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https://killexams.com/exam_list/ExinKillexams : Testing Chips For Security
Supply chains and manufacturing processes are becoming increasingly diverse, making it much harder to validate the security in complex chips. To make matters worse, it can be challenging to justify the time and expense to do so, and there’s little agreement on the ideal metrics and processes involved.
Still, this is particularly important as chip architectures evolve from a single chip developed by one vendor to a collection of chips in a package from multiple vendors. The ability to identify security risks early in the design flow can save time, effort, and money on the back end of the flow. And in theory, this should be the same as any other test or debug process. But hardware quality, reliability, and security have very different track records in terms of testing.
“We’ve done tests for quality for the past 50 years,” said Mark Tehranipoor, chair of the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering (ECE) at the University of Florida. “We’ve done tests for reliability for the past 25 years. And now we’re talking about tests for security.”
One of the key challenges on the security side is clarifying exactly what you’re testing for. While a chip may have been manufactured to detailed specifications, its security has to be assessed through the mindset of a smart and determined attacker rather than through predictable metrics.
“You have to think about the intelligence of an adversary,” Tehranipoor said, he said. “We can model a defect, but it’s extremely hard to model an intent. That’s where security becomes difficult to test for.”
No matter how many best practices are applied during the design phase, the real world often presents security challenges that are hard to anticipate. “Once you’re out in the field, all bets are off,” said Adam Cron, distinguished architect at Synopsys. “You’re at the whims of any hacker around the world and what his best practices are, and what the new thing is coming down the line.”
Tehranipoor and Cron are two of the authors of a latest paper examining these issues, “Quantifiable Assurance: From IPs to Platforms.” The paper lists more than 20 different metrics for different aspects of security, which points to the complexity of the challenge. “Generally, measuring security is still at a nascent place,” Cron said. “All companies are just getting off the ground from a measurement standpoint for security in particular.”
Finding consensus around those metrics won’t be easy. “Over the past several years, the [hardware security] community has been talking about developing metrics, but we’re not quite there yet, and we’re not going to be there any time soon,” Tehranipoor said. “Why? Because by the time we figure out a good metric for some attacks, a new attack comes in, and we’re behind again.”
Agreeing on metrics Just about any security metric could be rendered irrelevant by the right attack. A hypothetical device certified for high security could be breached by a highly intelligent adversary who happened to spot something others hadn’t. “If we all missed looking at it from the angle that this particular attacker looked it – we thought it was a really good, secure device, but this guy showed up and he looked at it in a certain way that we all missed – then suddenly, there’s an easy attack,” Tehranipoor said.
Texplained CTO and founder Olivier Thomas said any testing of IC security has to consider three classes of attacks – non-invasive, semi-invasive, and fully invasive. But testing for the latter often falls short. “Testing the first two classes is usually done pretty well, as this does not require too much equipment, resources, and time. But when it comes to the fully invasive class, the evaluations, if conducted, are really far from what pirates or organized groups are capable of,” he said.
Moreover, the wide range of ways any chip can be attacked presents a fundamental challenge. “I have to think about whether this chip is going to leak information through the pin, through the software, through the firmware, through the JTAG, or can it supply it to me through power, or EM, or timing, or optical, or laser,” said Tehranipoor. “There are so many ways, and there is no single metric for all of them, because laser is fundamentally different than power, power is fundamentally different than EM. So how many different metrics are we going to have?”
Still, Cron said, there is a real push for a ratings system for consumer products as well as high-security solutions. This is akin to a UL listing for consumer appliances, likely with a date stamp to indicate how up to date a chip’s security is. “You’ll know that, at the time it was checked, you achieved a certain level, and there won’t be infinite levels,” he said. “But if you buy that same product and it’s been sitting on the shelf for two years, you have to ask yourself, ‘Is it still good?’”
A range of approaches In the meantime, there are several ways to get a sense of a chip’s security. One involves Joint Interpretation Library (JIL) scoring. “JIL scoring tells you how ‘expensive’ it is to initially figure out an attack (identification), and how expensive it is to subsequently do the attack (exploitation),” said Maarten Bron, managing director at Riscure. “This method was initially developed for expressing the security of smart cards (bank cards, public transit cards, SIM cards), and has recently gained wider traction in the domain of MCUs and SoCs.”
Cron noted that NIST has standards for certifying encryption or cryptographic IP, and Synopsys’ RTL Architect can look at differential power analysis. “But there’s still no metric per se,” he said. “Those tools are giving you areas where you should look. But whether or not you do look, or whether or not, while you look, you detect the thing that the hacker is going to be looking at, as well, who’s to say?”
Scott Best, senior director of security products at Rambus, said that while each individual chip manufacturer approaches this with the best of intentions, they all do things differently. “There is no one standard adopted for industrywide practice commercially,” he said. “In U.S. Defense, there are some early-stage guidelines coming together for Microelectronic Quantified Assurance (MQA), for example as part of the RAMP program.”
The diverse range of evaluation methods in use today, according to Texplained’s Thomas, includes analysis by researchers who publish at conferences and online, independent analysis requested by OEMs and integrators seeking more information than that offered by vendors, and Common Criteria security evaluations that only focus on some types of attacks “and therefore are not fully exhaustive.”
But that hasn’t diminished the need for this kind of standardization. “There are two broad key business drivers here,” said Jason Oberg, CTO at Cycuity. “One is obviously standardization. It’s very clear that if you can check a box, someone is more likely to buy. If you sell in a certain market, and if you have to do it, that’s what’s standardization can help drive. The other component is really driven by customer demand for, ‘I want a secure product.’ Or maybe they’ve had that crisis where it actually happened to them. And if you think about defining the systematic process when you have security requirements that are defined up front, part of those security requirements are actually driven by standards.”
Shifting left This is why there is an increasing amount of focus on security earlier in designs, and testing as early as possible is always better, as with any other portion of the chip design process. It improves efficiency and minimizes cost.
“Catch the security problem earlier and it’s going to cost you 10 times less,” Tehranipoor said. “Go left. Don’t do it post-silicon if you can do it at layout level. Don’t do it at the layout level if you can do it at gate level. Don’t do it at gate level if you can do it at the RTL level.”
Performing security validation pre-silicon allows for far faster remediation of any issues that may come up, and is increasingly becoming an expected part of the process. “At some point, having a simulation-driven pre-silicon security signoff process will become table stakes for makers of security chips,” said Riscure’s Bron. “Put differently, I can see this becoming a competitive disadvantage for those companies that don’t.”
Lang Lin, Ansys principal product manager, noted that testing virtually has other benefits, as well. “In simulation, you don’t have the noisy environment faced by the post-silicon chip,” he said. “You’re living in a digital world, a virtual world, so you can clearly see where the leakage path is from simulation, which might not be that clear in silicon.”
However, it’s crucial to keep in mind that from a security point of view, a design and its implementation are two very different things. “A cryptographic algorithm can be secure on paper (the ‘design’), yet the implementation of it can supply rise to side-channel leakage that renders the overall product insecure,” Bron said. “What I like about the notion of pre-silicon security is that it allows developers to design security into their design, design vulnerabilities out of their design, and to see how this security carries over into the implementation of the design.”
Anticipating complex environments Complexity always has been a big challenge for security experts, and it becomes even more difficult to safeguard a chip if it’s being included in a heterogeneous design with multiple components that are not developed by the same company. That makes testing all the more important, and how that testing is done can make a big difference.
Chips ideally should be tested in a worst-case scenario, with all countermeasures disabled — “without redundancy, without security measures and so on, so the chip is operated in the worst condition for security and we see the pure hardware security features,” said Peter Laackmann, distinguished engineer for the Connected Secure Systems (CSS) Division at Infineon. “This means if you bring the chip into another environment, then the situation should not get worse.”
Still, complex environments can introduce vulnerabilities in other ways. For example, consider a crypto wallet that’s breached despite the presence of a security chip, because that security chip happens to be controlled by a standard microcontroller. “With electrical glitches on the standard microcontroller, hardware wallets were successfully broken, although they have security chips certified according to Common Criteria inside which were not harmed at all,” Laackman said.
Robert Ruiz, director of product marketing at Synopsys, said utilizing PCIe or USB ports to test for defects can introduce vulnerabilities as well. “That technique itself kind of opens up the chip, if not the whole system, to hack, because you’re basically giving hackers entry points into the system through a standard plug-in port… so these new techniques, they’re improving efficiency on design and manufacturing, yet they may actually open up the door a bit,” he said.
Ongoing validation Testing chips, both on their own and as part of package, is essential. “A die should always be tested in isolation first, and chip makers are doing this,” said Bron. “The testing of all components ‘together’ is what evaluation methods like Common Criteria tackle very well, and we see chipmakers that understand these evaluation processes well enough to be able to derive benefit from this during chip design/package design.”
At the same time, nothing done pre-silicon eliminates the need for validation after the fact. “You would not just build a vehicle without computing the needed functions and the needed safety, and just testing it afterwards,” Laackmann said. “So testing is always mandatory for hardware, and for software, and also in combination. But you can spare some time, and make your results more reliable if you have pre-silicon tests in advance.”
Testing engineering samples or final commercial samples can offer significant benefits, even if it’s too late to fix some potential issues. “Some security vulnerabilities that are discovered this way can be (partly) mitigated in firmware still,” Bron said. “Others cannot, and these are typically learning opportunities to make the next generation of chips more secure.”
Increasing demand for security Interest in security is trending upward, driven by customers with greater security concerns for everything from smart cards to automotive applications. “The priority is based on the application,” Ansys’ Lin said. “For applications with secret data, with confidential data, of course, security is prioritized higher than the other metrics.”
In the future, it will be possible to test for specific security concerns that are most important for a specific application or user. “You’ll say, ‘My application is this,’ Tehranipoor said. “And the tool automatically will be intelligent enough to say, ‘Okay, got it – I’m going to choose x, y, and z, I’m going to optimize it for you for that – and I’m going to supply you a report based on that optimization.”
That kind of specificity is essential for security, which can’t be pinned down to a straightforward, universal metric. “And we’re going to get there,” he said. “We’re not there yet. But we will get there.”
Wed, 05 Oct 2022 12:00:00 -0500en-UStext/htmlhttps://semiengineering.com/testing-chips-for-security/Killexams : Testing solutions
Martin Varga, Wireless and Custom Engineering Team Leader, Anritsu talks to Neil Tyler about the challenges associated with testing IoT devices.
Over the past few years intelligent connectivity has proliferated and the Internet of Things is seen as helping to accelerate the drive towards greater business insights boosted by the growing deployment of applications and the use of sensor-driven analytics.
Artificial intelligence models and edge computing architectures are being used across a wide group of sectors, linking IoT networks to the Cloud and providers such as Amazon Web Services and Azure are helping to reduce the cost of implementing edge-driven IoT.
The growth in users and the insights derived from the IoT are now extending into a whole new range of applications from the factory floor to better understanding and protecting the environment around us.
As this trend accelerates so companies will produce more IoT devices and, as they do so, they will need additional tools to test them. The growing impact of 5G on IoT technology is also expected to trigger an unprecedented growth in test & measurement.
When it comes to the IoT, network connectivity comprises of four core layers: the physical layer (sensors and controllers); network layer (gateways and communication units); data management layer (local or cloud services at the backend), and the application layer (software for user interaction), so it’ll be critical for devices to be able to exchange sensitive information easily before entering the market, so testing tools will be required to spot any defect in IoT devices.
So, IoT testing is vital if companies are to validate the performance, reduce the security issues, and boost the functionality of their IoT devices.
The complexity and variability of IoT testing makes planning crucial when it comes to testing and a thorough testing process is recommended to ensure a quality IoT product and high customer satisfaction.
So, what are the issues confronting companies when it comes to IoT testing – is it the number of IoT platforms, the communications protocols, or security?
Addressing the testing issues
According to Martin Varga, Wireless and Custom Engineering Team Leader, Anritsu, “The IoT itself brings not just one communication technology but multiple technologies such as cellular (LTE, 5G) and short- range wireless technologies (WLAN, Bluetooth). Naturally, an IoT device must support both in order to provide various services and hence the major challenge when it comes to IoT testing is to test various aspects of each communication technology.
“Besides multiple communication technologies there is also the challenge of testing various layers in an IoT device. Where testing is focused on the physical layer of communication technology the aim is to ensure trouble-free connectivity; application layer testing is important to identify issues around the user-experience or to correct the functionality of services which IoT devices offer,” explained Varga.
When it comes to testing developers often think IoT technologies are already mature and are designed to provide trouble-free connectivity and communication.
According to Varga, while that may be true, “Each IoT device will have a unique design and deploy components differently. These will naturally influence each other and may also interfere with each other, so unless the IoT device is properly tested, you will never know how the design and the components used in a device work whatever the maturity of the technology.”
Varga also made the point that many developers think that testing is complicated, complex and expensive which he suggested was not the case.
“There are plenty of test and measurement systems that are able to provide easy, effective and cost balanced solutions which at the end of the day will save costs in the IoT device design process.”
There are certainly a wide range of issues that need to be considered when it comes to testing for the IoT, from RF design testing under specified conditions to performance measurements, such as power consumption and battery life, as well as compliance with applicable regulatory standards and operator-specific requirements before wireless devices can enter the market.
So, what makes for a good IoT test strategy?
“Simply put, a good IoT test strategy is just to have one,” Varga suggested. “That means you need to implement concrete testing and measurement in each phase of the IoT device’s design and development cycle. To develop an IoT device without any testing and measurement during the development cycle may result in costly mistakes with a device that does not work as expected or one that provides only partial or no service to the end user.”
Varga also made the point that it is important to differentiate between development IoT testing and production testing.
“The key difference is in the speed of measurement. IoT testing in the development phase usually requires full simulation of the network and involves the protocol stack for signalling which requires time to establish communication links for measurement.
“Manufacturing testing ensures products are of the highest quality, but this requires fast and accurate measurement hence production line testing does not involve protocol stack and signalling to establish an active communication link between IoT devices and the test instrument.
“Production line test works purely in the non-signalling mode where devices either transmit certain waveform signals and the test instrument measures it, or the test instrument transmits certain waveform signals and the IoT device measures the received signal.”
IoT test equipment can be categorised as cellular test equipment supporting cellular technologies like 5G, 4G, 3G and 2G and short range wireless equipment that supports technologies like Wi-Fi and Bluetooth, explained Varga.
“This type of equipment usually serves as a network or device simulator to test the IoT device to correct measurement states using protocol stack signalling and perform measurements.
“Such an operation naturally requires the setting of various parameters which makes measurement more complex, however on the other side measurements are done in real life conditions making sure that IoT devices will work correctly in commercial deployment and use. Another type of test equipment is focused on non-signalling testing where only the physical layer is tested without engagement with the higher layers of the protocol or application. Such measurements supply less complex parametrisation and fast speed of measurements, although they are measuring only a limited part of the whole IoT device and so could leave some nasty surprises in terms of performance and operation once the IoT device is deployed and is use,” Varga warned.
The best types of IoT test equipment should offer multiple measurement types such as RF or/and application type measurements, according to Varga.
“It also should offer enough accuracy and quality in signal generation and analyses to accurately measure the performance of an IoT device,” said Varga. “Easy parametrisation and intuitive operation are also important factors. IoT test equipment needs to offer effective simulation and measurement capabilities where the developer has an environment under full control, which will enable them to verify and measure expected behaviour and performance through the whole development cycle so there are no delays caused by having to re-design or fix design faults.
“Pre-compliance testing before going to full certification will save time and money and accelerate the commercial launch of an IoT device.”
According to Varga, set up time is important in production line testing where speed of measurement is critical as well as capacity, due to the high number of devices that will be manufactured. He suggested that allowing parallel testing of multiple devices simultaneously would increase capacity and overall production line volume.
“Anritsu is able to offer multi-technology high volume production line test solutions allowing parallel testing of multiple devices with high levels of accuracy, but we are also able to offer other test and measurement solutions for cellular and short range wireless IoT devices, whether used in prototyping, design or development.
“Our solutions come with unique functions and are both easy and quick to set up, delivering effective and complex measurements.”
Critically, it’s important that companies like Anritsu understand the needs of engineers and developers who perform or require various types of measurement.
“The technology itself, whether it is cellular or short-range wireless, brings a certain level of complexity in terms of the measurement environment setup. Therefore, engineers need test equipment that is easy, intuitive, and provides a stable measurement setup to bridge the complexity of the technology and to deliver better and more understandable test results.
“While Anritsu is a test and measurement company it is also, and has to be, a partner for all its customers.”
Mon, 10 Oct 2022 23:02:00 -0500entext/htmlhttps://www.newelectronics.co.uk/content/features/testing-solutionsKillexams : Psychology Today
Do you believe in yourself? Do you supply yourself the credit you deserve? Self-esteem is an integral part of personal happiness, fulfilling relationships and achievement. This test is designed to evaluate your general level of self-esteem and determine whether you need to work on your self-image. Take this self-esteem test to find out your true sense of self.
Examine the following statements and indicate how often or to what degree you agree with them. In order to receive the most accurate results, please answer each question as honestly as possible.
After finishing this test you will receive a FREE snapshot report with a summary evaluation and graph. You will then have the option to purchase the full results for $6.95
This test is intended for informational and entertainment purposes only. It is not a substitute for professional diagnosis or for the treatment of any health condition. If you would like to seek the advice of a licensed mental health professional you can search Psychology Today's directory here.
Tue, 07 Mar 2017 01:10:00 -0600en-UStext/htmlhttps://www.psychologytoday.com/us/tests/personality/self-esteem-testKillexams : Performance Testing Should Focus on Trends
Performance testing starts by setting a baseline and defining the metrics to track together with the development team. Nikolay Avramov advises executing performance tests and comparing the results frequently during development to spot degrading performance as soon as possible.
One of the common approaches that Avramov is seeing is to develop a product, do functional testing on it, pass it through user acceptance, and then check if it works "fine" under the expected loads. By starting to test at the end of the development process, we are missing out on opportunities to get more information we could use, Avramov stated.
According to Avramov, having a trend of results over time is crucial for performance testing:
Performance testing should be planned before and executed during development. Knowing the types of performance tests that need to be developed, the team should identify metrics to track over the course of the project and define a baseline for their system. Over the course of development there is always a way to measure the product.
During a project, bottlenecks could be chained together and become harder and harder to fix. And even if we do, this could introduce regression issues all over the system, Avramov mentioned.
Each application has its limits and specifics, Avramov said. According to him, the first goal for performance testing is to define what those limits are, and what the "idle" performance is, looking from the client’s standpoint:
The question is, what are we trying to improve?
If it’s the load time of a home page, there is a set of metrics and tests that we can start running and track its results.
If it’s the number of concurrent users it could withstand, then we need to configure a set of load tests to perform and analyse the results after each change.
If it’s a business scenario that takes too much time, the problem-solving might require profiling a database query, or a series of web requests.
Finding performance bottlenecks is always related to teamwork across multiple roles, departments, and system components, Avramov said. No one has all the answers in one place, so part of the job is to connect all these people and channel their knowledge and energy to solve the problem.
Performance testing is an iterative process where constant improvements need to be made - on the software side and the tests themselves, Avramov concluded.
Nikolay Avramov: Performance Testing is about asserting the system works efficiently and meets the expectations in terms of reliability, speed, responsiveness, and ability to withstand peak loads.
This type of testing can be done on multiple layers of the system to uncover different problems with the setup, configuration, client-side code and bottlenecks when exposed to higher loads.
Performance testing is not only about the server response time of our managed system. It’s also about the experience of the user while working with the software. Client-side performance tests can uncover issues with third-party systems or integrations that can harm the overall look and feel of the system.
InfoQ: How are performance testing and load testing related?
Avramov: Load testing is actually Performance Testing under simulated load. The goal is to capture performance metrics, while the system is near or over its expected load levels.
Load testing has its own sub-types like Spike, Soak, and Endurance testing. We can reconfigure parameters of the load applied to the system to simulate different real-world scenarios.
We can do performance testing even without applying load. This would be capturing the performance metrics from the server and from the web requests execution.
InfoQ: What’s your advice to teams that want to Boost the way that they are doing performance testing?
Avramov: There are many types of performance testing that can be performed, and they all could be beneficial if we know how to use them and what to expect. So my advice is to educate yourself on the purpose of each of these, sit together with the team and decide what is applicable in your case. The implementation comes next - it can be done in many different ways, but the most important work is done within the team.
Most of the teams that have performance tests focus only on load testing. My advice is to think about the users. Each point of your graph could be a potential customer we would lose because of lousy performance. Do not forget about the client-side performance during load testing.
Thu, 13 Oct 2022 04:34:00 -0500entext/htmlhttps://www.infoq.com/news/2022/10/performance-testing-trends/Killexams : Growth hacking is really just growth testing
Jonathan Martinez is a former YouTuber, UC Berkeley alum and growth marketing nerd who's helped scale Uber, Postmates, Chime and various startups.
More posts by this contributor
Who knew that “growth hacking,” a term coined in 2010 by Sean Ellis, the first marketer at Dropbox, would become so commonplace in 2022? Considering the fact that growth marketing wasn’t even a formal function at startups 12 years ago, I think it’s okay to say that we couldn’t have predicted how growth hacking would evolve.
But let’s discuss what growth hacking is and isn’t. Firstly, growth hacking isn’t a way to code or hack your way to 100x growth with one clever tactic. It’s also not a magical solution that only a few people in this world possess.
Growth hacking actually means growth testing. Exhaustive growth testing.
Growth hacking involves using creative strategies with minimal resources to help startups acquire and retain customers. At the heart of growth hacking are growth marketers who use stringent experimentation frameworks to run countless A/B tests to achieve rapid growth.
Let me supply you an example.
During my tenure as a growth lead at Postmates, we ran into massive roadblocks because of constrained budgets and lofty fleet (driver) acquisition targets. This was before the company raised the $300 million Series E from Tiger Global Management, so we had to get crafty and find new ways to acquire fleet.
If each test can result in a 1% improvement, you’re well on your way to 100% improvement after running 100 tests.
For example, we signed up with platforms such as Handshake, a college student job board, to recruit students to drive for us for extra cash in their spare time. While this was a manual operation, it allowed us to hypertarget a specific profile (e.g., college students) for free. We tried many other tactics to “hack” growth, but there never was one super solution that eventually resulted in us getting acquired by Uber.
In other words, it takes countless tests and lots of analysis to determine the winners from the losers.
Every big company has done growth hacking at some point. Let’s dive into some examples of growth hacking and explore how you can start thinking about the next steps.
When attempting to hack growth, you should start by thinking about increasing test throughput while being as methodical as possible. By implementing a fairly simple framework, every startup can be successful with growth hacking:
To start, hypothesis ideation can be fueled by key answers to questions at each step of the funnel (more on that later). It’s important to have a healthy number of hypotheses as that will help ensure there’s an adequate runway for the tests being launched.
Mon, 10 Oct 2022 05:48:00 -0500en-UStext/htmlhttps://techcrunch.com/2022/10/10/growth-hacking-is-really-just-growth-testing/Killexams : The ‘Age of P.C.R. Prosperity’? China’s Covid-Testing Strategy Comes Under Strain.No result found, try new keyword!By testing every citizen several times a week, the authorities hoped to isolate cases more quickly and avoid future crippling lockdowns. But in latest months that approach has failed to slow some ...Wed, 12 Oct 2022 08:07:00 -0500text/htmlhttps://www.nytimes.com/2022/10/12/business/china-covid-testing.htmlKillexams : Foundation Geothermal Energy Works, Australia Subway Test ShowsKillexams : Foundation Geothermal Energy Works, Australia Subway Test Shows | 2022-09-30 | Engineering News-Record
Fri, 30 Sep 2022 08:18:00 -0500entext/htmlhttps://www.enr.com/articles/54925-foundation-geothermal-energy-works-australia-subway-test-showsKillexams : Best DNA Test for 2022: AncestryDNA vs. 23andMe and More
Imagine knowing all about your family's ancestry, getting a detailed report about your body's health and predispositions -- just from a simple at-home test. It's never been easier to get your hands on a personal DNA test and find out all about yourself. These easy-to-use tests can teach you all about your genetics, right from the comfort of your own couch. And there are plenty of reputable DNA tests to choose from. This article breaks down what each company offers with tests and memberships.
Though it's a thorny and controversial topic, some tests also claim to reveal your "ethnicity." There are also DNA test services that can shed light on your genetic predisposition for diseases and physiological traits, ranging from your eye color to your tolerance for cilantro.
While they used to cost about $1,000 back in the 2000s, you can now get a sophisticated DNA data analysis of your genetic makeup for a fraction of that price, thanks to trailblazers such as 23andMe and Ancestry, and upstarts like Living DNA.
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There are three types of DNA tests -- each with its own particular strengths, limitations and rationales.
An autosomal DNA test is the best investment for most beginners; it can identify relatives between five and seven generations back, across both maternal and paternal lines.
Only men can effectively use a Y-DNA test, which identifies male relatives on the paternal line reaching back 60,000 years. If you're looking to trace the history of your family's surname, this is the test to use.
Mitochondrial DNA testing, also known as mtDNA testing, can determine genetic relationships on a maternal line from up to 150,000 years ago; both men and women can take this type of test.
Each testing company will supply you an analysis of your DNA test results. These results could include your geographical origin -- some claim to be able to pinpoint a specific country, town or even "tribe" -- as well as your genetic ancestry composition and your susceptibility to particular genetic diseases. We should note that these tests don't serve a diagnostic purpose. A doctor-administered genetic test and a follow-up with a genetic counselor is important if you think you have a genetic disease. No online testing company offering results from a saliva sample can substitute for a health test administered by your doctor.
Certain companies will also serve up "matches" from their DNA databases, which will supply you a head start on connecting with possible relatives and offer some degree of family-tree research support. AncestryDNA, for example, offers a subscription service that includes access to hundreds of databases containing birth, death and marriage announcements, census documents, newspaper archives and other historical records.
Some DNA companies sell tests designed for specific ethnicities or specialized kits that claim to shed light on your optimal skin care regimen or weight; others offer tests designed to identify the genetic makeup of your cat or dog. (Yes, you can get a dog DNA test.) The experts I spoke to were dubious of the efficacy and value of these tests, however, and recommended avoiding them.
Though there's no blood involved with modern DNA testing -- you either swab the inside of your cheek or fill a small test tube with your saliva -- there are plenty of reasons to be wary of the companies that sell these kits. Your success in DNA test genealogy is largely dependent on supplying highly personal information about yourself and your relatives, from your genetic data to your mother's maiden name (a traditional cornerstone of password security).
DNA testing, and genealogy more broadly, involves a complicated mixture of genetics, probabilities and guesswork. The various DNA testing services use different labs, algorithms, equipment and criteria to analyze your genetic material. Although you should expect some degree of overlap between analyses from different companies, they may differ significantly. There's also an element of critical mass -- the larger the company's database, the larger the sample they use to analyze your results, and the more accurate your test result should be.
We tried some of the top DNA testing services, assessing the breadth and depth of their offerings, methodologies, reputation and price. Take a look at our recommendations below.
23andMe segments its analysis into three main categories -- health, ancestry and traits. The basic ancestry and traits test, which is now on sale for $99, includes an analysis of your genetic makeup including your regions of origin, maternal and paternal lineage and Neanderthal ancestry. Once you opt in, the company's match database -- which has more than 10 million profiles -- will identify and offer to connect you with people who share a DNA match with you.
The company's DNA health test, which is on sale for $199, adds information about your genetic predisposition for late-onset Alzheimer's, Parkinson's and other diseases. The service also includes analysis of your carrier status as a potential genetic carrier for disorders like Cystic Fibrosis and Sickle Cell Anemia as well as indicators for lactose intolerance and other "wellness" issues. The Premium Membership bundle, currently on sale for $199 with the on-page instant coupon, provides priority lab processing, premium customer support and a personalized walkthrough of your results.
I found 23andMe's website and mobile app very easy to navigate and brimming with interesting, comprehensible information about both my ancestry and health as well as the science of genetics and genealogy. The main dashboard offers intuitive links to exploring your ancestry, learning about the genetic risks for health conditions, building out a family tree and connecting with relatives. Among all of the DNA tests I tried, 23andMe delivered the best introduction to my latest and ancient genealogy along with an analysis of my genetic health. The only real drawback is that it does not offer integrated access to historical documents.
23andMe does provide easy access to a full range of privacy preferences and consent options, however. (That noted, 23andMe's terms of service and privacy statement is among the most extensive, exceeding 20,000 words.) You can ask the company to store your saliva sample indefinitely for future testing or have them discard it. Having signed off when I first signed up, I subsequently changed my mind about giving the company permission to share my data with researchers outside of 23andMe, and was able to retract my consent with the click of a button.
Founded in Utah in the 1990s, Ancestry.com -- the parent company of AncestryDNA -- started out as a publishing and genealogy company. Since then, it has had a somewhat tumultuous corporate existence, having been bought, sold, publicly traded and then purchased by private equity groups.
The company's basic DNA kit service, currently on sale for $99, provides you with an "ethnicity estimate" derived from its proprietary sequencing techniques. It's noteworthy that the company's genetic testing, which is outsourced to Quest Diagnostics, is distinct from most other companies that use paternal Y chromosome and/or maternal mitochondrial DNA methodologies, and less is known about the particular criteria it uses.
That noted, AncestryDNA says its database contains more than 18 million profiles, making it the largest of all of the DNA test kit services. The company also maintains a powerful tool for searching through hundreds of historical document databases -- but any substantive research will quickly bring you to a paywall. Ancestry's databases are further bolstered by its partnership with FamilySearch.org, a genealogical records site run by the Mormon church.
An entry-level membership, which provides access to more than 6 billion records in the US, costs $119 for six months or $25 per month, after a free two-week trial. The "World Explorer" membership, for $40 per month, broadens your access to the company's 27 billion international records, and the "All Access" tier, starting at $60 per month, includes unlimited access to Ancestry's historical and contemporary database of more than 15,000 newspapers and military records from around the world.
AncestryDNA offers a personalized health report with "actionable insights," access to genetic counseling resources, an online tool to help you map your family's health over generations and a next-generation sequencing service for screening your genetic risk for heart disease, some cancers and blood disorders. Still, the results are not diagnostic -- though the test result must be approved by one of the company's physicians -- and the service does not have FDA approval. For now, 23andMe maintains the advantage when it comes to introductory DNA testing for health risks and genetic screening. But AncestryDNA's service is particularly well-suited for leveraging an introductory DNA analysis into deep historical research to build out a family tree.
AncestryDNA allows you to get your full DNA results profile and upload the raw data into other tools, and it provides reasonably good control over your privacy preferences, though the options are not as granular as others.
Founded in 2000, FamilyTreeDNA offers a comprehensive suite of reports and interactive tools to analyze your DNA and build a family tree. With a credible claim to "the world's most comprehensive DNA matching database," FamilyTreeDNA offers all three types of tests -- autosomal DNA, Y-DNA and mtDNA. And it's the sole company to own and operate its own testing facility: The Gene-by-Gene genetic lab, located in Houston.
The company's entry-level "family ancestry" package usually costs $79, though its testing kit is currently on sale for less. The test results provide information about your ethnic and geographic origins, identifies potential relatives and offers access to the company's massive DNA database. I paid $275 for a broad DNA test that included analysis of my mtDNA and Y-DNA -- tests that currently cost $139 and $99, respectively, when you buy them individually -- as well as the "Family Finder," the company's $49 autosomal test.
Though the user interface is a bit more complicated than what you'll find on other sites, FamilyTreeDNA provides the most complete suite of introductory tools of any provider I tested. For each type of test, you are presented with matches -- I got more than 22,000 for my autosomal DNA test -- a chromosome browser, migration maps, haplogroups and connections to ancestral reference populations, information about mutations and a link that allows you to get your raw data. Suffice to say, there are numerous threads to pull on to learn about yourself, your family and your health.
FamilyTree also offers a number of higher-end tests, for those interested in digging deeper, including a range of Y-DNA tests that will trace the path of your male ancestors and the history of your surname. The company also allows you to upload raw DNA data files from other services and transfer your autosomal information to its database to expand your universe of matches and relationships.
From a data security and privacy perspective, there are several things I find appealing about FamilyTreeDNA. The company does its own DNA testing in house, processing and storing your sample in its lab. Posted prominently on the front page of its website is a promise that the company will never sell your DNA to third parties. Like most other companies, however, FamilyTreeDNA may use your aggregate genetic information for internal research and may comply with requests from law enforcement -- unless you opt out.
Other DNA testing options
The three services above are our top choices for the best DNA test. But they weren't the only ones we tested. What follows are some additional options, none of which eclipsed the 23andMe, Ancestry or FamilyTreeDNA in any significant fashion.
Based in Israel, MyHeritage was founded in 2003, and like a number of other services profiled here, started out as a genealogy software platform. Over time, it acquired a number of historical databases and eventually added DNA testing in 2016. (MyHeritage outsources its DNA analysis to FamilyTreeDNA.) In 2018, MyHeritage committed a security breach, exposing the email addresses and hashed passwords of more than 92 million users.
MyHeritage offers a free tier of service that includes some basic family tree-building and access to excerpts of historical documents. It won't get you too far.
The basic DNA testing and analysis service, which is now on sale for $49, includes the usual fare -- a report of your genetic makeup across the company's 42 supported ethnicities, the identification of relatives and connections to them where possible. All things considered, I preferred FamilyTreeDNA's presentation of my DNA information. But MyHeritage highlighted a first cousin living in the US, with whom I shared about 15% of my DNA, and offered to show me her family tree -- if I paid a $209 annual subscription fee.
Yes, that's expensive -- a free 14-day trial is available -- but the company maintains an impressive online database of historical documents that includes 3.5 billion profiles in addition to information about over 100 million subscribers and their collective 46 million family trees. This enormous database is powered by Geni.com, a genealogy social media site that's also MyHeritage's parent company. According to the New York Times, Geni.com has assembled "the world's largest, scientifically vetted family tree."
In 2019, MyHeritage launched a health test similar to the one offered by 23andMe. As part of this effort, the company partnered with PWNHealth, a network of US physicians who oversee the process. I was required to complete a personal and family health history questionnaire -- it was 16 questions -- which was then ostensibly reviewed by a doctor. Though the company says it may recommend a "genetic counseling" session administered by PWNHealth, my health results were simply delivered along with my ancestry analysis.
On the plus side, I like MyHeritage's straightforward access to a range of comprehensible privacy preferences. Still, overall, I found MyHeritage's user interface far less intuitive and more difficult to navigate than others. Though the company's offering is broad -- it's one of the few to offer a comprehensive research database of historical documents, DNA analysis and health screening -- I found the integration among them to be a bit clumsy.
Living DNA describes itself as a "consumer genealogy DNA service that does not sell or share customers' DNA or data with third parties," which gives you a sense of its priorities -- or, at least, its sense of customers' concerns. LivingDNA's headquarters in the UK may also be a factor in its distinctive mission statement, as it is subject to the more stringent data and privacy regulations of the GDPR.
LivingDNA divides its offerings in a different way than others. The $79 autosomal DNA kit provides an overview of your ancestry in 80 geographical regions and information about maternal and paternal haplogroups and access to the company's genetic matching tool. The $99 "wellbeing package" includes reports about your physiological compatibility with vitamins, foods and exercise. And the $149 DNA ancestry and well-being package gives you all of it.
Recent ancestry results are presented with a breakdown of percentage by country as well as the percentage attributable to more detailed regions, as well as the origin and migration path of haplogroups. In February 2020, LivingDNA introduced an African Ancestry DNA test report that features data on 72 regions in Africa and, according to the company, "five times the detail of any other test on the market." The report is available for free to existing customers.
That noted, the company has a very limited family match database; a company representative declined to supply me a specific number but said that it contained less than 1 million profiles. My wife, who took the test, returned exactly zero matches. So, if you're looking to identify and make connections with relatives, there are better choices in the market. That noted, LivingDNA has a very solid reputation for both the quality of its DNA analysis and privacy terms among experienced genealogists.
For experts only: Whole genome sequencing
There are a number of companies -- including Full Genomes, Veritas Genetics, Nebula Genomics and Dante Labs -- that can sequence all of your DNA, otherwise known as your genome. This level of analysis is appropriate for advanced users only. Not only is it expensive -- these tests can run into the thousands of dollars, in some cases -- it requires a sophisticated understanding of both genetics and a range of technical tools required to explore and interpret your results.
The least expensive whole genome tests cost about $300. For example, Full Genome's 30X test -- which scans every targeted location of your genome 30 times on average -- is considered the standard for a clinical analysis. It costs $299.
For most people, the main rationale for sequencing the whole genome is to dive deep into your genetic health outlook. You can glean your personal risk factors for diseases, drug sensitivities and your status as a carrier; that is, what you might pass on to your kids. But there are also plenty of applications for advanced genealogical projects.
All of these efforts can also be undertaken -- to a less intense degree -- with some of the more affordable options outlined above. But whole genome sequencing provides a significantly more comprehensive, accurate and high-resolution analysis.
HomeDNA sells testing kits under a number of brands, including DNA Origins, and has a retail presence at Walmart, CVS, Rite Aid and Walgreens. The company's tests claim to combine genetic research and "ancestral tracking" techniques that can identify the town or village where your ancestors originated with a high degree of accuracy. Many experts dispute these claims.
The company offers a range of ancestry testing services starting at $69. That's the price for the maternal and paternal lineage kits and the "Starter Ancestry Test," which uses DNA markers to develop an estimate of your origins in Europe, Indigenous America, East Asia and Sub-Saharan Africa -- and shows you the modern population groups that share your DNA. The $124 "Advanced Ancestry Test" expands the analysis to 80,000 autosomal genetic markets, 1,000 reference populations and 41 gene pools.
I'll note that the HomeDNA test kit contained no warning about not eating or drinking for any period of time prior to taking the test -- unlike every other kit I used. And of the four swabs the company sent, one broke. The test kit just didn't seem as rigorously hygienic as the others.
For $199, HomeDNA claims that the Asian Edition of its GPS Origins Ancestry Test can analyze 17 Asia-specific gene pools and hundreds of Asia-specific reference populations. In addition to a $164 paternity kit, the company also sells a variety of specific kits to determine your sensitivities to particular animals and foods, one to help you achieve a healthy weight, and another that promises to "unlock your skin's full potential."
For $39, the company will allow you to upload a raw data file from another DNA testing service and pinpoint your origin to a particular town or city. There are also kits to help you screen your dog or cat for genetic diseases and traits.
But this company doesn't have a sterling reputation in the genetic genealogy world. When we recently spoke with Debbie Kennett, a genetic genealogist from University College London, she referenced the company's notoriety for delivering "bizarre results" and expressed doubt about the efficacy of its specialized tests for particular ethnic groups. HomeDNA did not respond to CNET's inquiry about its testing process or results.
And the HomeDNA reports don't stack up particularly well against those returned by other companies. Results are summarized on a single webpage, though you also get a PDF that certifies that you've "undergone DNA testing" and shows the continents and countries where your DNA originates. The company also throws in a boilerplate 20-page explainer about DNA science and technology. HomeDNA does not offer access to any matching databases -- so there's no obvious next step or any actionable data that comes with your results. Given this, I'd recommend choosing a different DNA testing service.
Claiming to have the most comprehensive database of African lineages, African Ancestry promises to trace its customers' ancestry back to a specific country and identify their "ethnic group origin." But a number of experienced genealogists have cited issues with this company's marketing claims and science.
Unlike most other companies, African Ancestry doesn't offer an autosomal DNA test. Instead, it offers an mtDNA test or a Y-DNA test (for males only). In contrast to your standard DNA analysis, African Ancestry's report doesn't provide the percentage of DNA that's likely to have originated across a range of regions. Instead, African Ancestry claims to trace your DNA to a specific region of Africa.
According to experts, however, African Ancestry's DNA tests come up short. As explained in a blog post by African American genetic genealogist Shannon Christmas, the company's methodology simply doesn't analyze a sufficient number of DNA markers to deliver on its marketing promises.
Furthermore, he writes, "Ethnicity is a complex concept, a concept not as rooted in genetics as it is in sociopolitical and cultural constructs. There is no DNA test that can assign anyone to an African ethnic group or what some refer to as an 'African tribe.'" African Ancestry isn't the only company that claims to be able to determine your ethnicity or "ethnic group of origin." But its claim to narrow things down to a single "tribe" of origin is overblown, as any African tribe would ostensibly contain multiple haplogroups.
In an email to CNET, African Ancestry responded: "African Ancestry makes it clear that ethnic groups are social and cultural groupings, not genetic ones. However, based on extensive genetic research of African lineages performed by African Ancestry's co-founder and Scientific Director (who holds a Ph.D. in Biology and specializes in human genetics), we find that contrary to laymen's beliefs, there are ethnic groups that share genetic lineages. Our results pinpoint genetic lineages that share the same genetics as our test takers. Given the vast number of lineages in our African Lineage Database, we are able to provide the ethnic groups of the people with that shared lineage."
The company's PatriClan Test analyzes eight Y-chromosome STRs and the YAP, which it says is a critical identifier for African lineages; and the MatriClan Test analyzes three regions of the mitochondrial DNA: HVS1, HVS2 and HVS3. But though these tests offer lower-resolution results than others, African Ancestry's services are considerably more expensive. The company's Y-DNA test and mtDNA tests cost $299 each -- or you can take them both, and get an eight-pack of "certificates of ancestry" and a four-pack of t-shirts, for $729.
On the plus side, African Ancestry says that it does not maintain a database of customer information and that it will not share or sell your DNA sequence or markers with any third party -- including law enforcement agencies. The company's terms and conditions run to just over 2,200 words, making them considerably more concise than the disclosure statements of most other companies we included in this roundup. And African Ancestry promises to destroy your DNA sample after your test results are delivered.
That said, even if you accept the company's take on tribal and ethnic genetic markers, African Ancestry remains too expensive to recommend at its current price.
What does a DNA test tell you?
If you're using a home DNA testing service, you're likely looking for one of three things:
Ancestry and family history: The first big draw of a full DNA test is that you'll get a detailed breakdown on ancestry and ethnicity, and the migration patterns of your common ancestors. Spoiler alert: Your ethnic background may be radically different than you think it is. You'll also find out what a haplogroup is.
Relative identification: With your permission, some DNA services will let you connect with relatives you never knew you had -- other folks with matching DNA who have used the service and likewise given their permission to connect to possible relations.
Health and disease info: DNA testing can also indicate which conditions for which you may have a preponderance. It's a controversial feature, to be sure. Knowing that you have a genetic predisposition to a certain form of cancer may make you more vigilant for testing, but it may also lead to increased stress -- worrying about a potential health condition that may never develop, even if you're "genetically susceptible" to it. The possibility of false positives and false negatives abound -- any such information should be discussed with your doctor before you act upon it.
How DNA tests work
Afraid of needles and drawing blood? Good news: That's not an issue with these tests. All you need to do is spit into a vial or rub a swab in your mouth -- all the genetic data needed for these tests is present in your saliva -- and ship the DNA sample to the company for analysis.
The reason that a saliva sample works as well as blood (or hair follicles or skin samples) is that your DNA -- which is short for deoxyribonucleic acid -- is present in all of them. It's the basic genetic code present in all of your cells that makes up your key attributes, from the color of your eyes to the shape of your ears to how susceptible you are to cholesterol.
The key terms you need to know when comparing DNA testing services are:
SNP (single nucleotide polymorphism): Genotyping is done by measuring genetic variation. One of the more common is SNP genotyping, which measures the variations of a single nucleotide polymorphism. The more of these a company measures, the more granular the analysis.
Autosomal DNA testing: An autosomal test that's effective for men and women, and which traces lineage back through both maternal and paternal bloodlines.
Y-DNA: The Y-DNA test can only be administered to men, and traces DNA back through the patrilineal ancestry -- basically from father to grandfather to great grandfather and so on.
mtDNA: The mtDNA is matrilineal and lets you trace your ancestry back through your mother, grandmother, great grandmother and so on.
DNA testing FAQs
Can I use a DNA test to determine paternity?
Yes, DNA tests are the most accurate way to determine paternity of a child. Samples need to be collected from both the child and suspected parent to make a determination. For the best accuracy, you need a test that specifically checks for paternity not just ancestry.
Can I get a DNA test for my dog?
Yes. Several companies sell dog DNA tests with the goal of helping you determine the breed of your animal and screen for possible genetic health issues.
David Gewirtz contributed to this story. The current version is a major update of past revisions and includes hands-on impressions of most of the services listed.
The information contained in this article is for educational and informational purposes only and is not intended as health or medical advice. Always consult a physician or other qualified health provider regarding any questions you may have about a medical condition or health objectives.
Wed, 12 Aug 2020 07:30:00 -0500See full bioentext/htmlhttps://www.cnet.com/health/medical/best-dna-test/Killexams : The Center Foundation offers ImPACT concussion baseline testing dates for ages 12-18
BEND, Ore. (KTVZ) – The Center Foundation is pleased to announce Community Concussion Baseline testing. ImPACT Concussion Baseline testing is available for children ages 12 through 18 who have not already received the baseline in the past two years.
Group testing will be available on:
Friday, October 21st – 9:00 a.m. start with more times added as needed
Friday, November 11th – 9:00 a.m. start with more times added as needed
Monday, December 19th – 9:00 a.m. start with more times added as needed
According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, concussions are second only to auto accidents as the leading cause of childhood injury. It is estimated that 15-20% of high school athletes receive a concussion in any given year.
If an athlete returns to play before the brain is fully healed, they are at risk of Second Impact Concussion Syndrome. In this condition, the brain swells rapidly with, sometimes, fatal consequences. As part of the effort to reduce Second Impact Syndrome, The Center Foundation has adopted the ImPACT Concussion Baseline Test.
It is recommended that student athletes have a baseline test every two years. ImPACT Concussion Baseline testing is a computerized “snapshot” of how a child’s healthy brain is functioning. The test takes less than an hour.
The baselines are NOT MRIs or scans – they are computerized assessment tests. Baseline results are electronically stored for use in the event the child suffers a concussion. In that case, medical professionals can access baseline results and compare them to post-injury tests conducted at an appropriate stage in the recovery process.
The cost of each baseline test is $20, cash or check made out to The Center Foundation. Registration is required by contacting Stuart Schmidt, Program Manager, at 541-322-2323. Baseline tests are held at The Center, 2200 NE Neff Road in Bend, Oregon.
About The Center Foundation
The Center Foundation, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, has provided certified athletic trainers to Central Oregon high schools for more than 20 years, serving more than 5,000 students at over 1,400 sporting events annually. Our staff manage injuries and concussions and educate young athletes on injury prevention. These services are provided at no cost to students or their families. Foundation programs also deliver brain and spinal cord injury prevention education in grade schools, free multi-sport helmets to children in need, and education seminars and conferences for healthcare professionals. Since 2000, The Center Foundation has been Central Oregon’s only nonprofit solely dedicated to providing sports medicine services as a means to ensure youth are safe, healthy, and protected in an active lifestyle. To learn more, visit www.centerfoundation.org.
Thu, 29 Sep 2022 09:09:00 -0500By Barney Lertenen-UStext/htmlhttps://ktvz.com/community/community-billboard/2022/09/29/the-center-foundation-offers-impact-concussion-baseline-testing-dates-for-ages-12-18/Killexams : Launching today - Astride, the secure, easy-to-use, digital skills gap-assessment tool created by EXIN
Astride Insights Reports helps organizations identify digital skills gaps, maximize return on learning, and boost overall performance
UTRECHT, Netherlands, Oct. 4, 2022 /PRNewswire/ -- EXIN, a leading independent examination institute is embarking on a new chapter. Astride revolutionizes how individuals can learn how they benchmark in their current job role. They will gain free insights to better equip them so they can prepare for what's next in their career. This tool is a great asset for organizations, as they will gain knowledge about team skills and competencies and learn what certifications can help bridge skills gaps.
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The tool evaluates competencies and compares them with equivalent job roles. By focusing on 42 primary competencies, and 30 job roles, the tool is a tremendous asset for companies to identify organization-wide skills performance.
Michiel Buysing Damsté, CEO at EXIN, is excited to unveil Astride, commenting:
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Visit https://www.exin.com/astride-by-exin/ to get started.
About EXIN We are EXIN, an independent examination institute focusing on competencies required in the digital world. We offer an end-to-end solution for certifying professionals. In 2022, we now engage in the skills-gap assessment space with our latest tool, Astride by EXIN. We are proud to be part of the Software Improvement Group (SIG). SIG focuses on assessing and certifying IT Processes and Technology, we have our focus on People.EXIN - certified for what's next.
We look forward to helping you in your global certification and accreditation efforts. www.exin.com