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Kissing Cousins? In Close-Knit Iceland, App Helps Prevent Incest


An attractive Icelandic woman.

A new app for Android phones will alert Icelanders if they are too closely related to date.

Credit: Shutterstock

Three University of Iceland software engineering students have created an app that makes the Islendingabok, or Book of Icelanders, available to Android phones.

The team developed the Islendiga-App, or App of Icelanders, for a contest that called for new creative uses of the Book of Icelanders, an online database of residents and their family trees stretching back 1,200 years. Iceland, which was settled by a group of Vikings in the 9th century, has a population of about 320,000 and most of its residents are distantly related.

The app includes a feature that will notify users when people they meet are too closely related. Two Icelanders can simply touch their phones to activate the genealogical evaluation, which will sound an alarm if they have a common grandparent.

Launched in early April, the app has been downloaded nearly 4,000 times.

The Book of Icelanders database, which was developed in 1997 by deCode Genetics and software entrepreneur Fridrik Skulason, contains census data, church records, family archives, and other data on 95 percent of all Icelanders who have lived in the last 300 years.

From The Associated Press
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Abstracts Copyright © 2013 Information Inc., Bethesda, Maryland, USA


 

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