cri-genetics-ancestry

CRI Genetics review – A new approach to ancestry analysis?

Rating based on our CRI Genetics review

7 facts from our CRI Genetics review

  1. CRI Genetics location: USA
  2. Products: DNA testing with health and ancestry reporting; reporting based on a novel method for calculating ancestry
  3. Result delivery: results delivered as PDF over email, typically within 6-8 weeks
  4. Data access: download of raw DNA data is possible
  5. Privacy: data not deleted per default, users must email the customer service
  6. Cost: $99-$199
  7. Alternatives: Nebula Genomics (free options available; deep ancestry reporting; whole genome sequencing for $299), MyTrueAncestry (free – $397), 23andMe ($99 – $499), AncestryDNA ($99 – $149), MyHeritage (free – $199)

Introduction

CRI Genetics (crigenetics.com) is a DNA testing company founded in 2016. The founders of CRI Genetics — or Cellular Research Institute Genetics — are Larissa and Alexei Fedorov. Both are professors at the University of Toledo. Alexei received his post-doctoral training under Walter Gilbert, a Harvard professor and Nobel Laureate working on DNA sequencing. The company employs a team of geneticists, anthropologists, and social scientists. CRI Genetics seeks to enlighten users with easy-to-understand DNA ancestry analysis. Read more in our CRI Genetics review!

Review of CRI Genetic tests

In this section of our CRI Genetics review, we will briefly introduce the genetic tests offered by CRI Genetics. Much like companies such as Nebula Genomics and 23andMe, it offers ancestry testing and reporting. To this end, it uses swab kits to collect DNA samples. Using their founder’s patented DNA analysis algorithm, it provides a variety of different reports.

Ancestry ($99)

The primary offering is an Ancestry Report. We will discuss this report in more detail later in our CRI Genetics review. This bundle of reports has  several features:

  • Ancestry Timeline Report – This report claims to take users back 50 generations. It tells users where their ancestors used to live, as well as when they lived there.
  • Dual BioGeographical Ancestry Reports – A “research-grade estimation of your genetic ancestry, regardless of culture.” This report gives a percentage breakdown of users’ ancestry based on 4 different classifications.

Ancestry + Health ($199)

CRI Genetics also offers a larger bundle of reports. This expanded DNA reporting bundle includes every ancestral report, as well as several health reports. The following categories of DNA health reporting are included:

  • Health – Includes analyses such as “Caffeine Metabolism, Alcohol Flush, and Insulin Resistance.”
  • Allergies – Includes analyses such as “Egg, Dog, Peanut, and Grass Allergies.”
  • Nutrition – Includes analyses such as “Protein Dieting, Fat Storage, Exercise Weight, and Food Craving.”
  • Vitamin – Includes analyses such as “Vitamin C, Vitamin D, Iron Deficiency, and Zinc Deficiency.”
  • Traits – Includes analyses such as “Earwax, Asparagus Smell, Red Hair Color, Sun Sensitivity.”

All CRI Genetics products come with an “8-week Efficiency” money-back guarantee. If users do not receive their DNA results within 8 weeks, they get their money back. That 8-week period begins once their lab receives a user’s DNA sample.

How to get started

In this part of our review of CRI Genetics, we will tell you how to get started. To get started, customers order a DNA testing kit from the company’s website (www.crigenetics.com). Unlike other services such as 23andMe, it does not sell kits on amazon.com. 

Users should expect to receive their DNA collection kits within 5 days of purchase. After receiving and registering the CRI kit, users collect their sample using a cheek swab. Users then mail back the sample collection kit and wait for their results (6 to 8 weeks).

CRI Genetics Ancestry and Health reports are sent to users via email. And in the event that they receive your DNA sample and its quality is not sufficient for analysis, it will send a new kit for free.

Note that CRI Genetics offers an option to upgrade to the Ancestry + Health report after receiving the results of the Ancestry report. This is possible because the company keeps your genome information file, making it easy to upgrade to its more advanced reporting later on.

CRI Genetics reports in detail

Review of CRI Genetics Ancestry Report

This section of our CRI Genetics review introduces the ancestry reports. The company boasts a patented algorithm for its “Advance Ancestry Analysis.” Details of the algorithm are cryptic, but CRI says that the 624,000+ genetic markers are “handpicked” by the founder. This report shows users their ancient family history that goes up to 50 generations into the past. These “oldest” ancestries are shown on a map (Figure 1). It tells users where countries now draw their borders around where their ancestors used to live. 

Map of “oldest ancestries” accompanying the CRI Genetics ancestry report. (Source: CRI Genetics).
Figure 1. Map of “oldest ancestries” accompanying the ancestry report. (Source: CRI Genetics).

In an example report on the CRI Genetics website, the user’s oldest detected ancestors lived in South Asia and Europe. The report also gives a more detailed geographical breakdown by percentage (Figure 2). This breakdown comes with a brief description of each area. For example, Northern Europe “was permanently settled by modern humans for the first time roughly 10,000 years ago.” Users can also learn about Native American ancestry.

Breakdown of ancestry by geography (Source: CRI Genetics).
Figure 2. Breakdown of ancestry by geography (Source: CRI Genetics).

This ancestry analysis also includes a haplogroup report. CRI Genetics provides this haplogroup report to paint a more clear picture of users’ male or female lineages. This report includes a different map that shows ancestral migrations. 

All users are assigned a maternal haplogroup based on mitochondrial DNA analysis. Male users are additionally provided a Y-DNA haplogroup, which is based on markers of the Y chromosome. CRI reports the migration and lineage for this haplogroup as well. The haplogroups come with explanations such as for example that the E1b1a Y-DNA haplogroup “represents the last major direct migration from Africa into Europe”. The reports also tell the users whether they share their haplogroups with any famous people.

Example haplogroup report (Source: CRI Genetics).
Figure 3. Example haplogroup report with an illustration of a family tree (Source: CRI Genetics).

Review of CRI Genetics Health Reports

CRI Genetics also offers genome health reports for an extra $100. The site provides several example reports for users to review prior to purchasing the package.

In a “Bitter Taste Report,” users can find out whether they are genetically predisposed to being sensitive to bitter foods. CRI Genetics claims that this information is useful for dietary reasons because people who are insensitive to bitterness are more likely to eat fatty foods.

Example bitter taste report.
Figure 4. Example bitter taste report (Source: CRI Genetics).

CRI Genetics also offers a report of “Drowsiness After Eating.” Several other examples are provided on its website. Users can see example reports for the following:

  • Food cravings – based on a genetic variant in a gene that plays a role in fat metabolism
  • Insulin resistance – based on a genetic variant in one gene
  • Lactose intolerance – based on a genetic variant in one gene
  • Long-term weight control – based on genetic variants in three genes; one of these genes is common with insulin resistance
  • Triglyceride level – based on polymorphisms in two genes; not a measure of actual triglycerides, but a prediction based on genetic information
Example drowsiness after eating report.
Figure 5. Example drowsiness after eating report (Source: CRI Genetics).

Although the company provides genotype information for the relevant SNPs, they do not cite references or links to research that supports their conclusions.

Review of CRI Genetics privacy

Is CRI Genetics safe?  The Privacy Policy indicates that users’ genetic data is not automatically deleted. Users must request that CRI delete and destroy personal information. 

Will CRI Genetics disclose your personal data to third parties? Yes, so long as the third-party meets its security requirements. However, the company claims not to share any identifying information without explicit consent.

CRI Genetics in the news

CRI Genetics reviews

CRI Genetics Pros/Cons

Pros

  • Detailed ancestry report.
  • Contact customer service for an 8-week efficiency guarantee, in the event of back-order.

Cons

  • Multiple CRI Genetics reviews questioning the accuracy of CRI ancestry reporting.
  • Minimal transparency about analysis and research evidence behind conclusions.
  • No automatic or easy deletion of personal genetic information.
  • Reviews indicate back-order issues.

Nebula Genomics

Unlike other services, we offer whole genome sequencing (WGS) to provide the most advanced genetic test. WGS lets us provide the most comprehensive reporting, which we update weekly based on the latest research. We finish our CRI Genetics review by comparing it to Nebula Genomics and other DNA testing companies.

Nebula Deep Ancestry

Nebula Genomics offers “Deep Ancestry” reporting – we analyze every nucleotide in your DNA to provide the most complete picture of your ancestry. In collaboration with FamilyTreeDNA (FTDNA) we give our users access to the largest Y-DNA and mtDNA databases.

Expanded Reporting

Do you have DNA test results from other testing sites like Ancestry or 23andMe results? Nebula Genomics lets you upload that data to access our expanded, detailed report based on the latest, curated research in the Nebula Library. And the best part — it’s a free service!

But how can we provide more detailed reports, although we use DNA data from other providers? Our expanded reports use complex statistical models to fill in the blanks left behind by typical DNA genotyping tests. This means that our expanded reports can analyze almost every genetic variant. 

Whole Genome Sequencing

For users who want to go beyond typical DNA tests, Nebula Genomics offers 30x Whole Genome Sequencing (WGS). This genetic test analyzes 100% of your DNA. That means you can see 10,000 times more data than with other services that decode less than one percent of your genome!


23andMeAncestryNebula GenomicsCRI Genetics
Type of Genome Reporting ServiceMicroarray-based genotypingMicroarray-based genotypingWhole Genome Sequencing (30x coverage)Microarray-based genotyping
Produced data~ 600,000 positions in the genome~ 700,000 positions in the genome~ 3,000,000,000 positions in the genome~ 600,000 positions in the genome
DNA data downloadCan export data and use it elsewhere.Can export data and use it elsewhere.Can export data and use it elsewhere.No access to raw DNA data.
Privacy-focusNoNoYes (learn more)No
Regularly updated reportsNoNoYes. Reports are updated every week (Nebula Research Library).No
Ancestry ReportingYesYesAdvanced ancestry reporting based on full Y chromosome and mtDNA sequencing.Yes
Cost$99, $199, or $499$99 or $149$0 – $299$99-199

CRI Genetics vs 23andMe vs AncestryDNA vs Nebula Genomics

An alternative to CRI Genetics that you should consider is MyTrueAncestry and MyHeritage. Did you like our CRI Genetics review? You can find more reviews here!

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