Home Genetic Tests Could Be Giving You False Results

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Home genetic tests like 23andMe have grown more popular, and so too have stories of people surprised by their results. Sometimes they’re whimsical, like the German family that discovered they’re actually Scottish; other times they call whole identities into question, like the man who discovered his father had another son he didn’t know about, which led his parents to divorce.

But a new study suggests that some of those “surprises” might just be mistakes.

Ambry Genetics, a company that interprets data from consumer DNA tests, examined the raw data from 49 patients that had already received results from at-home tests. Its re-analysis, recently published in the journal Naturefound that 40 percent of the variants reported to patients were not actually present at all.

Particularly cringe-worthy, MIT Technology Review reports that many of the false-positive calls were related to genes that are related to an increased cancer risk — meaning that tests could have given families a big scare for no reason. And this high error rate is particularly concerning given that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration just approved 23andMe to sell genetic tests for cancer risk.

Sophisticated technology has made genetic testing more accessible than ever, giving us another way to sate our desire to know more about ourselves. Whether it’s our risk of developing Alzheimer’s or confirming a family legend about Native American relatives — or even our supposed “genetic compatibility” with a potential date — we’ve come to believe that genetics will tell us everything we might want to know.

Yet these mistakes highlight what scientists and genetic counselors have warned the public about for years: that home genetic tests should be interpreted with the help of an expert, particularly when it comes to disease risk. Because of the complex interplay that happens between genetics, environment lifestyle, and health, genetic risk is not a definite.

The same is true of consumer genetic tests that interpret ancestry — they’re not as straightforward as companies assert. As NPR’s Gisele Grayson recently discovered of her own genes, the process of genetic recombination (when your embryo is formed from sperm and egg) means that you might have a genomic makeup that’s quite different from your parents or siblings.

At-home genetic testing companies also base their information on that of all of the people they’ve already tested, meaning that their data on under-tested populations (that’s generally people of color) could be flawed; “the smaller the percentage of a population within a continent that is in the database, the less certain [genetic analyses] are,” Grayson wrote.

If all of this really squashes your hope of using genetics to find out “who you are,” it might be useful to remember that human beings are a closely related species as it is. Mathematics and genetic research alike has found that every human currently alive shares a common ancestor as recently as 3,400 years ago.

Yes, genetic tests are, disappointingly, imperfect. But don’t worry, in the long-run of human history, your genetic “ancestry” doesn’t mean all that much anyway.

The post Home Genetic Tests Could Be Giving You False Results appeared first on Futurism.

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Google Home can now play music through your other Bluetooth speakers

How Complete Beginners are using an ‘Untapped’ Google Network to create Passive Income ON DEMAND

Google’s Home, Home Mini, and Home Max speakers can now play music and other audio on the other Bluetooth speakers you might have around the house. This is particularly useful for people who own the Home Mini. The company’s affordable, compact speaker is perfect for querying Google Assistant, but lacks oomph and depth when it comes to playing music. Amazon already offers this option for its Alexa speakers.

“We brought this feature to life after hearing how much you wanted to amp up the sound with your Google Home Mini,” the company said in a blog announcement. “Now any of your Google Home devices can connect to other Bluetooth speakers so you can control your entertainment experience simply using the sound of your voice.” You can also…

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Google Home can now pair with Bluetooth speakers

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The Google Home family of devices have built-in speakers of varying quality, but you might have some nicer Bluetooth speakers around the house. Now, you can have Google Home stream audio directly to these devices. After pairing your Home with the speaker, you can control playback and even adjust the volume.

To pair a speaker, open your Home app and head into the device settings. Connecting to a Bluetooth speaker is part of the “preferred speaker” setup.

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Google Home can now pair with Bluetooth speakers was written by the awesome team at Android Police.

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Engadget giveaway: Win a Logitech Harmony Elite and Google Home Mini!

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Universal remote controls have been around for a while, but with a product like the Logitech Harmony Elite, simplicity and future-proofing go hand-in-hand. The Elite's Hub system lets you control IR, Bluetooth and even network-based products beyond y…
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Foxconn buys Linksys owner Belkin to join the smart home battle

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While we've focused on efforts of giants like Google, Apple and Amazon to dominate "smart home" devices, manufacturing giant Foxconn is making its entry by acquiring Belkin International to create a "global consumer electronics leader." Besides the a…
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Google app v7.24 beta prepares floating sports scores, Doodles in the search box, Project Valyrian, home automation, and much more [APK Teardown]

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A beta update to the Google app has been making the rounds. As usual, there’s not much new to see after installing this release, but many changes are awaiting Google to flip a switch before going live. Also following the usual pattern, there’s a teardown of the APK that provides plenty of hints about what’s to come. Version 7.24 reveals plans for a floating bubble with current sports scores that remains visible on top of other apps, an effect for the Google search box, a mysterious new project called Valyrian, assorted follow-ups for the Pixel Buds, home automation, and more.

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Google app v7.24 beta prepares floating sports scores, Doodles in the search box, Project Valyrian, home automation, and much more [APK Teardown] was written by the awesome team at Android Police.

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Guy builds a super cool RFID jukebox with his Google Home and Chromecast speakers

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We can all yell at our Google Home to start playing something, but what if it was possible to choose our songs in some other super cool, super throwback way? hoveeman thought this through and built an awesome jukebox-style system for his Google Home and Chromecast speakers. Before I bore you with the technical stuff, check out the video below to see how things work. 

Alright, now that your mind is spinning in overdrive thinking about how this might be possible, here is the skinny.

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Guy builds a super cool RFID jukebox with his Google Home and Chromecast speakers was written by the awesome team at Android Police.

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Find items stored out of sight in your home with Sortly

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It sure feels good to clear your house of clutter and pack less-used items away so they don’t take up space – but all too often, this cleaning strategy makes it difficult to remember where you put your stuff. Sortly is great for that. This mobile app, available for iOS and Android, helps you create an inventory of things you’re stashing away, complete with photos and text notes. It’s easy enough to use that you can list items while you’re boxing them up in your attic or basement: just snap a picture, add a tag or note about where you’re…

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This tweak hides the Home Bar at the bottom of the iPhone X

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The iPhone X lacks a Home Button, so Apple created the Home Bar to take its place. Swiping up on the Home Bar lets users unlock their device, return home from apps, and access the App Switcher, but the Home Bar itself isn’t very aesthetically-pleasing in the long run.

Given the circumstances, a new free jailbreak tweak called ByeHomeBottomBarX by iOS developer CydiaGeek has been released in Cydia this week. As the name suggests, this tweak efficiently hides the Home Bar from view…. Read the rest of this post here


This tweak hides the Home Bar at the bottom of the iPhone X” is an article by iDownloadBlog.com.
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Do you have multiple smart speakers in your home?

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When I was younger, I had a music player that could handle hold multiple CDs at once, which also had speakers that could be moved around the room. There were only two speakers with this system, and they weren’t that great, but for a teenager that wanted to simulate something like surround sound, the fact they could be moved around was pretty great.

Over the years I stopped relying on speakers so much. I played music from my TV, which I’ve never really equipped with any expensive speaker accessories so the sound hasn’t been fantastic, or I’ve played music from my computer. I’m always listening to music, but spending money for additional speakers has never been anything I’ve gone out of my way to do.

I did pick up a Google Home when it launched, which I thought was cool enough. I eventually handed it over to my mom, who, for the record, loves it and uses it every day. I picked up a HomePod when that launched and I’ve been happy with the sound quality. I’ve tried other options, like the Amazon Echo, but I haven’t picked up a speaker from Sonos yet, even though it’s been recommended to me several times.

I have only ever had one smart speaker in use at any given time, despite the fact many of these are designed to offer support for multiple devices in a house.

The HomePod doesn’t support that feature right now, but it will. And obviously the Google Home family does now, along with Amazon’s lineup of smart speakers. And the Sonos-branded offerings are all meant to bring a full, rich audio listening experience with speakers spread out through your house.

With price points ranging quite a bit, and functionality getting better in these smart speakers, I couldn’t help but wonder if I should start investing in more options. Not necessarily more HomePods –unless a cheaper variant does indeed launch this year– but maybe go with more Google Home units, or even jump right into the Sonos ecosystem (since the major music streaming platforms work with the speakers). But then I wonder how often I’d use multiple options, and can’t help but think it wouldn’t be worth the money.

So, I wanted to reach out to all of you and get your feedback on the idea. Are you someone who has picked up quite a few different speakers, whether they are smart or not, and outfitted your house with them? Do you have multiple options from the same company (like Google or Sonos or Amazon), or do you mix-and-match? Or are you like me and only use one smart speaker and call it good? Let me know!

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