As I mentioned earlier today, GeneTree has been redesigned, and actually launched this morning. There is a FAQ page, and a new blog. There’s also an extensive Press Room, with logos and screen shots – one of the most impressive I’ve ever seen.
So what is GeneTree? According to the FAQ:
“GeneTree is a family history sharing site created to help people everywhere understand how their personal stories belong within the framework of the greater human genetic story â€“ by discovering their genetic heritage and identity, connecting and collaborating with living relatives, and sharing meaningful information and perspective through personal stories, photos, video and documents.”
I’m sure there will be a lot of media coverage today and over the course of the week, but here is an article at Computerworld. Following is the official press release:
Sorenson Companies Launch GeneTree, a Unique Genetic-Genealogy Social Networking Web Site
â€˜You Belong Hereâ€™ Is Motto of New Web Site that Provides Unrivaled Tools and Resources for Millions of People Who Are Researching and Sharing Their Genealogies Online. New Type of Family History Networking Site Includes DNA Profiles and Worldâ€™s Largest Genetic-Genealogy Database, Along with Interactive Family Trees, Video-, Photo-, Audio-Sharing, and More.
SALT LAKE CITY (Oct. 23, 2007)â€”The Sorenson family of companies, an innovative group of enterprises founded by biotech billionaire James LeVoy Sorenson and son James Lee Sorenson, today announced the launch of GeneTree, a new type of family history networking Web site that empowers users with tools and resources to unlock the extensive ancestral information contained within their DNA. GeneTree (GeneTree.com) will allow millions of people to discover their deep family history connections and share meaningful family information and experiences with the worldwide Internet community.
Traditional family history Web sites are already plentiful, and genealogy research is often cited as the second most-popular use of the Internet. But GeneTree is unique because it integrates genetic genealogy with innovative digital media software. The result is a suite of powerful tools to discover and document family history, helping individuals answer the age-old question, â€œWho am I?â€
GeneTree taps into the expertise of several Sorenson enterprises in the forefront of the technologies this new category of Web site links together. Sorenson Media developed the worldâ€™s leading digital video compression and encoding software that has been installed on more than 1.2 billion computers. The Sorenson Molecular Genealogy Foundation (SMGF), a non-profit research organization, operates the worldâ€™s largest repository of correlated genetic and genealogy information. GeneTree will tie into the SMGF database that currently contains information on more than 6 million ancestors through linked genetic and pedigree data from approximately 90 percent of the worldâ€™s countries. Sorenson Genomics, which pioneered Web-based consumer genetic testing, will perform the DNA analysis.
On GeneTree, users can connect with family and friends and preserve their family histories using rich media and social networking technologies. Participants collaborate on assembling detailed family histories with powerful, easy-to-use software for building family trees and by sharing digital media and memories. Users can choose to have their DNA tested and then map those results with the Web siteâ€™s worldwide genetic genealogy collection and thereby discover portions of their deep ancestral histories that predate written records. Those who elect to have genetic analysis done may choose from several types of mitochondrial DNA tests ranging in price from $99-$149.
â€œWe are saying â€˜You belong hereâ€™ to the millions of people in the multi-generational Internet community who are interested in exploring and collaborating on their personal and family histories,â€ said James Lee Sorenson, GeneTree CEO. â€œGeneTree provides a fun and compelling way to interact with friends and extended family while leaving the priceless legacy of a richly documented family history. The combination of powerful genetic genealogy resources and easy-to-use digital media sharing tools will make this Web site an important part of peopleâ€™s online lives. In addition, GeneTree will expand the concept of family for each new user who joins.â€
The relatedness testing services provided by the division of Sorenson Genomics formerly named GeneTree will now be offered through Identigene (www.identigene.com), which was recently acquired by Sorenson Genomics.
GeneTree (www.genetree.com) is a DNA-enabled family history-sharing Web site designed to help people understand where their personal histories belong within the greater human genetic story. GeneTree creates opportunities for unlocking human genetic heritage, discovering ancestors, connecting and collaborating with living relatives, and sharing rich media to help discover, document and preserve family histories. GeneTree was developed by the Sorenson family of companies and draws on the expertise of the Sorenson Molecular Genealogy Foundation, a nonprofit organization that developed the world’s foremost collection of genetic-genealogy information; Sorenson Media, which created of the world’s leading digital video compression software; and Sorenson Genomics, which pioneered Internet-based consumer DNA testing.