Study: DNA websites cast broad net for identifying people

NEW YORK (AP) — A new study estimates that about 60 percent of the U.S. population with European heritage may be identifiable from their DNA by searching consumer websites, even if they’ve never made their own genetic information available.

That number is expected to grow as more and more people upload their DNA profiles to websites that use genetic analysis to find relatives.

The estimate was reported in Thursday’s issue of the journal Science. Researchers arrived at it by doing searches within a website database containing 1.28 million people.

Website searches made headlines earlier this year, when investigators linked crime-scene DNA to a man they then accused of being a serial murderer and rapist known as the Golden State Killer.

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