The results are presented as a ring chart with settings for different confidence levels and regional detail. The easiest way to figure out how it works is to just click around, trying the different options.
To inspect more closely, click on any of my images to enlarge.
This is my Standard Painting with no regional detail (still 100% Booooring!):
After clicking on the rings or on the + sign, I get this:
Clicking some more, I get this:
Then, changing from Standard setting to Speculative, I get this:
I vastly prefer the "Speculative" setting since it seems to fit very well with what I know of my ancestral origins.
The pie chart below reflects my known ancestry. It was created from an Excel spreadsheet made by John Tierney and available on his blog.
Ancestral breakdown based on my family tree
Compare to my new AP2 percentages:
My Finnish and Scandinavian percentages seem a bit low, but in my sisters' paintings, they look about right:
My mother's also appears to fit with what I know of her heritage:
My dad's siblings have an interesting surprise in that we finally got some different colors:
It appears that perhaps I do have some African ancestors after all (in a relatively recent time frame)!
My brother-in-law's ancestry becomes even clearer with the new Ancestry Painting. The small amount of Asian disappeared and was replaced with an increased African component. From what I've seen during beta testing, this appears to be the case with many of those with African American ancestry.
Another person who is half Indian got this interesting result:
Much improved, right?
Look at this chart:
I am happy to report that, although we did not get a chance to beta test this portion of the new feature, the chromosome painting, including the X chromosome, is now live.
With my Finnish ancestry highlighted:
This is what it looks like with one Finnish parent:
*Note that the paternal and maternal chromosome orientation is not always consistent in placement (top versus bottom) in this chart.
This man has one Indian parent:
Pretty clear, isn't it?
And this a beautiful painting:
Don't you agree?
PHASING AND SPLIT VIEW
23andMe uses their own customized version of a phasing engine called BEAGLE to separate out the genetic components inherited from each of our parents, even without actually testing them. However, if you have a parent or child in the 23andMe database, then your phasing will be improved. This will lead to more accurate assignments as well as more detail contained in your ancestral breakdown (i.e. Italian versus Unspecified Southern European). Therefore, if you are fortunate enough to have tested one of these close family members, you need to let 23andMe know about this by connecting their profiles to your Family Tree.
If you have at least one of your parents in the 23andMe database (and connected to your tree), then you get a third view called "Split View". This view will automatically show you which parent contributed which portions of your ancestry.
23andme is currently using 22 populations. They can all be seen on my breakdown here:
In order to get more information on the origin of the reference populations, you can click on their labels and it opens up to this:
For some populations, 23andMe has a lot to go on:
and for some, not so much (as expected):
Obviously, we would all like to see more detail and variety in the African reference populations. For now, this is all there is:
The new Ancestry Composition is expected to continue to change and improve as 23andMe builds their database. As you can see, this is especially important for African Americans. In the announcement on the forum, 23andMe geneticist and Product Manager Mike Macpherson acknowledges, "But there’s still more to do. One important example of this is that the system is designed to be able to update the reference populations. As it is now, Ancestry Composition can dive into European ancestry, but it offers limited resolution into East Asia and Africa. We’re working now on an update that will split up the Eastern Asian and Sub-Saharan African populations."
The 23andMe white paper explaining how this new feature works tells us just how far they have come, "We compiled a set of 7,868 people with known ancestry, from within 23andMe and from public sources. That’s over 15,000 chromosomes, since every individual contributes a chromosome from both their mother and their father. This a big jump over the 210 individuals that powered our original Ancestry Painting feature." The paper further tells us that the public reference datasets that make up the "Public" numbers that you see above, include the Human Genome Diversity Project, HapMap, and the 1000 Genomes Project. It goes on to explain, "Populations may be inherently difficult to distinguish because of historical mixing, or we might not have had enough data to tell them apart. As we obtain more data, populations will become easier to distinguish."
At least for me, this is a very good start! In fact, I think this just might be the best admixture tool I have tried so far. What do you think?