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As we discussed in the first class meeting, if you have a close relative in the 23andMe database, participation in the DNA Relatives matching will reveal that match in all its detailed glory. This story came out about a faculty member that was teaching a course similar to this, and through genetic testing on himself and his parents he discovered a half-brother that he and his family were previously unaware of. This is a case that did not end with a happy reunion, but rather it appears that the news generated an ugly mess for the family.

Each of your samples should have been received by the lab and 23andMe will email updates as the sample is processed over the coming weeks. Prior to your final results appearing, you still have control over whether you want to opt out of the DNA Relatives matching system by 23andMe. If you choose to participate in the DNA Relatives matching, it will be too late to hide yourself from learning about new relatives as your results appear on the website. Keep in mind, however, that information you learn about new relatives does not necessarily need to be shared with others. In some cases, other family members may not want to know the discoveries you make.

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