND has crowd-sourced approximately 4600 genomes, and the group is undoubtedly seeking the contributions of many more to help them with their research.
DNA.LAND website: https://dna.land/
Written by Fiona Wong, PhD