CRI Genetics review – A better approach to ancestry analysis?

CRI Genetics Review Summary

CRI Genetics is a DNA testing company that promises more accurate ancestry results. Read more in our CRI Genetics review!

Nebula Genomics

Results
Price
Accuracy

Summary

CRI Genetics is a genetics testing company that provides ancestry as well as health reports although multiple customer reviews question the accuracy of the reports.

3.7

August 16, 2021

Edited by Christina Swords, Ph.D.

7 Facts from our CRI Genetics Review

  1. Location: Santa Monica, CA, USA
  2. Products: DNA testing with health and ancestry reports based on a novel method for calculating ancestry.
  3. Result delivery: results delivered as PDF over email, typically within 6-8 weeks
  4. Data access: download of raw DNA data is NOT possible
  5. Privacy: Users must email the customer service to have their data deleted
  6. Cost: $99-$199 (with a credit card or PayPal)
  7. Alternatives: Nebula Genomics (Whole Genome Sequencing with weekly updated reports and advanced ancestry analysis)

CRI Genetics Introduction

The Cellular Research Insitute (CRI) Genetics is an Ancestry DNA Company. It was founded in 2016 by University of Toledo professors Larissa and Alexei Fedorov. 

Alexei received his post-doctoral training under Walter Gilbert, a Harvard professor and Nobel Laureate working on DNA sequencing. The company claims to employ an advanced team of geneticists, anthropologists, and social scientists who have been studying DNA for over 35 years. The founders themselves, Alexei and Larissa Fedorov, both have a PH.D. in Molecular Genetics. 

This company seeks to enlighten users with easy-to-understand DNA ancestry analysis. A phone number to contact the company is available. 

Read more in our CRI Genetics review!

Did you know that DNA tests like CRI Genetics decode only 0.02% of your DNA? At Nebula Genomics, we offer the most affordable Whole Genome Sequencing! This is the most complete DNA test that decodes 100% of your autosomal DNA, mitochondrial DNA, and the Y chromosome. Whole Genome Sequencing will enable you to learn more about your ancestry and family tree than any other DNA test! Click here to learn more!

CRI Genetics Pros and Cons

ProsCons
Detailed ancestry reportMultiple reviews questioning the accuracy of CRI ancestry reports
Makes a guarantee to deliver your genetic reports in fewer than eight weeks. Contact customer service for an eight-week efficiency guarantee in the event of back-orderNot enough transparency about analysis and research evidence behind conclusions
Some reviews indicate back-order issues

Review of CRI Genetics Tests

Much like companies such as Nebula Genomics and 23andMe, CRI Genetics offers ancestry testing and reporting through genetics science. To this end, it uses swab kits to collect DNA samples. Then, using its founders’ patented DNA analysis algorithm, it provides a variety of different reports.

Ancestry ($99)

The primary offering is an Ancestry Report. This bundle has two main features:

  • Ancestry Timeline Report – This report claims to take users back 50 generations. It tells users where their ancestors used to live, as well as when they lived there.
  • Dual BioGeographical Ancestry Reports – A “research-grade accurate estimation of your genetic ancestry, regardless of culture.” This report gives a percentage breakdown of users’ ancestry based on four different classifications.

Ancestry + Health ($199)

The company also offers a larger bundle. This expanded bundle includes every ancestral and several health reports. The DNA health reporting consists of the following categories:

  • Health – Includes analyses such as “Caffeine Metabolism, Alcohol Flush, and Insulin Resistance.”
  • Allergies – Includes analyses such as “Egg, Dog, Peanut, and Grass Allergies.”
  • Nutrition – Includes analyses such as “Protein Dieting, Fat Storage, Exercise Weight, and Food Cravings.”
  • Vitamin – Includes analyses such as “Vitamin C, Vitamin D, Iron Deficiency, and Zinc Deficiency.”
  • Traits – Includes analyses such as “Earwax, Asparagus Smell, Red Hair Color, Sun Sensitivity.”

All products come with an “8-week Efficiency” money-back guarantee. If users do not receive their DNA results within eight weeks, they get their money back. The eight weeks begin the day the lab receives the sample.

How to Get Started

To get started, customers order a testing kit from the company’s website (www.crigenetics.com). Unlike other services such as 23andMe, CRI Genetics DNA does not sell its test kits on Amazon.com. 

Users should expect to receive their DNA collection kits within five days of purchase. 

After receiving and registering the CRI kit, the user collects their sample using a cheek swab. The registering process is necessary before users mail back the sample collection kit and wait for their results (6 to 8 weeks once received).

CRI Genetics Ancestry and Health reports are sent to users via email and accessed through the website’s login. The lab receives your DNA sample where it undergoes a quality analysis. If there is not enough DNA sample and its quality is not sufficient for analysis, they will ship a new kit for free.

Note that the company offers an option to upgrade to Ancestry + Health after receiving the CRI Genetics results of the Ancestry report. This is possible because the company keeps your genome information file, making it easy to upgrade to its more advanced option later on.

CRI Genetics Reports in Detail

Review of CRI Genetics Ancestry Report

The company boasts a patented algorithm for its “Advanced Ancestry Analysis.” Details of the algorithm are cryptic, but CRI says that the 624,000+ genetic markers are “handpicked” by the founder. 

This report shows users their ancient family history that goes up to 50 generations into the past. These “oldest” ancestries are shown on a map. It also shows users the contemporary countries where their ancestors used to live. 

Map of “oldest ancestries” accompanying the CRI Genetics ancestry DNA report
Map of “oldest ancestries” accompanying the ancestry DNA report

In an example report on the CRI Genetics website, the user’s oldest ancestors lived in South Asia and Europe. The report also gives a more detailed geographical breakdown by percentage (Figure 2). This breakdown comes with a brief description of each area. 

For example, Northern Europe “was permanently settled by modern humans for the first time roughly 10,000 years ago.” Users can also learn about Native American ancestry.

CRI Genetics also provides a haplogroup report in this analysis to paint a clearer picture of users’ male or female lineages. It includes a different map showing ancestral migrations. 

CRI Genetics also analyses paternal lineage and maternal lineage family lines through mitochondrial DNA and Y-DNA. All users are assigned a maternal haplo analysis based on mitochondrial DNA analysis. Male users are additionally provided a Y-DNA haplogroup, which is based on markers of the Y chromosome. CRI reports the migration and lineage for this haplogroup as well. The haplogroups come with explanations. For example, the E1b1a Y-DNA haplogroup “represents the last major direct migration from Africa into Europe.” The reports also tell the users whether they share their haplogroups with any famous person.

Example haplogroup report with an illustration of a family tree in a CRI Genetics report
Example haplogroup report with an illustration of a family tree

Review of CRI Genetics Health Reports

CRI Genetics also offers genome health tests for an extra $100. The site provides several example reports for users to review before purchasing the package.

In a “Bitter Taste Report,” users can find out whether they are genetically predisposed to being sensitive to bitter foods. The company claims that this information is useful for dietary reasons because people who are insensitive to bitterness are more likely to eat fatty foods.

Example bitter taste report
Sample report for bitter taste

Another example of a CRI Genetics report is “Drowsiness After Eating.” Several other examples are provided on the website. Users can see example reports for the following:

  • Food cravings – based on a genetic variant in a gene that plays a role in fat metabolism
  • Insulin resistance – based on a genetic variant in one gene
  • Lactose intolerance – based on a genetic variant in one gene
  • Long-term weight loss – based on genetic variants in three genes; one of these genes plays a role in insulin resistance
  • Triglyceride level – based on polymorphisms in two genes; not a measure of actual triglycerides, but a prediction based on genetic information
Sample report for drowsiness after eating
Sample report for drowsiness after eating

Although the company provides genotype information for the relevant SNPs, they do not cite references or research links to support their conclusions.

Review of CRI Genetics Privacy

Is CRI Genetics safe?  The privacy policy indicates that users must request that CRI delete and destroy personal information. They use secure server software to encrypt information and third parties should meet these standards. For the sake of transparency, they also provide a list and description of the main third-party tracking services they use (FB, Google, etc.). They do not share genetic data or results with any third parties.

Will CRI Genetics disclose your data to third parties? Yes, so long as the third party meets its security requirements. However, the company claims not to share any identifying information without explicit consent.

Customer support is available over the phone at 1-800-571-9216 (US), +44-800-368-8243 (UK), or via email at support@CRIGenetics.com.

CRI Genetics in the News

In 2019, BioNews published a news report when the CRI institute traced a Native American’s DNA back 17,000 years. Specifically, it had traced the mitochondrial DNA of Darrell ‘Dusty’ Crawford, a member of the Blackfeet tribe, back 55 generations, with an unusually high 99 percent accuracy rate. His haplotype was traced to one of the major known Native American haplotypes in North America with little influence from other ethnicities, which is unusual. 

In 2020, Health.com listed CRI Genetics as the DNA test with the best guarantee.  

In 2021, CRI Genetics CEO Alex Muylar talks about the future of DNA testing and how it can be tied to heart health. He uses the example of high cholesterol. Many people are unaware of high cholesterol until they have a heart attack. Alex believes genetic testing can prevent this by detecting genetic variants that put people at risk, allowing them to take proactive steps before a potential problem becomes serious. 

CRI Genetics Reviews

This company ranks 3.9 out of 5 stars on TrustPilot with 580 reviews. 

Plus, you can find more CRI Genetics reviews on:

Nebula Genomics

Unlike other services, we offer whole genome sequencing (WGS) to provide the most advanced genetic test. WGS lets us provide the most comprehensive reporting, which we update weekly based on the latest research. We conclude our CRI Genetics review by comparing it to Nebula Genomics and other DNA testing companies.

Nebula Genomics offers deep ancestry reporting – we analyze every nucleotide in your DNA to provide the most complete picture of your ancestry. In collaboration with FamilyTreeDNA (FTDNA), we give our users access to the largest Y-DNA and mtDNA databases.

Do you have DNA test results from other testing sites like Ancestry or 23andMe results? Nebula Genomics lets you upload that data to access our expanded, detailed report based on the latest, curated research in the Nebula Library. And the best part — it is free!

But how can we do this with DNA data from other providers? We use complex statistical models to fill in the blanks left behind by typical DNA genotyping tests. This means that our expanded reports can analyze almost every genetic variant. 

For users who want to go beyond typical DNA tests, Nebula Genomics offers 30x Whole Genome Sequencing (WGS). This genetic test analyzes 100% of your DNA. That means you can see 10,000 times more data than with other services that decode less than one percent of your genome!


23andMeAncestryCRI GeneticsNebula Genomics
Type of Genome Reporting ServiceMicroarray-based genotypingMicroarray-based genotypingMicroarray-based genotypingWhole Genome Sequencing (30x coverage)
Produced data~ 600,000 positions in the genome~ 700,000 positions in the genome~ 600,000 positions in the genome~ 3,000,000,000 positions in the genome
DNA data downloadCan export data and use it elsewhere.Can export data and use it elsewhere.No access to raw DNA dataCan export data and use it elsewhere
Privacy-focusNoNoNoYes (learn more)
Regularly updated reportsNoNoNoYes. Reports are updated every week
Ancestry ReportingYesYesYesDeep ancestry reporting with full Y chromosome and mtDNA sequencing in collaboration with FTDNA
Cost$99 – $199$99 – $119$99 -$199$0, $99, $299 
CRI Genetics vs 23andMe vs AncestryDNA vs Nebula Genomics

If you’re interested in ancestry and genealogy services, you may also want to look at:

  • 23andMe ($99 for basic ancestry test)
  • AncestryDNA ($99 for ancestry test)
  • GedMatch Genesis (free DNA upload for genetic genealogy and paid advanced options)
  • MyHeritage ($99 for ancestry test, additional subscriptions for access to genealogy tools)

If you want to focus on your maternal and/or paternal lineages, you can look at YFull or YSeq, services which analyze mtDNA or the Y chromosome to determine specific lineage haplotypes. Full Genomes also offers Y chromosome sequencing and analysis.

Interested in learning about your pet’s ancestry? Take a look at our Basepaws, Embark, and Wisdom Panel reviews!

Did you like our CRI Genetics review? You can read more reviews on our blog and check out our complete guide to the best DNA test kit and other home tests.