12

Finally! GEDmatch Announces a Monetization Strategy (and a Way to Raise the Dead?)

GEDmatch   Tools for DNA and genealogy researchIf you’re serious about genetic genealogy, you’ve heard of GEDmatch. The third-party site is one of the few ways to compare testing results among the three testing companies. The site

However, since GEDmatch is run by two incredible volunteers (Curtis Rogers and John Olson) with full-time jobs, the site has experienced server issues and downtime. Many have lamented that there was no monetization plan in place, but gave donations in hope that it would help the site grow.

This week, GEDmatch announced a monetization strategy, namely advanced tools that are only available to Tier 1 members at a nominal cost of $10/month:

Basic GEDmatch programs remain free and we plan to keep them this way. Donations help cover the costs associated with running this site, and will provide you with the benefit of using the additional Tier 1 tools for a period of time equal to one month for every $10 donated. You may use the ‘Donate’ button below, for a one-time donation of any amount, or the ‘Join GEDmatch’ button to establish a recurring $10 per month amount.

... Click to read more!

5

Transfer Raw Data to Family Tree DNA for $39 (Sneak Peek for FREE!)

At the Family Tree DNA 10th Annual International Conference, FTDNA announced that they were reducing the price of autosomal DNA transfers (from the AncestryDNA test or the V3 test from 23andMe) from $69 to $39. Additionally, you could upload your raw data for free and you would receive information about your 20 closest matches in the database. On top of that, if you convinced 4 others to transfer their raw data, you would receive a transfer for free!

It looks like the site went live tonight! The link is (www.familytreedna.com/autosomaltransfer).

Here’s what you see at the intro screen:

AutosomalTransfer

autosomaltransfer1

Once you’ve uploaded, you’ll receive an email with a login and password. You’ll then receive a second email a short time later, after your results have been processed. In the meantime, you’ll see this:

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10

Finding Genetic Cousins – Separating Fact from Fiction

AncestryDNAShort Summary: Before the end of the year, AncestryDNA plans to update our match lists using a new algorithm that reduces the number of false positive matches. For the first time, matching DNA segments will be characterized as IBS (i.e., a false positive) based on something other than simply segment length.

AncestryDNA Day

Last Monday, October 6th, I and six other members of the genetic genealogy community attended a ‘Bloggers Day’ hosted by AncestryDNA at the San Francisco headquarters of Ancestry.com. Two other members of the group have already written about the event:

While at ‘Bloggers Day’ we discussed many issues including the Y-DNA and mtDNA databases originally scheduled for destruction, upcoming changes to AncestryDNA’s matching algorithm (much more below), and other upcoming changes to the AncestryDNA about which you will hopefully soon hear much more.

... Click to read more!

2

Mapping Disease Genes to Our Ancestors – Mutation Mapped to 1620

ng3113-F1In 2008, I wrote about the case of Mr. and Mrs. George Fry, who are believed to have brought a particularly negative mutation with them to the New World from Europe in 1630 (“A Single Colon Cancer Gene Traced to 1630 – The Future of Genetic Genealogy?“). The mutation – in the APC gene – increases the likelihood of colon cancer, and has been found in many of the Fry’s living descendants.

In this months’s issue of Nature Genetics (see “Mutations in SGOL1 cause a novel cohesinopathy affecting heart and gut rhythm“), researchers using the BALSAC Population Database traced a founder mutation in SGOL1, which causes Chronic Atrial and Intestinal Dysrhythmia, termed CAID syndrome. So not only is it interesting that the same gene is involved in both heart rhythm and intestinal rhythm, but that the DNA has been mapped to this ancestral couple. The couple, whose names were not provided, were married in France in 1620 and arrived shortly thereafter in Nouvelle France.

... Click to read more!

3

Ancient Genomes at GEDmatch

A great resource from Jay Chandrakumar at Genetic Genealogy Tools (www.y-str.org) – SNPs extracted from sequenced ancient genomes and loaded into GEDmatch. Try out admixture tools with these GEDmatch profiles, but don’t expect many matches in One-to-Many!

Denisova – GEDMatch# F999903

Mezmaiskaya Neanderthal #1 – GEDMatch# F999909

Altai Neanderthal #2 – GEDMatch# F999902

Palaeo-Eskimo 2000 BC – GEDMatch# F999906

Clovis-Anzick – GEDMatch# F999912

For example, here’s the Palaeo-Eskimo 2000 BC (F999906) profile in MDLP K23b:

F999906 GEDmatch

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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7

AncestryDNA Continues to Refine the Reconstruction of Ancestral Genomes

GeneticGenealogyFutureStamp1I’ve written before about a poster presented by AncestryDNA at the American Society of Human Genetics 2013 annual meeting, entitled “Reconstruction of Ancestral Human Genomes from Genome-Wide DNA Matches.”  In the abstract, the group describes how they use sequencing information from hundreds of descendants of an 18th century couple to recreate portions of the genomes of that couple.

AncestryDNA’s 2014 ASHG Poster 

The AncestryDNA group has continued to refine the process of reconstructing the genomes of ancestral couples, and has a poster in this year’s American Society of Human Genetics annual meeting:

Title: Reconstruction of ancestral human haplotypes using genetic and genealogical data.

Author(s): J. M. Granka, R. E. Curtis, K. Noto, Y. Wang, J. K. Byrnes, M. J. Barber, N. M. Myres, C. A. Ball, K. G. Chahine

... Click to read more!

73

A Response to the Genetic Testing Article in Vox

1This week in Vox, health reporter Julia Belluz (Twitter) wrote about genetic genealogy testing in “Genetic testing brings families together: And sometimes tears them apart.” The article focuses largely on testing company 23andMe, and presents the following thesis:

Direct-to-consumer DNA testing companies are revealing family secrets, many of which are emotionally damaging, without regard to those affected by the family secrets and without sufficient warning to the test-taker.

Unfortunately, rather than presenting a balanced view of the consequences of uncovering family secrets using DNA testing (and despite the title of the article), Belluz focuses only on examples of negative outcomes. The article is a perfect demonstration of “genetic exceptionalism,” the theory that genetic information is special and must therefore be treated differently from other types of information. Despite its many adherents, genetic exceptionalism is a theory without a logical underpinning.

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5

Announcing the Virtual Institute of Genealogical Research (VIGR)

header-logo2The latest announcement by the newly founded Virtual Institute of Genealogical Research (VIGR) is bound to excite genealogists looking to further their knowledge, as well as those with with limited time or resources to attend courses in person.

VIGR will offer courses on a comprehensive list of genealogical subjects, giving genealogists access to a great curriculum year-round through the VIGR virtual platform. I’m proud to announce that I will be a speaker for the VIGR, and I look forward to interacting with the online genealogical community though my course on autosomal DNA. I am honored to be listed among the incredible speakers below.

No fewer than nine upcoming courses are already listed on the VIGR official website, the earliest commencing in November this year. Each will consist of a total of four 90-minute lectures, presented two each on consecutive Saturdays. Each course will also have extensive syllabus material and practical exercises, as well as time for Q&A. The institute intends to keep class sizes small, which allows for more interaction with instructors and a greater depth of instruction as compared to more typical genealogy webinars.

... Click to read more!

2

Genetic Genealogy Ireland 2014 – Are You Attending?

In 2013, genetic genealogist and popular lecturer Maurice Gleeson organized Genetic Genealogy Ireland 2013, the first of its kind conference in Ireland. The event was hugely successful (see all the YouTube videos here), and is back for round two in 2014.

The schedule for Genetic Genealogy Ireland 2014 has just been released (see “DNA Lecture schedule announced“), and features a great lineup of speakers:

  • Spencer Wells (Keynote Speaker)
  • Maurice Gleeson
  • Brad Larkin
  • Paul Burns
  • Catherine Swift
  • Emily Aulicino
  • Debbie Kennett
  • Richard M Byrne
  • Cynthia Wells
  • Kirsten Bos
  • Katherine Borges
  • Tyrone Bowes
  • Daniel Crouch
  • Patrick Guinness
  • Rob Warthen
  • Michelle Leonard
  • Gerard Corcoran

... Click to read more!

13

Announcing “How-To DNA” – A Multimedia How-To Guide for Genetic Genealogy!

HowToDNAAnnouncing the launch of the world’s first multimedia how-to website for genetic genealogists!

How-To DNA (www.howtodna.com) is your how-to guide for genetic genealogy! The site will have short instructional how-to videos for beginners, as well as presentations and webcasts for the advanced genealogist. For example, you can already watch these short two-minute videos:

And there will be many, many more how-to videos coming over the next few weeks and months, including:

  • How to interpret your DNA test results
  • How to use a chromosome browser
  • How to use free third-party tools like GEDmatch
  • How to do so much more!

How-To DNA will also provide links to the latest videos, podcasts, and other instructional material created by DNA experts. As an example, listen to this terrific podcast with CeCe Moore being interviewed by The Genealogy Guys and get the latest scoop on CeCe’s involvement with Finding Your Roots! And if you weren’t able to attend the SCGS Jamboree, you can listen to Maurice Gleeson’s incredible talk about DNA and Irish Genealogy.

... Click to read more!