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In Iceland, Tap Cellphones To Avoid Incest 296

Posted by timothy
from the please-don't-repurpose-this-app dept.
Kozar_The_Malignant writes "Students at the University of Iceland have written an Android app that helps you avoid dating your cousins. The app accesses the Icelandic national genealogical database that contains information on all living citizens and their ancestors going back 1,100 years. Tapping two phones together will bring up an alert if you share a common grandparent." Just one of the consequences of having a population small enough (and well documented enough) to have a well-known genetic makeup.
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In Iceland, Tap Cellphones To Avoid Incest

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  • by GameboyRMH (1153867) <> on Thursday April 18, 2013 @12:46PM (#43483943) Journal

    In high school one of the hottest girls who half the guys (including myself) had a boner for turned out to be a very distant relative of mine...only found out years later from my dad's family tree research hobby. Makes me feel a little better about not tapping that :-\

  • by Aguazul2 (2591049) on Thursday April 18, 2013 @12:48PM (#43483971)

    In Iceland AFAIK people are called "Bob son of George" or "Mary daughter of John", so there aren't any surnames to make it obvious. It makes me wonder how the database can uniquely identify you, though. (I wonder at what stage in the dating/relationship procedure the phone tapping takes place -- you don't want to leave it too late, nor be in a rush and tap too early...)

  • by roc97007 (608802) on Thursday April 18, 2013 @01:05PM (#43484159) Journal

    Do you really need an app to tell you who's family?

    Funny you mention that. Not to put too fine a point on it, but much of my family belong to a religion that promotes large families and careful genealogical records, and I found out one day entirely by accident that one of my co-workers, a thousand miles from my home town, was a first cousin. It can happen even in the US; I imagine it's a fairly common occurrence in a tiny country like Iceland.

  • by lister king of smeg (2481612) on Thursday April 18, 2013 @01:49PM (#43484717)

    from a genetic standpoint you were safe
    sibling share on average what 23 chromosomes :. offspring have and average of 12 dupes
    1st cousins share 12 :. 6 dupes
    2nd cosines share 6 :. 3 dupes
    add in mutation rate in humans of 175 nucleotides per generation per chromosome, and you safe as long as you don't have a family doing it for multiple generations.
    socially however you would be frowned upon.

  • by Rogue Haggis Landing (1230830) on Thursday April 18, 2013 @02:00PM (#43484871)

    unless you're part of the royal family, or in the deep south of the US, where family trees tend to be a lot... slimmer...

    The classic example of this is, of course, poor mentally and physically disabled Carlos II of Spain [] of the cousin-bonking Hapsburgs. His father was his mother's uncle, and the family tree [] just gets worse from there. To quote Wikipedia, "Joanna [of Castile] was two of Charles' 16 great-great-great-grandmothers, six of his 32 great-great-great-great-grandmothers, and six of his 64 great-great-great-great-great-grandmothers." Oh, and Joanna went insane early in her life, so she wasn't exactly a genetic marvel herself. No wonder poor Chuck turned into something only a couple of steps above a wet sack of blubbering goo.

  • by hobarrera (2008506) on Thursday April 18, 2013 @03:30PM (#43486019) Homepage

    Honestly, why?
    If you reproduce with a close relative, there's a higher chance of some genetic flaws showing up. But just having [protected] sex with a distant cousin won't result in anything nasty. Heck, not even your sister would be an issue (unless you get here pregnant).
    This used to be shuned upon because sex = kids. This isn't true anymore nowadays, since we have pills, condoms, etc. It's just inhereted taboo.

  • Re:cool app (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday April 18, 2013 @05:20PM (#43487125)

    As one ,,reporting" from Iceland I can confirm that the making of the database did reveal some embarrassing facts regarding family structure, especially for the older generations. Most of the older records and information used in the database come from so-called church books (before 1900) and national birth registry information. In some cases the information was correctly recorded but hush hush-ed within families to be later revealed with this database. In other cases the identity of the father was ... adjusted for the birth certificates, making it not as an obvious lie, when looking up info in the database...

    I have heard about cases where people send a complaint to the database management regarding information on their families.. just to be told the truth about their grandmas and grandpas...

    Hopefully this was insightful :)

  • by bdwebb (985489) on Thursday April 18, 2013 @05:44PM (#43487337)
    Oh if only I had mod points.

    This is unequivocally true for a significant portion of women through a large span of their lives. You don't necessarily need the tokens to get to the eventual goal of sexy time but they can help significantly. This is also true for most men although the tokens are not usually required...just some beer and attention.

    Ultimately if you are looking for a relationship, tokens don't work out well for anything meaningful. If you are just looking for something warm and squishy, however, tokens can be your best resource if you are making no progress without them. When it comes down to it, a combination of confidence and tokens yields the highest result because without any of the confidence part of the equation, the tokens only work on those women whose profession requires accepting those tokens.

"Whoever undertakes to set himself up as a judge of Truth and Knowledge is shipwrecked by the laughter of the gods." -- Albert Einstein