Scam Alert II: King Tut’s DNA

Posted on August 9, 2011

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I just posted how it looks like a company, iGENA, is running a scam on people to see if their DNA matches King Tut’s. A little more research has pretty much confirmed my suspicions that this is a fly by the night operation.

Small things: The iGENA website claims that they have had 338.186 successful tests since 2001. This contradicts both the facebook page and the owners profile that states that iGENA started in 2006. Small differences but one that makes you wonder how truthful they are but I am not resting my case what could be a typo.

Bigger problems: The website claims to be able to see if you are related to famous people such as, get this, Luke the Evangelist, Colla Uais, and Niall of the Nine Hostages. Those last two being legends whose existence can not be confirmed and the claims of Luke being based off of some relics found in the 1400’s (cause no one has ever faked those). They even post genetic profiles for these people even though no has found their bodies and no one is sure they ever existed. Basically, the King Tut claim is not their first attempt at crock pot science.

The real kicker is that Joëlle Apter, the owner, also owned another company GenePartner. GenePartner makes some bold claims about genes and how they can be used to find your perfect partner. I won’t go into detail about the problems with this as the experts interviewed in the Sunday Times article on the company pretty much rips apart the whole notion. Another kicker, is that the “Chief Technology Officer”, Tamara Brown, for GenePartner is also the scientific advisor for iGENA. You can see they used the same profile pictures between websites and same address for the companies.

Basically, it is a mom and pop set up of a few people that make claims of the most questionable, and in some cases completely wrong, nature. They probably set up a new company selling their snake oil genetics tests every time the old one doesn’t pan out.

Posted in: Wildcard