RootsTech 2016: Using Genetics to Map your Family Tree
What do you think of when you hear the term “genealogy?”
Family trees, ancestry and lineage may be a few terms that come to mind. But did you know there is a whole world of genetic resources for those interested in genealogy?
One place to discover these resources is RootsTech. Coined as the largest family history event in the world, it attracts genealogy enthusiasts from across the country. While this conference isn’t directly tied to biotechnology, genes are a key tool that help people fill the gaps in their family tree. And the attendees at RootsTech were certainly up to the challenge!
Attendees embraced genetic testing as a way to get closer to their family roots and learn about their past, and potentially their future. Along with filling in family tree with genetic data, attendees were eager to learn more about how their genes impact their lives through DNA and hereditary cancer screenings. In fact, the winner of the Innovation Showcase was a company called TapGenes that merges family ancestry with healthcare information.
So how exactly can your genes impact your family tree? Here are just a few ways:
- Understand what health problems run in your family
- Help you determine risk factors and detect disease early
- Learn if you are at risk for certain hereditary cancers
After spending time at RootsTech, it’s clear that DNA does and will continue to play a big role in the genealogy community. It’s especially promising when you consider utilizing this information to understand your health.
And if you want to find out where a relative is buried? There’s an app for that.