Frequently Asked Questions


DNA Land 2.0:

General:

Signing Up:

Profile page and Files:

Ancestry Report:

In-depth Informational Pages:




Transition:

Why are you separating from academic and research institutes? (top)
DNA.Land used to be a research project under the oversight of academic and research institutes. We want to keep DNA.Land’s services for the community but not as an academic project. This is more comparable to other 3rd party genomic services, such as GEDmatch and Promethease, who run under the same non-academic model, and will allow us to take the website in new directions.
How is DNA.Land 2.0 different from the original? (top)
DNA.Land 2.0 will operate as an independent website, run by the same researchers who started the project: Dr. Yaniv Erlich, Dina Zielinski, and Assaf Gordon.
Is DNA.Land 2.0 a for-profit entity or a non-profit? (top)
DNA.Land will become an independent private entity by the same researchers who started the project. While the entity will legally be a for-profit company, we plan to keep all services free.
What will happen to my data? (top)
All accounts and data will be deleted on September 30th 2019 and DNA.Land 2.0 will be re-launched on October 1st 2019 as an independent website.
Can I access my account until September 30th? (top)
No! You will be able to access your account until midnight EST on September 29th 2019.
Can I access my account after September 30th? (top)
Based on instructions from past academic partners, we must delete all the accounts by September 30th. However, you will be able to recreate an account and upload your data just as you did previously.
Can I save the information I received from DNA.Land? (top)
Of course! You can download your data and simply take a screenshot of any of your report pages.
Why are you deleting the account and data? Why can’t you just migrate it? (top)
After much exploration with our past academic and research partners, we were instructed that the best way forward is to delete all data in order to comply with the strict regulations of academic human subject research. When you signed up to participate in DNA.Land, we pledged to not share your personal identifiers, contact information, or individual-level survey or genetic information without your permission. Because we are closing our research study, DNA.Land’s existing participant accounts and participant data will no longer be accessible.
I really want to stay on the site.  Can you use what I uploaded before? (top)
We cannot use your original data because DNA.Land 2.0 will no longer be a part of academic and research institutes or the under the oversight of the BRANY IRB (Biomedical Research Alliance of New York Institutional Review Board), requiring an updated consent. You can simply upload your raw data from the DTC listed on our home page to DNA.Land 2.0 starting on October 1st.
Was my data used to help science? How? (top)
Since we started DNA Land, we published two academic papers (1,2) thanks to the DNA.Land data. We also created unique datasets with more than 25,000 people to fight breast cancer in collaboration with the National Breast Cancer Coalition.
Can my data still be used to help science? (top)
Yes! We are scientists after all and are passionate about genetic research. DNA.Land 2.0 will enable you to share your data for studies just as before.
What are the privacy protections if I re-upload my data? Are they different from before? (top)
Although we will not be under the strict oversight of academic human subjects research, DNA.Land 2.0 will have similar privacy terms to the original website. We will require all participants to agree to our updated informed consent.

General:

Do you need any other information in addition to my genomic data? (top)
To help understand the genetic basis of different traits, we will ask you to fill out surveys relating to your (or your family’s) ancestry and health.
Will my data be public? (top)
We will not share with third parties or make public without your explicit permission: the personal identifiers in your profile, your contact information, your individual-level survey results, or your individual level genomic data.
For more details please read the Confidentiality section in the consent page.
Can I participate if I don't have access to my genome? (top)
You must have access to your genome data in order to participate in DNA.Land.
Is DNA.Land operated or endorsed by 23andMe, FamilyTreeDNA, Ancestry.com or MyHeritage.com ? (top)
No.
If my genome data is already on 23andMe, FTDNA, AncestryDNA, and GEDmatch, and I’ve run it through Promethease, what additional value will I get by uploading it to DNA Land? (top)
DNA.Land provides you with several additional features:
  • DNA.Land imputes your genome, which opens the possibility of seeing genetic variations that were not part of the original file. It is similar to getting whole genome sequencing data (albeit we still miss some rare variations) without investing thousands of dollars.
  • You might find additional relatives because we use different algorithms.
  • We will be adding other features to the website that you don't get with other sites. This is just the beginning. Early adopters will help us to validate our approach and to continue our efforts.
What are the project's terms of usage/consent? (top)
We've designed out consent page to be short and clear.
Read it here.
What is the history of DNA.Land ? (top)
DNA.Land used to be a research project under the oversight of academic and research institutes. As of October 1st, 2019, We relaunched the project as a independant entity comparable to other 3rd-party genomic services such as GEDMatch and Promethease who run under the same non-academic model.
Due to the strict human-subject regulations we had to delete all datasets that were collected until September 30th, 2019. An email was sent on September 16th, 2019 to all previous users notifing the deletion of their data.

Signing Up:

I checked the box in the consent, but clicking on the 'I AGREE: CONTINUE' button does nothing. What is going on? (top)
There is a known issue to pass the consent when using Internet Explorer 11 on a Windows Machine. If this is the case, please use a different browser.
If you use a different browser and still experience problems with passing the consent step, your browser likely does not support JavaScript. Please go to this link to test if your browser supports JavaScript and for instructions about how to turn it on.
I have used multiple kits for my family members. How can I upload them to the website? (top)
DNA.Land now supports uploading multiple DNA kits. Visit our multiple profiles page to learn more.
Please write the true first and last name (not yours) of the person whose genome was uploaded as this is required by the consent.
I was tested with 23andMe, FamilyTreeDNA, and AncestryDNA. Which data should I upload? (top)
We have no data indicating a difference in the quality of the results based on the tested company. You may select any company you want. Your data will be statistically imputed shortly after you upload your file and any analysis is done using the imputed genome. As such, regardless of the input data, genomes are entered into a standard format.
DNA.Land now supports uploading multiple DNA kits. Visit our multiple profiles page to learn more.
I have accounts on 23andMe, Ancestry, and FTDNA, and I can’t figure out which file formats you accept. (top)
From 23andMe, we accept: their "Raw Data" file
From Ancestry, we accept: their "DNA Raw Data" file
and from FTDNA, we accept: their “Build 37 Autosomal Raw Data” file
I have consent from a number of my family members to upload their DNA files/I have DNA files from all three of the companies, but I only have one email address. Is there anyway I can make multiple accounts with one email? (top)
DNA.Land now supports uploading multiple DNA kits. Visit our multiple profiles page to learn more.
I have a 23andMe formatted file from Genes For Good. Why can’t I upload it to DNA.LAND? (top)
At this time, we are only able to accept files directly from Ancestry, FTDNA, and 23andMe. We look forward to welcoming other communities into DNA.LAND at some point in the future!
How can I upload my data to DNA.Land? (top)
After registration, we will ask you to download your genome data directly from the DNA testing website. Currently, we only support 23andMe, FamilyTree DNA, or Ancestry.com. If you don't know how to download your data, don't worry! We will provide you with step-by-step instructions. Then, you can just follow the registration and upload process. Importantly, your data won't be collected until you complete the consent as part of the registration process.
How do I upload my DNA file to DNA.Land once I've downloaded it from 23andMe/Ancestry/FamilyTreeDNA? (top)
  1. Log into the account you have created at https://dna.land/register
  2. Read the consent form, scroll down, and check the box at the bottom of the page
  3. Click "I Agree: Continue"
  4. Click "Select File"
  5. Select the DNA file on your computer
Why do I have to consent to share my data? (top)
Before you can join DNA.Land, it is important that you understand what research is being done and that your participation is entirely voluntary. For your reference, you can view or download a copy of the consent document.
I can't login and the website says my email is already registered. (top)
Before you can continue with registration, you must verify the link sent to the email address you used. After you click the link, you will be directed back to the home page.
I uploaded the wrong DNA file to DNA.Land. How do I upload a different one instead? (top)
There currently is no feature in place that allows users to delete a DNA file once it has been uploaded. Because of this, the best course of action will be to delete your account, and then create a new account with the DNA file you originally intended to use.
When I click on my registration verification link, I recieve the following message: "invalid email-confirmation token (error 2013)." (top)
Our verification links must be clicked on within 12 hours of receiving them. You can easily request a new verification link at the top any of your report pages.

Profile page and Files:

My files show 'in progress' but I've been waiting more than 24 hours. (top)
This is a common occurrence during launch periods for new features. At those times, the number of new users joining each day is much higher than normal. Our systems are always working at full capacity to provide the analysis results for everyone as soon as possible. If your files show 'in progress' for more than a week, we recommend contacting us as there is likely an issue with your account.
How do I link my DNA.Land account to my Geni.com profile? (top)
What do I receive in exchange for linking my Geni profile to my DNA.land account? (top)
Our Geni features allows users who have linked their accounts to see the family trees of other users on DNA.LAND who have also linked their accounts to Geni.
What are VCF files and how to view them? (top)
Variant Call Format (VCF) files are text files used in bioinformatics to store gene sequence variations. See the VCF information page to learn more.
What is a BCF file, and why do you offer it as a download? (top)
The BCF file is a binary equivalent of the VCF file. Similar to the relationship between PDF and Word document: they contain exactly the same information, but the file format is different. That being said, should you like to explore the BCF file, this website is the resource you are looking for: http://samtools.github.io/hts-specs/.
What are TBI (VCF Tabix) files? (top)
TBI files (Also called VCF Tabix or VCF Index files) are auxiliary files containing supplementary data about imputed VCF files. By themselves, they do not provide any additional genotyping information. However, some programs and/or websites requires both VCF and TBI files as input - in which case you'll be asked to download both the VCF file and the TBI file to your computer.
To learn more about VCF files, see the VCF Information page.

Ancestry Report:

What is the Ancestry detection method? (top)
We use Dr. Joe Pickrell's Ancestry program, which is an implementation of the supervised STRUCTURE model with a custom reference panel. The source code is available here.
How does DNA.LAND conceptualize Ancestry? (top)
We’d like to refer you to this blog post .
There is a percentage of my Ancestry Report that is labeled "ambiguous." What does this mean? (top)
The ambiguous percentage of your Ancestry Report indicates a percentage of your DNA file that did not match with any of the sources in our reference panel. It is our hope that as our reference panel grows, there will be less possibility for ambiguous percentages.
I just logged on to DNA.LAND and have noticed there is a new Ancestry Report. I can’t figure out how to read it! (top)
For a detailed description of the new Ancestry Report, including instructions on how to read each of the charts, we’d like to refer you to our recent blog post about the new report .
Why are the results of my Ancestry Report different from those I’ve found on other services? (top)
Think of your genome as a beam of light. The reference panel of each service’s algorithm acts as a prism that decomposes this beam of light to its potential components. Since each prism has different physical properties, the rainbows they produce will all be at least a little bit different. As each reference panel has its own strengths and caveats, it is best to observe your genomes through as many prisms as you can. Only in this way can you better illuminate your past.
I strongly disagree with the name of one or more of my Ancestry Composites. Why were they given the wrong names? (top)
Our process of creating Ancestry groups involves grouping specific ancestries into populations based on genetic similarity. After we have the groupings, we then choose names for them. This is a difficult and delicate task, as most of the groupings we have devised do not yet have existing names. Rather than creating new population names from scratch, we strive to find the closest and most accurate existing name that we can. Sometimes this has meant giving names to Ancestry groups that aren't necessarily true of all the groupings’ subpopulations. One example of this is the inclusion of Turks in "Central Indoeuropean" even though they speak a Turkic language. Another example of this is describing the Kalmyk as "East Turkic" even though they live near the black sea –west of the "Mid Turkic" peoples. The names of our Ancestry Composites are there for your convenience. We appreciate your understanding of the difficulty of this task. For greater specificity, we recommend examining the "includes" and "does not include" lists.
What does “Includes/Does Not Include” refer to in the “details” section of the Ancestry Report? (top)
We created that aspect of the report to help illustrate for our users which samples in our Reference Panel were used for each of the clusters. The list under "includes" is made up of the sample that are included in the cluster.

The list under "Does not include" states populations that are NOT part of the category, but appear in the geographical vicinity. We tested your genome with these populations. We list them in order to contrast between close categories (e.g. Southwest Europe and Northwest Europe).

This recent blog post explaining the new Ancestry Report might be a helpful read for you as well.
What is "imputation"? (top)
Imputation in Genetics means using statistical inference to deduce unknown genotypes based on known ones. See the Imputation information page to learn more.
What is the reference panel you use for imputation? (top)
The reference is the latest 1000 Genomes reference dataset (autosomal data: June 2014, X: August 2012).
What is the difference between an "Ancient" match and a "Recent" match? (top)
"Ancient" matches are matches due to population background (many ancient relatives) rather than a recent single ancestor ("Recent" match).
Why do I match with a user named OpenSNP who I cannot get in touch with? (top)
When we started, DNA.Land indexed the entire OpenSNP database. We got a permission from the administrator of OpenSNP to do this because the whole point of OpenSNP is to publicly share genetic data without restrictions. If an OpenSNP users upload his/her data to DNA.Land, they will discover their OpenSNP copy as a twin. This should not be a surprise to them, as uploading to OpenSNP allows permission for anyone to user their DNA file.

For any additional questions, please contact DNA.Land.

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