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Ancestry.com Enters DNA Genealogy Field Through Exclusive Partnership With Sorenson Genomics, LLC


6/18/2007 11:25:57 AM

PROVO, Utah, June 18 /PRNewswire/ -- A new partnership seeks to reunite families through science. The Generations Network, parent company of Ancestry.com, has announced it will combine its unrivaled collection of online family trees and historical documents with Sorenson Genomics' precision ancestral DNA testing. This unique partnership promises to revolutionize family history by allowing people to trace their roots and connect to distant cousins through DNA at the click of a mouse.

Ancestry.com boasts more than 14 million users and the world's largest collection of online family trees. In the last 12 months alone, more than two million people have built family trees on Ancestry.com. Sorenson Genomics is one of the world's foremost laboratories for genetic genealogy testing services, and has been helping genealogists extend branches of their family trees through DNA analysis since 2001.

"Entering the DNA category is a natural and powerful extension of our company's mission to connect families across distance and time," said Tim Sullivan, CEO of The Generations Network. "Our partnership with Sorenson Genomics creates an incredible combination of resources designed to demonstrate how closely we are all related."

By taking a simple cheek-swab test and comparing results against DNA profiles in a test-results database, virtually anyone can uncover genealogical associations unimaginable just a few years ago. Users can easily connect with and discover lost or unknown relatives within a few generations, as well as gain insight into where their families originated thousands of years ago.

In the coming months, Ancestry.com will release technology that captures DNA test results in an ever-expanding, searchable database. Using this database, users can easily identify distant cousins and tap into thousands of hours of already-completed genetic genealogical research, breaking through family tree dead-ends or barriers such as missing or inaccurate records and name changes. Ancestry.com is also developing technology that will allow users to integrate DNA results with the historical documents already in their online family trees.

"DNA research becomes more meaningful to people searching for relatives as more peoples' DNA results become part of the database," said Doug Fogg, COO of Sorenson Genomics. "By combining the powerful networking effect of Ancestry.com's extensive user base with Sorenson Genomics' industry-leading DNA testing capabilities, this partnership will dramatically alter and expand the DNA testing services marketplace."

Prior to the current partnership, Sorenson Genomics provided DNA testing and database matching services through its direct-to-consumer genetic genealogy division Relative Genetics. This new partnership agreement brings former customers of Relative Genetics and its DNA database under The Generations Network's umbrella. Sorenson Genomics will now provide DNA testing services for The Generations Network, and Ancestry.com will market DNA testing and database-matching services for genealogy purposes. Results of the Relative Genetics' DNA database will be included in Ancestry.com's growing database.

About Ancestry.com

With 24,000 searchable databases and titles, Ancestry.com is the No. 1 online source for family history information. Since its launch in 1997, Ancestry.com has been the premier resource for family history, simplifying genealogical research for millions of people by providing them with many easy-to-use tools and resources to build their own unique family trees. The site is home to the only complete online U.S. Federal Census collection, 1790-1930, as well as the world's largest online collection of U.S. ship passenger list records featuring more than 100 million names, 1820-1960. Ancestry.com is part of The Generations Network, Inc., a leading network of family-focused interactive properties, including MyFamily.com, Rootsweb.com, Genealogy.com and Family Tree Maker. In total, The Generations Network properties receive 10.4 million unique visitors worldwide and over 450 million page views a month ((C) comScore Media Metrix, March 2007).

About Sorenson Genomics

Sorenson Genomics (http://www.sorensongenomics.com) is a best-in-class genetic testing laboratory certified to ISO 17025 and accredited by the American Association of Blood Banks. It was the world's first laboratory accredited for genetic genealogy testing services. A pioneer in the relatively new science of genetic genealogy, Sorenson Genomics has provided genetic testing solutions to help genealogists extend branches of family trees since 2001. The company administered the DNA testing for PBS's widely acclaimed series "African American Lives," which traced the roots of icons Oprah Winfrey, Spike Lee, Whoopi Goldberg, Quincy Jones and others. Through its independent business units GeneTree and Sorenson Forensics, Sorenson Genomics provides a wide spectrum of contract services to clients throughout the world, including DNA extraction and purification; DNA sequencing and genotyping; forensic DNA casework; disaster victim identification; ancestral and population assessment, and custom test development.

Ancestry.com

CONTACT: Julia Burgon, +1-212-221-1616, ext. 124,julia_burgon@coltrin.com, or Tola St. Matthew-Daniel, +1-212-221-1616, ext.101, tola@coltrin.com, both of Coltrin & Associates, for Ancestry.com; orDavid Parkinson of Sorenson Genomics, +1-801-971-2450,david@sorensoncompanies.com


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