MyHeritage.com has now implemented its live DNA matching technology. With over 84 million members worldwide, this is a major development in the matching of DNA technology over a broad spectrum of potential matches. The announcement was made in a blog post entitled, "DNA Matching Now Live." Here is the substance of the announcement.
As promised, our DNA Matching is completely free and will remain free for those who have already uploaded their DNA test results. If you have taken a DNA test (with test providers like Family Tree DNA, 23andMe or Ancestry), or have DNA test results from other family members, and have not uploaded them to MyHeritage yet, we recommend that you hurry up and upload the DNA data now. If you do, you will still enjoy free DNA Matching on MyHeritage forever. Follow these simple instructions to export your raw DNA data from the service you tested with and import this data to MyHeritage.The important news in this announcement is that MyHeritage can read and compare DNA tests from different vendors. So you can upload the results of your own DNA test and have it compared to others on MyHeritage.com family trees. Here is a detailed explanation of the process.
All people share about 99.5% of their DNA sequence in common, and only within the remaining 0.5% are the genetic differences that make people different from one another. These differences are expressed in the order of genetic information called base pairs along a strand of DNA. Current DNA technologies utilized for genealogy are not a full sequence of the entire genome, which contains more than 3 billion base pairs, but a smaller sample that reads about 700,000 specific locations (single nucleotide polymorphisms, or SNPs) in the genome, that are known to be highly variable and part of the differentiating 0.5%. This is true for current autosomal DNA tests which are the main tests available on the market today. Different vendors of autosomal DNA tests for genealogy have developed different chips that each read a slightly different set of about 700,000 SNPs. MyHeritage has created and refined the capability to read the DNA data files that you can export from all main vendors and bring them to the same common ground, a process that is called imputation. Thanks to this capability — which is accomplished with very high accuracy —MyHeritage can, for example, successfully match the DNA of an Ancestry customer (utilizing the recent version 2 chip) with the DNA of a 23andMe customer utilizing 23andMe's current chip, which is their version 4. We can also match either one of them to any Family Tree DNA customer, or match any customers who have used earlier versions of those chips. This gives MyHeritage's DNA Matching a unique edge: it allows anyone who tested on these other services to upload the DNA data to MyHeritage for free, and get unique matches that they would not receive with the service they tested with, or potentially anywhere else. This doesn't mean that MyHeritage will have more matches or better matches than other services — but it ensures that users will get value from the free matching service on MyHeritage, because they will receive matches they cannot get elsewhere, at no cost. About 61% of the 190 million DNA matches already available on MyHeritage right now are cross-vendor matches, so there are already many interesting unique matches to review, and many more will be found once our new service grows in popularity.
DNA Matching compares the DNA data of all individuals uploaded to MyHeritage to each other. Its goal is to find matches based on shared DNA. Your DNA matches are people who are highly likely to be your relatives (close or distant) because there are significant similarities between their DNA and yours. If two people have the same ancestor, they may have some identical DNA that they inherited from that ancestor and that DNA is shared between them and can reveal the relationship between them. As an example, if you and your match share 50% of your DNA, then you probably have a parent/child relationship, or you might be full siblings. That might come as no surprise if you deliberately tested yourself and your parent, but may be a life-changing positive experience if you were adopted and are searching for a biological parent, and you suddenly get a 50% match. Similarly, DNA can find your cousins, 2nd cousins, and even your 4th cousins or further, and the characteristics of the DNA that you have in common can shed light on the nature of the family connection.It should be clear that MyHeritage is not selling DNA testing, they are providing a free matching service as part of your MyHeritage subscription. You can see if you have any DNA matches in the Discovery tab as you can see from the following.
MyHeritage displays the matches in a new page called DNA Matches, in the Discoveries tab. This page lists all the DNA Matches, sorted by the amount of shared DNA, so closest relatives will be listed first. The page lists the top 500 matches. Keep in mind that DNA Matches listed at the very bottom who share very little to almost no DNA with you could be the result of identity by state rather than identity by descent. This is a technical way of saying that these are false positives and the DNA they share with you is a result of coincidence. Starting with 3rd cousins and going further, you should take DNA Matches with a grain of salt and look for additional pieces of information as an indication on whether a family connection exists (such as shared surnames or similar geographical locations between their family tree and yours).
For every match listed, the page displays basic information about the person who matched your DNA, the possible relationship(s) between you and that person as implied by the DNA characteristics, information about the DNA Match quality, and family tree details if your match has a family tree.Please see the post about viewing the details of the matches and contacting other users.