What is it about?

The paper introduces PedMix2, a new inference approach that is designed to analyze an individual’s DNA data and determine the ancestry of an extant individual with mixed genetic heritage. Existing methods can only trace ancestry to parents or grandparents of an extant individual. PedMix2 can infer the genetic origins of distantly related ancestors. This paper demonstrates the effectiveness of PedMix2 with real-world data, and shows it is a significant advancement in genetic ancestry inference. While there is still some variance in its estimate of distant ancestors, PedMix2 offers more detailed information into one's genetic heritage than previous methods. It's a promising step for those who are curious about their diverse family history.

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Why is it important?

Our work addresses growing interests in understanding complex genetic ancestry. Unlike existing ancestry tools, PedMix2 offers a deeper insight into the genetic mosaic of an individual. This breakthrough is significant in the evolving field of genetic research and consumer genetics. It has the potential for enhancing our understanding of genetic ancestry in admixed populations.


Developing PedMix2 and contributing to this publication has been a deeply fulfilling journey. It merges our passion for genetics with the ever-evolving quest to understand human ancestry. This project, at its core, is about connecting people to their past in a way that's more comprehensive and meaningful than before.

Yiming Zhang
University of Connecticut

Read the Original

This page is a summary of: A general approach for inferring the ancestry of recent ancestors of an admixed individual, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, January 2024, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences,
DOI: 10.1073/pnas.2316242120.
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