MyHeritage Releases cM Explainer™ to Predict Familial Relationships Between DNA Matches with Greater Accuracy
Relationship prediction for DNA Matches is available for free both on the MyHeritage platform and as a standalone tool
TEL AVIV, Israel & LEHI, Utah, March 2, 2023 — MyHeritage, the leading global service for family history and DNA testing, announced today the release of cM Explainer™, an innovative, free new feature that accurately estimates familial relationships between DNA Matches. For every DNA Match, cM Explainer™ offers a detailed prediction of the possible relationships between the two people and the respective probabilities of each relationship, determines their most recent common ancestor, and displays a diagram showing their relationship path. cM Explainer™ is fully integrated into the MyHeritage platform to shed light on any DNA Match found on MyHeritage, and is also available as a standalone tool to benefit consumers who have tested with other DNA services.
MyHeritage is home to one of the world’s most robust and fastest-growing DNA databases, with 6.5 million customers. With outstanding support for 42 languages, MyHeritage has become the leading consumer DNA test in Europe. One key feature of at-home DNA tests like MyHeritage is matching to find relatives based on shared DNA inherited from common ancestors. Matches are characterized by the amount of DNA shared between two individuals, measured using a unit of genetic distance called centimorgans (cM). cM Explainer™ is unique in the way it uses both the centimorgan value as well as the ages of the two individuals (if known) to fine-tune its predictions, making MyHeritage the only major genealogy company to offer relationship prediction at this level of granularity and accuracy.
Other relationship prediction tools typically suggest a range of possible relationships that is too broad to be useful, such as “3rd to 5th cousin”, or list many relationships with the same probability, leaving the user confused. MyHeritage’s cM Explainer™ simplifies the predictions considerably and reduces ambiguity by taking into account the age of each match and assigning a unique probability to every relationship. MyHeritage further reduces confusion by avoiding ambiguous relationship terms used by other tools, such as “first cousin once removed” (sometimes written in excessively technical codes such as “1C1R”), and instead replaces them with clear relationships such as “parent’s first cousin” or “first cousin’s child”, as the case may be. For example, in a DNA Match where there are 1,600 cM of shared DNA between two people who are age 35 and 40, MyHeritage will tell the user simply that the match is most likely a half-sibling with 90.4% probability, whereas a popular alternative tool states a 100% probability for the match to have any of the following possible relationships: grandparent, aunt or uncle, half sibling, niece or nephew, or grandchild, leaving the user baffled. This makes MyHeritage’s cM Explainer™ the most useful tool for relationship prediction of DNA Matches on the market, for novices as well as experienced genetic genealogy professionals.
cM Explainer™ was developed by MyHeritage in collaboration with Larry Jones, developer of the cM Solver technology. MyHeritage exclusively licensed this technology from Jones, and the company’s science team enhanced it further over a period of five months. Among the enhancements are an age algorithm that more accurately pinpoints specific relationships and calculates their probability, and a slick user interface that displays possible relationships and their probabilities. cM Explainer™ includes useful features such as the ability to filter the predictions by full and half relationships, and to display the probable most recent common ancestor(s) (MRCA) of a match, making it a force multiplier for genetic genealogy.
“Millions of customers rely on MyHeritage DNA to discover their family history and find relatives. cM Explainer™ makes it easier by removing much of the guesswork that was previously needed to analyze possible relationships to your DNA Matches,” said Gilad Japhet, Founder and CEO of MyHeritage. “Together with Larry Jones, we’ve created an industry-leading solution for genetic genealogy that is only available on MyHeritage. cM Explainer™ joins our suite of innovative tools to help users better understand how they’re related to their DNA Matches.”
“Collaborating with MyHeritage on the development of cM Explainer™ has been thrilling,” said Larry Jones, inventor of the cM Solver technology. “I’m excited that millions of people will be able to use this feature to gain deeper insights into their matches. MyHeritage has a great product and a brilliant founder who is an inspiration to everyone around him. Brainstorming ideas with him was among the most enjoyable experiences I’ve had in recent years.”
cM Explainer™ is a free feature and is available to anyone with DNA results on MyHeritage. It is also available as a free standalone tool for non-MyHeritage customers on myheritage.com/cm. MyHeritage DNA kits are available for purchase at myheritage.com/DNA.
MyHeritage is the leading global discovery platform for exploring family history. With billions of historical records and family tree profiles, and with sophisticated matching technologies that work across all its assets, MyHeritage allows users to discover their past and empower their future. MyHeritage DNA is one of the world’s largest consumer DNA databases, with more than 6.5 million customers. MyHeritage is the most popular DNA test and family history service in Europe. www.myheritage.com
Director of Public Relations
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