Now even dead ancestors can join the social networking craze. Their descendants, today’s consumers, can submit cheek swabs to genetics company GeneTree, which compares the DNA to its database and creates an interactive digital family tree. Users can post videos, photos, and link up with other members of their tree, which also reflects geographic migrations over the centuries.
For privacy reasons, GeneTree says it won’t provide names to its members of anyone born in the last 100 years who might have a DNA link. Because the service relies on mitochondrial DNA, carried on the mother’s side, Scott Woodward, chief scientific officer of the company, said it allows them trace people’s families “to a woman back in the past who was the mother to us all." He didn’t name her.