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Hungarian Sequencing Company Vets DNA For 'Gypsy Or Jew' Genes 467

Posted by timothy
from the borat-plus-hitler-plus-gattica dept.
ananyo writes "Hungary's Medical Research Council (ETT), which advises the government on health policy, has asked public prosecutors to investigate a genetic-diagnostic company that certified that a member of parliament did not have Roma or Jewish heritage. The MP in question is a member of the far-right Jobbik party, which won 17% of the votes in the general election of April 2010. He apparently requested the certificate from the firm Nagy Gén Diagnostic and Research. The company produced the document in September 2010, a few weeks before local elections. Nagy Gén scanned 18 positions in the MP's genome for variants that it says are characteristic of Roma and Jewish ethnic groups; its report concludes that Roma and Jewish ancestry can be ruled out." Adds ananyo: "The test is of-course nonsense, and notions of 'racial purity' have long been discredited." Just when you think the world is too modern for such things, modernity gets hijacked by flim-flam.
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Hungarian Sequencing Company Vets DNA For 'Gypsy Or Jew' Genes

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  • by turkeyfeathers (843622) on Tuesday June 12, 2012 @11:59AM (#40297513)
    But did they scan him for the vampire gene?
    • Thats Rumania, not Hungary

  • As a hungarian (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday June 12, 2012 @12:04PM (#40297623)

    I feel like throwing in the towel and getting the hell out of this country.

  • by multicoregeneral (2618207) on Tuesday June 12, 2012 @12:05PM (#40297641) Homepage
    Why would it even matter? Unless you're some kind of right wing, neo nazi freak - oh, wait... never mind.
    • by hendridm (302246)

      +3 Informative? Because you can't be on the right without hating Jews and Roma people I guess...

      • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

        by Anonymous Coward

        +3 Informative? Because you can't be on the right without hating Jews and Roma people I guess...

        I don't think Jobbik has exactly been coy about it's platform with regards to this: they DO hate Jews and Roma. Take your thinly-veiled Godwin's law reference and stuff it up your Nazi ass.

      • by fiannaFailMan (702447) on Tuesday June 12, 2012 @01:25PM (#40298825) Journal

        +3 Informative? Because you can't be on the right without hating Jews and Roma people I guess...

        Yes, +3 informative. Neo-Nazi parties in Europe are on the far right and labelled as such in the European media. Only in American journalism does the term "far right" not exist. Anytime extremist parties like the National Front or British National Party are mentioned in America it is conveniently omitted that these are parties of the right.

        • by alvinrod (889928) on Tuesday June 12, 2012 @01:53PM (#40299227)
          Do those parties advocate for a capitalistic society without government intervention?

          If not, they probably shouldn't be labeled as a far-right party. The left-right dichotomy is about ownership of the means of production and the distribution of wealth. I feel as though lumping in extremist groups, which have little or nothing to say about economic policy, with other right or left-leaning groups to be a disingenuous attempt to make the more mainstream, non-extremeist parties look bad by association. Whether it's lumping in a group of racial bigots with the right or eco-terrorists with the left, it doesn't accomplish anything and just detracts from meaningful conversation by providing for easily constructed straw men for people on both sides of the isle.

          That your comment has turned into the usual Europe vs. US crapfest just goes to show why lumping in extremist groups is a bad idea. It just fosters additional rhetoric and generalizations that aren't conducive for civil discourse.
          • by Pfhorrest (545131) on Tuesday June 12, 2012 @02:44PM (#40299873) Homepage Journal

            The left-right dichotomy is not exclusively about the means of production and distribution of wealth. It began as a divide between the aristocracy and the commoners, and what is now called "libertarian" (generally considered "right-wing" in America) was originally a left-wing position, being against the established powers of the nobles.

          • by F.Ultra (1673484) on Tuesday June 12, 2012 @04:25PM (#40301157)
            Actually (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Left%E2%80%93right_politics) the definition have changed over time, is often used differently in the USA vs most of Europe. However since the beginning, Fascism (which is what these parties are) have belong to the right, together with the Coservatives, and one thing that is common among all these we-hate-minorities is that they are extremely conservative.
          • Do those parties advocate for a capitalistic society without government intervention?

            Sorry, but the capitalist v socialist / privatisation v nationalisation debate ended in Europe ages ago. Everyone is more or less agreed that there's a happy medium. Only in the USA is this tedious debate still going on.

        • by moeinvt (851793) on Tuesday June 12, 2012 @03:35PM (#40300503)

          "Neo-Nazi parties in Europe are on the far right and labelled as such in the European media."(sic)

          I prefer the Heinlein political dichotomy:

          "The human race divides politically into those who want people to be controlled and those who have no such desire."

          There are elements of both the "far left" and "far right" which strongly support the use of state power to achieve their objectives. Was Hitler "far right" (nationalism) or "far left"(socialism)? How about Stalin?

          This linear view of the spectrum of political ideas is frustrating. In the USA, people(leftists mostly) accuse those who advocate individual liberty and small government as belonging to the "extreme right". There's certainly no parallel to the "far right" who want authoritarian government to carry out their policies.

          • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

            by fiannaFailMan (702447)

            European right:

            Free trade
            Less government regulation (liberalized economy)
            Law and order
            Controls on immigration and measures to make immigrants conform to local customs

            European left:

            Statutory protections for workers
            Individual rights
            Tolerance for immigrants and respect for diversity

            American right:

            Homophobic, xenophobic, scientifically illiterate, market fundamentalist, religious fundamentalist nutjobs who worship at the altar of Ronald Reagan even though he'd be run out of the modern GOP as the 'most radical s

  • Nonsense? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by ShakaUVM (157947) on Tuesday June 12, 2012 @12:06PM (#40297667) Homepage Journal

    >>Adds anonyo: "The test is of-course nonsense, and notions of 'racial purity' have long been discredited."

    These are two different claims. One is that the test is nonsense, the other is that racial purity has long been discredited.

    It's quite possible for both the genetic test to be valid, and to not *care* about racial purity.

    While notions of race are tied up in all sorts of political correct nonsense and/or racist stereotyping, the simple fact of the matter is that there is a certain nexus of genes that are associated with what we commonly call race, and no amount of politically correct handwaving will make the science go away. Things like sickle cell anemia are associated with people of African descent (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sickle-cell_disease#Genetics), as is Tay-Sachs in Ashkenazi Jews (see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Medical_genetics_of_Jewish_people [wikipedia.org]), high rates of adult lactase enzymes in people of Northern European descent, low rates of alcohol dehydrogenase in several Asian groups, and so forth.

    Long story short, while the concept of race is socially constructed (what is considered "white" has changed significantly over the last 100 years), the labels that we do use for race can be backed up by genetic testing (by looking for clusters of genes associated with a race), and so tests like this *are* scientifically valid, even though ethically suspicious.

    • Re:Nonsense? (Score:4, Insightful)

      by ohnocitizen (1951674) on Tuesday June 12, 2012 @12:14PM (#40297807)
      If we are going to be scientific, drop the notion of race and use clines: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cline_(biology) [wikipedia.org]

      It would kind of be like applying modern astronomy to the celestial spheres: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Celestial_spheres [wikipedia.org]
      • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

        by Anonymous Coward

        I have one picture for you: http://i.imgur.com/PTol8.jpg [imgur.com]

        So much for race not existing.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Anonymous Coward

        Cline and race have the same definition, so their use is interchangeable. The general public knows what race means and not cline. So if you want to speak to the general public use race.

    • In short, it's not nonsense that you can determine parts of heritage from genetic testing.

      It IS nonsense that it matters.
      • by ShakaUVM (157947)

        In cases like the Hemmings family finding out they're related to ole' Tom Jefferson, it certainly does matter, as it sheds light on an aspect of history that is traditionally not recorded and/or talked about by historians.

    • Re:Nonsense? (Score:5, Interesting)

      by Sir_Sri (199544) on Tuesday June 12, 2012 @12:25PM (#40297977)

      They aren't even always ethically suspicious. I'm a pasty white guy with a father from india. 2 generations from now my descendants could wonder if my father is really my father and they actually have a great grandfather from india. That could be especially important if it turns out we carry some genetic disposition to disease that would effect women, that we will never see manifest.

      If you're Black in the US you may want to know what tribe or area you ancestor was kidnapped from in africa.

      Testing like this can also, on a macroscopic level, pose serious questions about any notion of racial purity. This jackass in hungary may be definitely not be partially roma or jewish, but that doesn't ask what percent of the population in hungary are.

    • Re:Nonsense? (Score:4, Informative)

      by X0563511 (793323) on Tuesday June 12, 2012 @12:34PM (#40298123) Homepage Journal

      >>Adds anonyo: "The test is of-course nonsense, and notions of 'racial purity' have long been discredited."

      These are two different claims. One is that the test is nonsense, the other is that racial purity has long been discredited.

      That's why the two statements are joined with the word "and"...

    • Re:Nonsense? (Score:4, Insightful)

      by radtea (464814) on Tuesday June 12, 2012 @12:46PM (#40298271)

      the labels that we do use for race can be backed up by genetic testing (by looking for clusters of genes associated with a race), and so tests like this *are* scientifically valid, even though ethically suspicious.

      Not so much, because hybridization is the norm, not the exception. That is, it is perfectly possible for a "white" person in the US to have many "black" genetic markers. My family has been in North American for over 300 years, and it would be astonishing if I didn't have some African, Jewish and Native American ancestors.

      So while it is correct to say that "certain genetic markers have higher rates of association with certain socially constructed cultural groups" the association is sufficiently weak to be diagnostically useless. So it is clearly false to claim that genetic tests for "race" are "scientifically valid" (whatever that means... certainly they are anti-Bayesian, which is the only meaning "scientifically valid" should have.)

      Furthermore, the very notion of "racial fragility" (which for some reason gets called "racial purity") is enormously stupid. Racial fragilists claim that if they have just one ancestor who happens to belong to a particular socially constructed cultural group then their own racial identity is completely destroyed (ie is fragile). Since racial identity is purely a social construct that happens to be weakly associated with minor genetic variations, this is clearly idiotic.

      As an example of the lack of genetic distinction between "races": both Irish and Eastern European immigrants to Canada were once considered racially distinct from Anglo-Scottish immigrants. They were literally considered "not white" (which you allude to.) Likewise, Korean and Japanese people are genetically identical, but belong to socially distinct and often mutually antagonistic "racial" groups.

      Genetic differences between cultural groups may (but do not necessarily) exist. This does not validate genetic tests for "race" because "race" is a genetically meaningless concept due to the weakness of the association between cultural groups and genetics.

      • by ShakaUVM (157947)

        >>the association is sufficiently weak to be diagnostically useless

        No, it's not. That's the point. Statistical methods have enough power to determine what race a person is with, IIRC, around 13 markers checked.

        If you can discriminate between two groups using stats, that means that the two groups are statistically distinct, tautologically speaking.

        >>Furthermore, the very notion of "racial fragility" (which for some reason gets called "racial purity") is enormously stupid. Racial fragilists claim

        • Statistical methods have enough power to determine what race a person is with, IIRC, around 13 markers checked.

          Sort of. Statistical methods are very good at assigning groupings, by definition. They're also very good at helping you win bets, develop a broad strategy and operate at a large scale. They can't guarantee that person A is race X - by definition.

          And it's there that this idea of genetic race identification falls apart. The racial identity is a social construct, and to associate it with genetic markers makes it a counterproductive undertaking.

    • Re:Nonsense? (Score:5, Insightful)

      by betterunixthanunix (980855) on Tuesday June 12, 2012 @12:49PM (#40298329)

      It's quite possible for both the genetic test to be valid

      Judaism is not encoded in anyone's DNA. People convert to Judaism all the time, and people convert away from Judaism to other religions all the time. My great-grandfather was a blond-haired, blue-eyed German who was raised by Catholic parents, who fell in love with my great-grandmother, converted to Judaism, and immigrated to America. Unless you are one of those people who thinks that converts are not really "Jews" (which is not a position that even the most hard-core ultra-orthodox Jewish movements [openly] accept), you cannot claim that genetic tests can reveal whether or not someone is Jewish.

      A second issue with the tests is that there are several genetically distinct Jewish populations (hint: this is because genetics has more to do with geography than with religion). The Ethiopian Jews have a very different genetic "fingerprint" than European or Middle-Eastern Jews, and I am just going to go out on a limb and guess that the test performed on this politician did not include genetic markers from Ethiopia. I similarly doubt that genetic markers from Central Asia populations were included, or from controversial communities like the Lemba. Not all Jews have white skin, black hair, or prominent noses, and not all Jews have European DNA.

      • by ShakaUVM (157947)

        Given this was taking place in Hungary, we can use some common sense and assume they are testing to see if the guy's DNA matched markers taken from Ashkenazi Jews.

        • Re:Nonsense? (Score:4, Insightful)

          by betterunixthanunix (980855) on Tuesday June 12, 2012 @01:01PM (#40298517)
          Considering that as recently as 400 years ago, Hungary was ruled by the Ottoman Empire -- the same empire that mass numbers of Sephardic Jews ran to after the Spanish expulsion -- it is not at all unlikely that there are Hungarians who are descendants of Sephardic or even Yemenite Jews, or any of the other Jewish populations that lived under Ottoman rule. You are also ruling out the possibility that people traveled, and that some of this guy's ancestors might have found their spouse in the middle east (which is not terribly far from Hungary), or that someone from another region was traveling and met their spouse in Hungary.

          The only populations you can really rule out are populations that were isolated to the point of being forgotten, like Ethiopian Jews.
      • by EnsilZah (575600)

        The criterion that whoever has a Jewish mother is Jewish though is widely accepted in pretty much all of Judaism.
        And it doesn't matter if you convert, you'd still be a Jewish Catholic or Jewish Atheist or Jewish Pastafarian.

        I suppose these people's racial 'logic' works on similar terms.

        • And it doesn't matter if you convert, you'd still be a Jewish Catholic or Jewish Atheist or Jewish Pastafarian.

          Not according to us Jews. I have been told by ultra-orthodox rabbis that a person who converts is considered to have been born with a Jewish soul, and just needed to find their way to the greater Jewish community. The Reform and Conservative movements are equally open minded; I grew up going to a Reform synagogue, and I never heard anyone question whether or not converts were really Jews, nor did I hear them refer to a convert's previous religion. Converting to Judaism is making a commitment to be Jewi

    • by Luckyo (1726890)

      The problem is that they're not testing for "race". They're tasting for "racial genes", which are supposed to tell if you have any Jewish or Roma heritage.

      Take a guess is that is possible. Hint: no. If you have mixed heritage, you could inherit these traits from any of the two parents, or get a mix of both. Now make such breeding to have happened many generations ago, and good luck trying to figure out now if you have any such heritage through traits or genetic testing. Chances are that even if there are an

  • by Trepidity (597) <(gro.hsikcah) (ta) (todhsals-muiriled)> on Tuesday June 12, 2012 @12:08PM (#40297713)

    1. How accurate are these tests?

    and 2. How ethical is doing something like that?

    I think the answer on #1 is actually more complex than this summary makes it sound. The notion of pure ethnic groups is a fiction, but you can trace some kinds of population lineages using genetic markers. That's in fact some of how we've recreated early human population movements; by estimating when in time certain markers diverged between Asian and European populations, for example, we can estimate when those populations migrated out of the Middle East / Africa area where their ancestors likely originated. The HapMap [nih.gov] project maps some more recent geographical correlations.

    • by MightyMartian (840721) on Tuesday June 12, 2012 @12:19PM (#40297887) Journal

      Anyone with even a brief understanding of the history of that region of Europe realizes that notions of racial purity are bunk. Now it is possible that the Roma and Jews are still sufficiently genetically distinct due to lower rates of interbreeding, but the fact is that the Hungarian people are, to put it vulgurally, mongrels. Even the ancient Huns themselves were likely a hodge podge of ethnic/racial groups from all over Eurasia, and Hungary has so many layers of occupation and invasion dating back to Classical times that while we can say the progenitor population probably spoke a Uralic mothertongue, you have a wide array of later groups; early Indo-Europeans, Turkic, Germanic, Latin, Slavic and on and on. If you want to find a population approaching a full blooded Hungarian, I suggest you go to Finland.

      • by CRCulver (715279) <crculver@christopherculver.com> on Tuesday June 12, 2012 @12:29PM (#40298039) Homepage

        If you want to find a population approaching a full blooded Hungarian, I suggest you go to Finland.

        There are no "full-blooded" Uralic peoples. Uralic/Finno-Ugrian is a linguistic appelation, not a genetic one. The Uralic languages have spread across a wide swath of genetically unrelated peoples, and the Finns have just as much a varied background as Hungarians.

        • by Iskender (1040286)

          Like the other poster said, you're wrong in your last point.

          Finland almost equals Iceland when it comes to being a go-to country for genetic research on homogenous populations.

          Now of course all present European peoples have many peoples behind them. But to say that Hungarians and Finns have mixed with others equally much is just wrong.

  • Crapola (Score:5, Insightful)

    by MightyMartian (840721) on Tuesday June 12, 2012 @12:11PM (#40297751) Journal

    Considering the rather complex history of invasions and migrations through Hungary, I can't even imagine what one would qualify as a pure Hungarian. We're not talking about largely homogeneous populations like Iceland or Norway, we're talking about a country that has been the stomping ground from everyone from Central Asians to Germans to Mediterranean types. Read a history of that region. The idea that there is any kind of true full blooded "Hungarian" is daft.

    • Re:Crapola (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Mindcontrolled (1388007) on Tuesday June 12, 2012 @12:18PM (#40297877)
      Ah, you see, the beauty of the racist fuckwit approach is that you do not have to define "true full blooded Hungarian". You only need to define single factors as "un-Hungarian" or "un-$country_of_your_choice", so that you can persecute at your heart's content. When you done with one group, you switch to the next. Keeps the population on its toes, you see?

      Also, you employed reason while looking at racist crap. Never works, trust me on that.

    • The idea that there is any kind of true full blooded "Hungarian" is daft.

      The point wasn't to be full blooded Hungarian. The point was to not be a Gypsy or Jew.

    • You don't have to go back that far, until not even 100 years ago "Hungary" was way more than modern day Hungary and people moved to and from. And not only in Hungary. The whole Balkan area was mixed and matched, including quite a bit of central Europe too.

      It's especially funny when you see some right wing idiot demand that everyone who is not a "pure $insert_country" has to leave, and when you ask for his name you notice that at some point in history his ancestor clearly didn't stem from around the area...

  • I got an impression that Slashdot is pushing a certain point of view here. What's that about "nonsense" of racial purity? Are you denying that Jews and Gypsies exist? There must genetic markers defining any racial group that physically differs. It is certainly possible to determine the likelihood of person having certain ancestry based on genetic typing.
    • by Hatta (162192) on Tuesday June 12, 2012 @12:47PM (#40298297) Journal

      There must genetic markers defining any racial group that physically differs.

      You'd think so, but it's not actually the case. e.g. Any two black Africans are no more likely to have common DNA than any black African and a white European. Sure, they're both going to have higher levels of enzymes that synthesize melanin, but that doesn't tell you anything you couldn't determine by looking at them. Race is an false concept invented out of ignorance and tribalism.

  • by pla (258480) on Tuesday June 12, 2012 @12:23PM (#40297945) Journal
    The test is of-course nonsense, and notions of 'racial purity' have long been discredited." Just when you think the world is too modern for such things, modernity gets hijacked by flim-flam.

    Sorry, but you either descended from Jacob (insert the comparabl\, or you did not. We currently have the technology to measure that with a high degree of confidence.

    Now, if you want to talk about whether or not an adopted Jew, or a convert, count as "really" Jewish, that gets into matters of dogma, not genetics - And don't think this extends only to the "racists" - Just as some groups would hold such ancestry against someone, orthodox Judaism considers it (specifically, matrilineal descent) a requirement.


    And for the record, I consider both stances equally stupid.
    • by readin (838620) on Tuesday June 12, 2012 @12:47PM (#40298295)

      Sorry, but you either descended from Jacob (insert the comparabl\, or you did not. We currently have the technology to measure that with a high degree of confidence.

      Jacab was how many years ago? Maybe 5000? With an average childbearing age of 25, that makes 200 generations. Ignoring inbreeding for the moment, the number of ancestors you have doubles every generation. 2 to the power of 200 is....I don't have a calculator but it is pretty darn big, many many times the number of people there were on this planet 5000 years ago or even today.

      Even if you go back a mere 2000 years ago, you have 80 generations meaning you have far more ancestors than there were people.

      What this implies is that you are almost certainly the descendant of every single person who was alive and had progeny in your ancestors region 2000 years ago. You can argue that that still doesn't make you descended from certain minorities, but think about that exponential growth in ancestors again. All it takes is one foreigner to come in and mix with the gene pool. 1000 years later everyone is that foreigner's descendant. There might not have been a lot of travel back then, but there was enough.

      About the only way one could reasonably claim not to have ancestors of a certain race is if that race was almost completely isolated - like the American Indians or Australian aborigines. But anyone with ancestors from Europe, Asia or Africa can be pretty sure they have Jacob as an ancestor.

    • orthodox Judaism considers it (specifically, matrilineal descent) a requirement. And for the record, I consider both stances equally stupid.

      The jews believe that the savior hasn't yet come, because Jesus couldn't pass (or refused) tests in the old testament. They're still waiting for their savior, and one of those tests is that the savior will be a descendant of a particular person. If anyone here is being stupid, it's you -- there is no jewish race. Either you descended from that specific person, or you didn't.

      The jewish community has maintained geneology records to an unrivaled level of detail ever since; it's at the very heart of their reli

    • by hazah (807503)
      Jacob? That guy's an asshole!
  • Test Results (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Jason Levine (196982) on Tuesday June 12, 2012 @12:49PM (#40298331)

    I can't speak for the Roma, but on behalf of the Jewish people, I accept the results of this test. This idiot has nothing to do with us genetically. Cue other ethnic groups demanding he test himself so they can wash their hands of him as well. (Sadly, people like this take: "Nobody wants me" to be a compliment rather than an insult.)

  • Reading this kind of news is pretty shocking IMHO. First we have anti-ROMA racism in France, then anti-ROMA and antisemitic racism in Hungary. I really hope history doesn't repeat itself, though I'm not overly optimistic.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      Anti-Roma racism in Europe (esp. Eastern Europe) has purely pragmatic roots. Denounce it as non politically correct all you want, but there's a strong correlation between Roma and petty criminals - especially those Roma who are identifiably Roma (i.e. wear the appropriate clothing, speak the language etc). Of course, this isn't because there is some kind of "Roma DNA" that includes some "thief gene" in it. It's because European Roma culture historically was, and to a large extent remains, conductive of pett

  • by Prune (557140) on Tuesday June 12, 2012 @12:59PM (#40298495)
    In talks with Hungarian friends, some of which still live there, they seem keenly aware of the poor image their country has in the eyes of the rest of the world. It's a country best known for giving the origins to history's most prolific serial killer, Elizabeth Bathory (killed ~600 young girls with torture methods that make the Spanish Inquisition look like amateur hour), and for being the de facto porn capital of Europe. Worse, the attempts of Hungarians to whitewash haven't made things much better, yet they persist. For example, last year there was quite a bit of drama on the Wikipedia page for the countess, with Hungarians trying to sanitize the Bathory article of some of the more gruesome details and putting in claims that the evidence against her was hear-say and/or politically motivated (veritably and verifiably false, as there were plenty of well-documented witnesses). When this didn't work out and much of the dishonest editing was undone (though I've still been unable to fully restore the article), they tried to shift the blame for the edit attempts on feminists. Which might have been convincing, had I not hang around Hungarian IRC channels in one of which the whole whitewash campaign was discussed.
  • It’s reassuring to know that the United States of America doesn’t have a monopoly on nut cases.
  • So why are these Hungarians trying to solve a Kazakh problem [youtube.com]?

  • The nice thing about malevolent bigoted fools who need to experience a noose is that they are eager to self-identify. Saves the rest of us a lot of trouble.
  • by peter303 (12292) on Tuesday June 12, 2012 @01:55PM (#40299249)
    DNA USA [amazon.com] is a readable journey through various DNA techniques and ancestry studies by the British geneticist Bryan Sykes. It covers many of the arguments discussed in this thread. Sykes has written several other books like this, which update the state of the art about every three years or so.

    An interesting argument from Sykes is that after 400 years, some ancestors are edited out of your heritage. You can only have 50K contributors to the 25K pairs of genes you carry. And after 16 generators, some the ancestors no longer give you any genes. 400 years is 16 generations. To worry about a billion ancestors back 30 generations is not that important.

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