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How to Interpret Your DNA Test Results For Family History & Ancestry: Scientists Speak Out on Genealogy Joining Genetics Paperback – December 19, 2002

1.8 out of 5 stars 13 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Anne Hart writes books that make complex topics easy to understand for those with no science background. She holds a graduate degree and has written up to three books a year since 1963, both novels and nonfiction. She specializes in writing books about DNA, genetics, molecular anthropology, genealogy, history, and ethnology.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 266 pages
  • Publisher: iUniverse (December 19, 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0595263348
  • ISBN-13: 978-0595263349
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.7 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 1.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #713,348 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
Just a heads-up warning: Anne Hart makes her living by writing "books that sell" not by writing on topics about which she is an expert, or even about topics with which she has sufficient experience. She lists her 30 most recent self-published books in the back of this one--and one of her titles was "Writing Books that Sell." Does this sound like a credible author to you?!
The title of this book is grossly misleading and in fact barely one page in 10 makes reference to legitimate scientific data--or even to the scientists who supposedly "speak out". Her research was poorly conducted and even more poorly analyzed. She spends several chapters on topics which have no business being including in this book--namely, "creating a scrapbook" (where one sentence out of pages of text refers to DNA), and "beginning genealogy research." In the latter, she repeatedly does those readers who haven't done any genealogy reserach, a great disservice by misdirecting them on methods of locating a woman's maiden name. She suggests ordering birth records. How, pray tell, does one order a birth record for a person whose maiden name is unknown?! Ask the county clerk for copies of every record of a child born on a given date? Please!
While I applaud the use of the Internet as a means of self-publishing, one should not use it as a shortcut around publishing in a professional manner. Within the first seven pages of text, I found a dozen errors (typographical, spelling, grammar, and punctuation), which even a blind (but not deaf) editor would catch. Ms. Hart's writing style leads one to believe she published the book as it was first written--a draft version in which no thought was given to logical chapter order (definitions and explanations of DNA and genes can be found somewhere around page 110).
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Format: Paperback
Hart's book on "How to Interpret your DNA Tests Results..." is a misnomer. The book does not provide the reader with any information on the topics of "short tandem repeats" (STR's) or "most recent common ancestor" (MRCA), or any significant information on mutations rates. I have not found anyplace in her book that she gives any significant information about DYS markers, or the significance thereof, on the Y chromosome. The book contains very little information on how to interpret your mitochondrial DNA results. Further, the book contains numerous sections that do not relate to interpretation of your DNA results, such as the "Human Genome Project", "How to Interview Older Adults", "Have a Personal or Family History of Cancer", and 50 pages of a dictionary of genetic terms taken from a web site. Yet the book's index is only 5 pages in length, insufficient to find significant information that may be available. Further, the book contains some serious errors, such as "HLA genes are white blood cells".
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By A Customer on March 2, 2004
Format: Paperback
There are many books that can be safely purchased over the internet, sight unseen. This ain't one of 'em. It was certainly not worth the $20+ that I paid for it. I think the June 2003 review from the Boston reader was right on the money. One would expect from the title of this book that it would present an extended scholarly discussion of the pros and cons of trying to use DNA testing as a tool for genealogical reseach. The author even writes in the introduction: "Here the debate unfolds as scientists, authors, physicians, media people, owners of DNA testing companies, genealogists, historians and researchers comment, write, and opine on DNA testing and genealogy."
Instead, one finds the author quoting from her correspondence with scientists about her own DNA test results. Most of the 'debate that unfolds' involves disagreements among those scientists about the meanings of her results.
I was particularly disappointed at how much wasted space there is in the book. Some 50 pages, for example, for a glossary of genetic terms reprinted from a US government agency paper, and 6 pages advertising the author's other (completely unrelated) books.
All of that is not to say that no one will find this book of use. Readers who approach it with the understanding that it was written by a layperson with no special training in genetics, who wrote it as an extension of a hobby, may be less disappointed than I was. But I would advise the prospective buyer to have a look at a copy at the library or a bookstore before making a purchase.
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By A Customer on February 12, 2004
Format: Paperback
Poorly written, not on topic, duplications and very little substance. A huge disappointment. The title sounded like it would be a step by step outline to interpreting your DNA. It's anything but.
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Format: Paperback
Hart's book on "How to Interpret your DNA Tests Results..." is a misnomer. The book does not provide the reader with any information on the topics of "short tandem repeats" (STR's) or "most recent common ancestor" (MRCA), or any significant information on mutations rates. I have not found anyplace in her book that she gives any significant information about DYS markers, or the significance thereof, on the Y chromosome. The book contains very little information on how to interpret your mitochondrial DNA results. Further, the book contains numerous sections that do not relate to interpretation of your DNA results, such as the "Human Genome Project", "How to Interview Older Adults", "Have a Personal or Family History of Cancer", and 50 pages of a dictionary of genetic terms taken from a web site. Yet the book's index is only 5 pages in length, insufficient to find significant information that may be available. Further, the book contains some serious errors, such as "HLA genes are white blood cells".
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