The Premier League has never been one for parity. For the majority of its existence, the league has been dominated by a small fraternity of very talented (and very wealthy) clubs. Only six teams have won the Premier League in its 27-year existence, and only four have won it more than once. And if last season is any indication, the stratification is becoming even more extreme. It’s Manchester City and Liverpool’s league to lose, and everyone else is playing for third place.The rivals from the north of England had the second and third best seasons in Premier League history last year by points accrued. And if it weren’t for an astonishing goal line clearance and the small matter of 11.7 millimeters, Liverpool might have lifted its first-ever Premier League trophy last May. Instead, Manchester City claimed its second straight title and fourth this decade.While domestic success might have eluded them, the Reds finished their 2018-19 campaign with a 2-0 win over Tottenham Hotspur in the Champions League final in Madrid. So while Manchester City may start the Premier League season as champions of England, Liverpool will start it as champions of Europe.Both City and Liverpool boast impressive squads — so impressive that neither felt the need to dip their toes too deep into the transfer pool this summer. City starts the season where it left off in the Soccer Power Index (SPI), leading the league with a 94.2 team rating, while Liverpool is close behind at 92.9. As such, the FiveThirtyEight projection model suggests this season will be as imbalanced as the last, as it’s unlikely that any other team will win the Premier League: It gives City a 55 percent chance of winning and Liverpool a 32 percent chance. Meanwhile, the model gives Chelsea a 5 percent chance to win the title and Tottenham a 4 percent chance.Perennial top-six teams Manchester United and Arsenal each begin the season with a 1 percent chance of winning the title; the remaining 14 teams each have a less than 1 percent chance of Premier League glory. Here’s a look at what to expect.The big twoManchester City and Liverpool didn’t make a lot of roster moves this summer because neither Pep Guardiola nor Jürgen Klopp believed doing so was necessary. City’s main piece of business was acquiring defensive midfielder Rodri from Atlético Madrid. The club splashed roughly $80 million for the Spaniard, who is likely the heir to City’s longtime linchpin midfielder, Fernandinho. City’s front line — consisting of any configuration of Leroy Sané, Raheem Sterling, Gabriel Jesus, Sergio Agüero, Riyad Mahrez and Bernardo Silva — won’t require much in the way of extra goal-scoring. But much of what City does has been enabled by Fernandinho’s ability to break up opposition possession and win the ball through midfield, so getting a younger, healthier version of him, in Rodri, makes a lot of sense.And if Rodri’s performance last season is any indication of what’s to come, Guardiola and co. will be able to justify the hefty price tag: Among players who played at least 15 games, Rodri was the 10th-best central midfielder in La Liga in interceptions per 90 minutes in the middle third of the field, and he made the seventh-most tackles at his position in the middle third. His role in Madrid was to disrupt the opposition’s attack and advance the ball to Atlético forwards. Rodri finished the season as La Liga’s third-most successful central midfielder in terms of passing accuracy from the middle third to the final third, ahead of superstars like Toni Kroos, Ivan Rakitić, Luka Modrić, and Sergio Busquets.City was already the best team in the Premier League at both holding possession and scoring, leading the league in share of possession (at nearly 68 percent) and total goals. Adding another wrecker in the center of the field who can also advance the ball into the attacking third with accuracy seems likely to make them even harder to stop. Bringing a healthy Kevin De Bruyne into the fold won’t hurt City’s chances at a three-peat, either.Liverpool, meanwhile, might not have added star power this summer, but it will have more depth. It made three signings of note, though none is expected to get much game time. Two — Dutch defender Sepp van den Berg and English winger Harvey Elliott — haven’t reached their 18th birthdays yet, and the other, former West Ham goalkeeper Adrian, will spend most of his days on the bench ready to deputize for Alisson Becker should catastrophe strike.The Reds will also return fully healthy versions of Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Adam Lallana, who should bolster an already-dominant midfield. Last season, only City was better than Liverpool in possession percentage in the middle third of the field. When each player was most recently healthy enough to play in 15 games or more during a season — Oxlade-Chamberlain in 2017-18 and Lallana in 2016-17 — they finished 21st and 22nd, respectively, among Premier League midfielders in terms of passing accuracy from the middle third to the final third. It’s unclear just how much they’ll factor into Klopp’s plans, but Oxlade-Chamberlain and Lallana’s ability to accurately progress the ball from the middle third to the final third could prove crucial for a Liverpool team that did so less efficiently than City last season.Less-than-perfect passing aside, Liverpool still finished the season with two of the league’s three shared Golden Boot winners in Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mané. Along with forward Roberto Firmino, the group forms one of the most prolific scoring trios in world soccer, combining for an astounding 113 goals in the past two seasons. Fuse Liverpool’s attacking prowess with its ability at the back — center back Virgil van Dijk is currently the bookmaker’s favorite to win the Ballon d’Or as the world’s best player, and Becker is the Premier League’s reigning Golden Glove winner — and it’s not hard to see why our model is high on the Reds.The next fourThe triumvirate of contenders in London all had very different summers in terms of personnel changes. Chelsea allowed malcontent manager Maurizio Sarri to return to Italy and pursue his dream job at the helm of Juventus and dealt playmaker Eden Hazard — its best player and among the best in the entire Premier League a year ago — to Real Madrid. In the wake of all that change, it hired club legend Frank Lampard, who’s only been a manager for one season, to steward the club into the future. And they’re hoping American wunderkind Christian Pulisic can fill Hazard’s shoes, a tall order.Don’t expect Pulisic, who played his last four seasons at Borussia Dortmund in the Bundesliga, to be a one-to-one replacement for Hazard, however. Like Hazard, Pulisic can play in just about any attacking role and can use both feet with near-equal ability. Unlike Hazard, Pulisic didn’t lead his league in passes made in the final third per 90 minutes last season, and the American didn’t even sniff Hazard’s passing accuracy. Pulisic is an excellent attacking option — Chelsea is lucky to have signed him before its transfer ban went into place — and he could certainly form exciting partnerships with the likes of Tammy Abraham and Callum Hudson-Odoi after the latter recovers from an Achilles injury. But a player like Hazard is irreplaceable.Unlike Chelsea, Tottenham didn’t end up selling any of its top talent this summer. Indeed, the Lilywhites went on a bit of a shopping spree instead, shelling out roughly $68 million for French defensive midfielder Tanguy Ndombele. The former Lyon man completed 89 percent of his passes in 2018-19, the 11th best rate per 90 minutes among midfielders in Ligue 1.At first glance, Ndombele’s game doesn’t look drastically different than that of Moussa Sissoko, one of Tottenham’s mainstays in midfield. Both are box-to-box midfielders responsible for interrupting the flow of the opposition’s attack and restarting the attack for his team. But everything Sissoko can do, Ndombele can do a little bit better. Ndombele outstripped Sissoko in chances created, assists, expected goals, interceptions per 90 minutes, pass percentage, passes in the final third per 90 minutes and key passes per 90 minutes. Ndombele also proved last season that he’s an elite dribbler among defensive midfielders. He led Ligue 1 defensive midfielders in dribbles per 90 minutes in the middle third of the field, and had the ninth-best success rate. His ability to beat opponents off the dribble, paired with his elite passing ability, will allow Ndombele to progress the ball forward toward Tottenham’s scorers.While some of Ndombele’s statistical superiority can perhaps be explained by the relatively weaker French league, Ndombele is also younger than his French compatriot and has room to keep improving. Either way, he and Sissoko should form a formidable partnership in the center of the field for Spurs this season.The Lilywhites will be a pleasure to watch with healthy versions of Harry Kane and Son Heung-min providing the scoring touch up front. But once again, uncertainty at each fullback position probably means they won’t challenge for the title.Things for the other team in North London look a bit better than they did last season, but only marginally. Arsenal hasn’t done anything to fix its back line: The shaky Shkodran Mustafi will probably be called upon to play lots of minutes in central defense, which is bad news for the Gunners, and former club captain Laurent Koscielny is now on the move to Bordeaux. They did add depth in the middle of the field and another scoring threat up front, securing the signatures of Spanish midfielder Dani Ceballos (on a one-year loan from Real Madrid) and French winger Nicolas Pépé, who shredded defenses in Ligue 1 with 22 goals last season.Ceballos could help shore up a midfield that finished fifth in possession rate in the middle of the field — which would be a good first step toward finishing in the top four of the table at the end of the season — and Pépé should add even more firepower to an attack that has only been outscored by City and Liverpool over the past two seasons. But Arsenal didn’t really need more scoring — Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang was joint top-scorer a season ago, and Alexandre Lacazette has netted 27 goals in his two seasons at Arsenal — so the Pépé move is a strange one.If Manchester United had one priority going into the summer transfer window, it was to improve its back line. The Red Devils conceded 54 goals in 2018-19, 31 more than City and 32 more than Liverpool. They addressed their defensive woes, getting right back Aaron Wan-Bissaka from Crystal Palace and center back Harry Maguire from Leicester City.The total bill for the two defenders comes out to roughly $160 million, but that’s hardly an issue for a club with near-inexhaustible resources. It’s unclear whether the new defenders can bring United back to the top of the Premiership, but United fans would probably settle for a top-four finish and some Champions League soccer in the meantime.Top challengers The top-six is almost always set in stone, but things could be shifting this season. Wolverhampton Wanderers, Leicester City, and, of course, Everton might be battling it out for the so-called Everton Cup,1For the uninitiated, the Everton Cup is a tongue-in-cheek reference to the seventh-place finisher in the Premier League. but they could also each realistically make a push for a top-six finish. The three challengers are all closer to Arsenal and Manchester United in SPI ratings than Arsenal and United are to Manchester City and Liverpool. All three clubs pulled off some key signings in the transfer window, but Everton might have had the most fruitful summer. Everton locked up André Gomes — among its best players a season ago — on a permanent basis and snatched versatile midfielder Fabian Delph away from Manchester City. And in one of the summer’s biggest shocks, Everton managed to bring in 19-year-old Juventus and Italy starlet Moise Kean.Delph found minutes difficult to come by on a stacked City team last season, but he should expect to play a more important role for the Toffees, especially now that Everton has sold Idrissa Gueye to Paris Saint-Germain. And if Kean continues to develop, he, Gylfi Sigurðsson and Richarlison could form a lethal strike team.Wolverhampton wasn’t as active as Everton. It signed top-scorer Raúl Jiménez to a permanent deal and gave the Mexican forward some cover up front, signing Italian forward Patrick Cutrone from AC Milan. Cutrone had a down season in Serie A in 2018-19, but scored 10 goals in 2017-18 as a 19 year old. With Jiménez, Diogo Jota and Rúben Neves, Wolves already have a potent attack. If Cutrone regains some of the form he showed as a teenager, Wolverhampton may find itself contending for the top six.As good as the summer has been for Everton and Wolves, something truly special could be happening at Leicester City. Losing Maguire hurts, but everywhere else you look on the Leicester roster you see talent. Jamie Vardy can’t stop scoring; James Maddison has shades of a young David Beckham; new signing Ayoze Pérez is a proven goal-scoring commodity; the 22-year-old Youri Tielemans is already among the league’s best midfielders and has signed on a permanent basis; Ben Chilwell likes to get forward and ranks among the top five left backs in passes made into the final third of the field, and passes made in the final third of the field; Wilfred Ndidi, Harvey Barnes and Demarai Gray all played key roles for the Foxes last season, and none of them are older than 23.The last time Leicester City had a team of sneaky-good youngsters — Mahrez, N’Golo Kanté, Jeffrey Schlupp and Gray — and wily veterans, they won the damn Premier League as a miracle longshot. City and Liverpool’s excellence mean something that magical probably won’t happen again any time soon, but it wouldn’t be shocking if Leicester made a push for the top six — or even the top four.The newcomers It’s always hard to judge how newly promoted teams will perform in the Premier League. It could go the way of Wolverhampton, which finished the 2018-19 campaign in seventh place, just 9 points behind sixth-place Manchester United. Or it could go the way of Fulham, which was relegated after winning just seven games and conceding a ludicrous 81 goals.Among this season’s three newcomers, Aston Villa is the highest-rated team in SPI and the best suited for top-tier success. The Villans possess the best player of these three teams in attacking midfielder Jack Grealish. Grealish is club captain and a lifelong Villa fan, and he was one of the best passers in the final third of the field in the Championship last season: Grealish made the third-most passes in the final third per 90 minutes, and he completed those passes at the third-highest clip.When Grealish missed two months with a shin injury, Villa floundered near the middle of the table. When Grealish came back from that injury, Villa went on a 10-game winning streak during which they outscored opponents 23-5, rocketing up the table into a playoff position and eventually into the Premier League. Villa isn’t just Grealish, of course — they brought in 12 new players, including former Burnley goalie Tom Heaton, and let go of 14 others — but keeping their star healthy will be key to their success.Norwich City’s hopes rest on the shoulders of a 29-year-old Finn named Teemu Pukki. The Canaries’ hitman torched Championship defenses for 29 goals last season, a tally good enough to earn him the Golden Boot. If the Finn keeps up his hot form, Norwich could stave off elimination. But if Pukki goes as cold as his native Kotka in winter, the Canaries might find themselves back in the Championship as quickly as they left it.This leaves us with Sheffield United. The Blades haven’t played Premier League soccer since they spent a single season at the top level in 2006-07. (Prior to that, the last time Sheffield United competed in the Premier League was the 1993-94 season.) In fact, Sheffield United spent six seasons in League One, from 2011-12 to 2016-17, so this leap will feel especially big. The bookmakers and our model both think Sheffield United has the best odds of getting relegated.Even if that does happen, at least club legend Billy Sharp — who has scored more Football League goals in this century than any other player — is finally getting a shot to prove himself in the Premier League.2He had a two-game stint with Southampton in 2012-13, but nothing came of it. The Sheffield-born striker will have played with them in three levels of the English pyramid when the season kicks off in Bournemouth on Saturday. Sharp is a true poacher who has scored 227 league goals in his career thus far, but his most important goals are still in front of him. If Sheffield is to stay up, it will be because Sharp had the season of his life.Check out our latest soccer predictions.
May 15, 2018 Steve Bosh 00:00 00:00 spaceplay / pause qunload | stop ffullscreenshift + ←→slower / faster ↑↓volume mmute ←→seek . seek to previous 12… 6 seek to 10%, 20% … 60% XColor SettingsAaAaAaAaTextBackgroundOpacity SettingsTextOpaqueSemi-TransparentBackgroundSemi-TransparentOpaqueTransparentFont SettingsSize||TypeSerif MonospaceSerifSans Serif MonospaceSans SerifCasualCursiveSmallCapsResetSave SettingsSAN DIEGO (KUSI) – KUSI has learned the city and Port of San Diego have signed an agreement with developer 5th Avenue Landing to acquire a parcel of land next to the Convention Center.This opens the way for the long-stalled expansion on the Convention Center if it gets voter approval in November.Many have viewed this move as unconstitutional because the financing was a hotelier-approved room tax.The court ruled a tax increase has to be approved by the voters.Since then, 5th Avenue Landing went forward with plans to build two hotels, two acres of public plazas, a promenade and a rooftop garden plaza.An expansion could not occur without that 5-acre parcel. As the city moved to regain control of the land, 5th Avenue sued the city, saying it was interfering with its lease contract, which ends six years from now.A series of negotiations followed and Tuesday, KUSI learned a deal had been signed.Mayor Kevin Faulconer released the following statement regarding Fifth Avenue Landing:The City continues to be in confidential mediation with the Port and Fifth Avenue Landing, LLC. A settlement would be subject to approval by the City Council in a public hearing prior to becoming final.That deal, we’re told, will cost taxpayers upwards of $30 million. Updated: 2:50 PM Steve Bosh, Posted: May 15, 2018 With this deal done, one more big hurdle remains: getting it on the ballot and convincing the voters to approve the “Yes for a Better San Diego” initiative.To sweeten this for the voters, the initiative includes funds for the homeless.“Once this initiative is passed, in the first five years, the initiative will dedicate about $150 million for homelessness,” said Joe Terzi, president and CEO of the San Diego Tourism Authority.However, the city says this remains in confidential mediation with the Port and 5th Avenue Landing. A settlement would be subject to approval by the council in a public hearing prior to becoming final.“In addition to the other benefits we heard about today, this measure has the potential to provide for much-needed housing programs for those experiencing homelessness,” said Deacon Jim of Father Joe’s Villages.The initiative is in the signature gathering phase for the November ballot.Expansion will generate 7,000 jobs and $40 million of economic impact annually.Richard Disbrow heads the Union of Workers at the Convention Center. He said it will double the number of jobs at the Convention Center.“This citizens’ initiative is a once in a lifetime opportunity to spur job growth in one of our city’s most important industries,” he said.The big hoteliers are funding the signature drive and are paying a premium to get this on the ballot.But even the smaller hotels will benefit by the overflow of visitors for large conventions, which hadn’t come here for lack of space.For Elvin Lai, owner of a small hotel in Pacific Beach, it’s about jobs and the economy.“The ‘Yes for a better San Diego!’ initiative will infuse more than $40 into our local economy,” Lai said. “We are supporting it, we hope every San Diegan will get out and vote, this is a great opportunity to produce economic benefits for San Diego.”The other incentive for voters is that the tax increase will not fall on them. It will be paid by the visitors to San Diego and the visitor industry is generating record numbers. San Diego Convention Center to expand? Categories: Local San Diego News FacebookTwitter
Twitter The hip-hop legend recently shared she is working on a new album dropping next year, 14 years after her last LP, ‘The Cookbook.’ What can we expect?Ana YglesiasGRAMMYs Oct 9, 2018 – 5:34 pm The GRAMMY-winning superstar Missy Elliott has been an influential powerhouse for years, making a name for herself starting with her successful debut album Supa Dupa Fly in 1997, featuring her classic jam “Sock It 2 Me.” Since then she released five more studio albums and countless hit singles and collabs, although her last LP was 2005’s The Cookbook. She has released some juicy, one-off singles and has been on some hot features over the past 13 years, but the world is ready for more Missy. Luckily, she is ready to give the world what it wants, teasing a 2019 LP in a recent social media post. What can we expect? Missy Elliott Is Ready To Get The World Dancing Again Facebook The rap pioneer recently took to Twitter to announce that she’s ready to “get y’all a**es dancing again,” hinting she’ll have new music for us in 2019. The tweet featured a clip of a new unreleased track of hers called “Cool Off,” which sounds like it will be a dancefloor-ready banger. Five days before that post, in another tweet, she touched on why it’s been so long since she’s put out an album. “For so long I was hesitant to put out music in fear no one would get it because people said music has changed & my sound been so different,” she shares. “But now I’m like hey, bump it make music that feels good to me, let me get y’all a**es dancing again.”We are ready, Missy. Ready for whatever new jams you have been cooking up. She raps on the sneak peek of “Cool Off, “Missy in this b***h/doing s**t you ain’t ever seen.” I think we’re ready to see it, but for now we will have to hope for whatever magic the hip-hop queen has been preparing for us.We hope her and longtime friend and collaborator Timbaland have been spending at least some time in the studio together so that he can add his magic, futuristic touch through producing at least a few songs on her upcoming album. The list of Elliott’s Timbaland-produced classics is nearly endless, including “Sock It 2 Me” and “The Rain (Supa Dupa Fly)” from her debut Supa Dupa Fly, “One Minute Man” and “Get Ur Freak On” from Miss E…So Addictive and “Work It” and “Gossip Folks” from Under Construction. It is hard to deny how amazing and dynamic the music they put out together is, with his forward thinking production bringing her sound to the next level every time.Timbaland was the lead producer on all of her studio albums other than her sixth, which he played a smaller role on, and they were working on her seventh album set to release in 2008, along with Pharrell and others on production, until, after delays, the album was never released. Pharrell and Elliott eventually released two singles in 2012 “9th Inning” and “Triple Threat,” both of which featured classic slow-jam/future-sound Timbaland beats along with his vocals.Two years later, in 2015, Elliott teamed up with Pharrell to release the viral hit “WTF (Where They From),” a booty-bouncing, highly danceable track featuring the producer’s catchy, joyful beats, as well as some verses from him as well. We can only hope and pray Elliott’s latest studio sessions have and will include both GRAMMY-winning mastermind producers to keep lifting her amazing flow and bold presence to the next level with joyous, future-ready beats.Elliott has always confidently pushed the envelope and set the tone for what it means to be a female hip-hop artist in the male-dominated industry. There is no doubt that she will keep bringing her unique brand of sexy, empowered, independent female to the table in her new music. This year she has already given us a taste of that on the remix of Ciara’s girl power track “Level Up.” The two celebrate their greatness as women, recognizing they won’t settle for less than they deserve, with Elliott confidently rapping, “Original, no klepto’/ Got a new flow, got a new glow./Level up, I’m beautiful/My a**, bounce like a yo-yo.”The remix of the GRAMMY-winning R&B star’s recent single reunites the pair, along with Fatman Scoop, the three of whom collabed on “Lose Control,” the biggest—and still classic dance-inducing jam—single from Elliott’s The Cookbook. Elliott is also featured on “borderline,” a bouncy, shiny Pharrell-produced song on Ariana Grande’s Sweetener, released this August.We can only hope these recent features point to some heavy doses of female-empowerment, along with some unexpected yet heavy-hitting, female-dominated collabs on Elliott’s 2019 album. The cherry on top that would tie it all together would have to be provided by Timbaland and Pharrell’s powerhouse production skills. We will wait patiently and practice our dance moves until then.Madonna Is Working Hard On New Album: “These Dark Circles Are For All My Fans”Read more https://twitter.com/MissyElliott/status/1048779346369032192 News Email Missy Elliott Will Get The World Dancing in 2019 missy-elliott-ready-get-world-dancing-again
Share your voice Tags The hardest thing about having your DNA sequenced is generating a teaspoon’s worth of spit.They don’t tell you this in the marketing materials for your typical at-home DNA test kit, but producing enough saliva to fill a pen-sized tube up to its high spit mark is hard work — and strangely nerve-wracking, too.I sneak into an unused meeting room, chewing on air to generate slobber. The kit has two tubes. One, now full of my spit, and a second smaller tube with a chemical mix that stabilizes DNA. After uniting the two tubes, I stick the pale blue spit-mix into a box and mail it off to AncestryDNA, the genetics arm of the world’s largest genealogy company, Ancestry.In 2012 Ancestry launched the AncestryDNA service, which provides paying users the ability to build a timeline of their genes, search for relatives and understand what geographic regions their DNA originates from. Ancestry has sold 14 million kits since launch, and the number continues to grow as curious consumers turn to DNA to unravel their histories. The AncestryDNA kit Chris Linton So it’s not just me caught up in this craze — search for “Ancestry DNA results” on YouTube and you’ll find an entire subculture propped up by enthusiastic explorers probing their genetic histories. There’s a whole genre of evening TV dedicated to analyzing the family histories of the rich and famous. Over the last two years many DNA kit manufacturers have begun marketing their products as “perfect gifts.” In the 2018 Thanksgiving period, AncestryDNA broke its November sales record. Your DNA story has become this year’s hottest Christmas gift! Consumer genealogy tests have become big business practically overnight. Why are we so interested in finding out the secrets of our DNA?”I think the major appeal of DNA testing is to find out something new about us,” says Caitlin Curtis, a population geneticist at the University of Queensland. That’s certainly true for me, at least. My first thought is what revelations my spit might teach me about myself. But in the quest for answers, do we truly understand what kind of information we’re giving up?Related: The best DNA testing kits for 2019 Digging into your DNAThe almost unfathomable complexity of all life on Earth, from bacteria to humans, relies on DNA, but the DNA code itself is made up of just four letters: A, T, C and G.These letters, known as bases, always pair together the same way — A with T, C with G. The order in which these letters are arranged is what makes us different and gives us our unique traits. And because we hand parts of our DNA from parent to offspring, it also links us to the past. We just need to be able to “read” it and put all those bases in order. This is known as DNA sequencing. In the future, not even your DNA will be sacred Genealogy site credited with helping ID Golden State Killer suspect Best DNA Ancestry Testing Kits Now playing: Watch this: The genealogy craze 8 7:06 DNA data storage could solve a big problem Comments Who does that data belong to? It can be confusing, especially when these companies make deals with huge corporations to share their data.”I believe that there is an ethical obligation for these companies to be very upfront, honest and explain in simple terms to people what might happen to their data after they take a test, but that is not always the case,” says Curtis.AncestryDNA’s terms and conditions state that it “does not claim any ownership rights in the DNA submitted for testing” but by submitting a sample you effectively “grant AncestryDNA … a royalty-free, worldwide, sublicensable, transferable license to host, transfer, process, analyze, distribute, and communicate your Genetic Information for the purposes of providing you products and services.”It may be my DNA, but how it’s used in the future is something that AncestryDNA decides. However, there is a failsafe. The nuke-it-all option.”It’s your data, you should be able to do with it what you want,” Starr says. “If you decide at some point that you don’t want us to have it anymore, you can tell us to delete it and you can even tell us to destroy the DNA sample.”DNA as data”The biggest danger with handing control of your DNA data is the potential for discrimination based on that information,” says Curtis.Now that even our DNA is being digitized and stored in the infinite online filing cabinet of the World Wide Web, we must confront a reality in which our own genetic makeup can be hacked, stolen or used against us.”There are some parallels to broader conversations around how to govern our personal digital data online – and the possibility for it to be used in unanticipated ways in the future,” she continues.When we began signing up, en masse, for social media services such as Facebook and Twitter over a decade ago, we blindly shared our best baby photos and snarkiest thoughts with reckless abandon. Little did we know our personal data was being siphoned off insidiously and then used to target us in ad campaigns. And that data is still being generated and used today — Facebook gets to know exactly who we are in a matter of months. A cautionary tale, it would seem, considering genealogy testing has undergone rapid growth in the last two years. And though the science is getting better, the regulations and potential pitfalls are becoming harder to nail down.”It’s a complicated issue because in some countries there is protection against discrimination, and in some countries there are very few laws about what you can do with genetic data,” explains Curtis. In the US, the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act of 2008 prevents health insurers and employers from discriminating against you based on your genetic profile. However, in Australia, insurance companies can discriminate based on the results of a DNA test, increasing premiums or completely excluding coverage for certain diseases.Cool. Cool cool cool. Almost none of this research was done before I spat into a tube six or seven weeks ago, and now I realize my nerves weren’t about how much spittle I could produce. I jangled because I was diving headfirst into a world I thought I understood, but actually knew hardly anything about. There were voices gnawing at my subconscious. A devil on one shoulder, an angel on the other. One quietly trying to tell me that it’s kind of weird to give a private, multinational company access to the immutable information that can be used to identify me — and only me. The other saying “what can you lose?”You already know which one I listened to. I click through ready to solve this admittedly feeble personal mystery. But there are no shocking revelations. I end up with an ethnicity estimate that puts my DNA origins at 55 percent England, Wales and Northwestern Europe and 44 percent Ireland and Scotland.However, there’s also a zero to 1 percent chance my DNA comes from a region in West Africa that AncestryDNA pegs as relating to “Benin/Togo.” Surprising to me, but not unusual, according to Starr.”A 0-1 percent would say there might be something interesting here, but there might not,” he says. A result such as this might “fall out” in the future, as AncestryDNA’s databases continue to be refined by additional samples and research programs. My ethnicity estimate is only one half of the picture, however, because I can also look at my DNA matches, which directly correlates my DNA with that of other users in Ancestry’s database. In my case, it throws up two matches that AncestryDNA classes as “second cousins” — pretty close relatives of mine, according to my genes.I’ve never seen these people.And this is a caveat for the AncestryDNA kit. Your DNA might kick up matches with people you’ve never seen before, but if you want to fit them into your family tree, you need to subscribe to the other side of the Ancestry business to pore over how you might, potentially, be related to one another. My ethnicity estimate had me at a 0 to 1 percent chance of having genetic heritage in Benin/Togo Jackson Ryan Digital DNA trailIn January, Buzzfeed News reported that FamilyTreeDNA, another huge provider of at-home DNA kits, had given the FBI access to its database of over a million profiles. The company provides the FBI with the ability to upload genetic profiles from crime scenes to FamilyTree’s database, which may aid them in genetically hunting down criminals. However, FamilyTree didn’t notify users that their genetic information might be used this way before giving the FBI access. And while there have been high-profile, beneficial uses for law enforcement — the apprehension in 2018 of a suspect in the Golden State Killer case, for example — it does raise issues about how this highly personal information may be shared in the future. Particularly concerning is the idea that you don’t even have to share your own DNA data for it to become searchable because your third cousin has already uploaded their own profile. It’s your data, you should be able to do with it what you want. Barry Starr The technology to perform this task has improved dramatically over the last two decades, driving the costs of DNA sequencing down from $10,000 in 2011 to $1,000 in 2017, according to the US National Human Genome Research Institute. Those advances have trickled through to the commercial sector, allowing a myriad of companies, from startups to huge public organizations, to develop their own at-home DNA testing kits.Kits provide customers with an estimation of their genetic histories, ancestries and even potential health issues they might run into. But going from a saliva sample to a genetic history solution is a complex process involving overwhelming amounts of data and statistical analyses that often confound more than they clarify. “There is a general lack of knowledge about how the whole process of ancestry testing works,” Curtis says. “People’s perceptions of the results might be different from the way a genetic scientist might interpret the results.”I’m pretty well versed in the complexities of molecular biology, but after sending my spittle away I become acutely aware that I have no idea how AncestryDNA’s test works. I know it’ll give me an “ethnicity estimate” and tell me my “DNA story,” but beyond the marketing buzzwords I’m in the dark.Science, math and dataAncestryDNA uses a database that contains more than 16,000 reference DNA samples from 43 regions around the world. About 12,000 of these samples come from Ancestry users who opt in and allow the company to use their DNA for research purposes, while the remaining reference samples come from public databases such as the 1000 Genomes Project.”We find people with long family histories from a certain part of the world and we analyze their DNA, and their DNA becomes, by definition, 100 percent from the region” says Barry Starr, director of scientific communications at AncestryDNA. The science of it is complex: The procedure splits up a DNA sample into 1,001 different “windows,” as Starr calls them. All up, those 1,001 windows look at approximately 700,000 spots in the DNA code. When you take the test, every window is compared to the 1,001 windows in a reference sample, and that occurs for each of AncestryDNA’s 43 regions.If 500 of those windows match, say, a Canadian region, then by AncestryDNA’s definition, I am 50 percent Canadian. Sci-Tech “It really is cutting-edge science, and as the field advances we advance with it and so provide updates to consumers when we have made changes based on the progression of the science,” says Starr.CNET rates AncestryDNA as having one of the best kits available, in large part thanks to its huge database. But testing doesn’t just rely on database size — where the data comes from is also important. Almost 75 percent of AncestryDNA’s ethnic regions skew toward European descent, so detailed estimates of ethnicity from other regions is difficult to obtain at present. A study, published in Nature in 2016, suggested that the scientific inquiry into genomes was also suffering from bias.With fewer reference samples from both consumers and scientific research available in regions of Africa and Asia, accurate estimates for genetic heritage in those locations are more prone to error. “Everyone started out in Africa, and a small set of them moved out of Africa and colonized the world,” explains Starr. “The genetic diversity within Africa is huge compared to the rest of the world, which means you need larger reference panels.”And the results of different genealogy tests may show marked differences. For instance, 23AndMe, a rival genealogy company based in California, has a more extensive catalogue of East Asian regions than AncestryDNA. Providing DNA samples to both companies could lead to completely different ethnicity estimates. It’s not that your DNA has changed — but the different databases and algorithms used to calculate it have. Ian Knighton/CNET My DNA storyI’m not exactly sure where I come from.An educated guess would say this impressively pale skin hails from a region localized entirely within Britain. There could be some Scottish in there. Maybe a hint of Irish, too. I don’t think there’s lots of room for suspense or intrigue here.Four weeks after I spat in a tube, my email chimes. Your AncestryDNA results are in!