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23andMe and mondoBIOTECH Announce Partnership

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23andMe and mondoBIOTECH announced at Davos (the World Economic Forum in Switzerland) today that they will work together to further the study of rare diseases.  According to the press release (below), mondoBIOTECH will identify individuals suffering from certain rare diseases and sponsor their enrollment in the 23andMe Personal Genome Service™.  Researchers will use the information collected to learn more about the potential causes of these rare diseases.

CNBC Video:

Linda Avey appeared on CNBC this morning to discuss the company and the partnership – see “It’s All in the Genes.”

The Press Release:

Davos, Switzerland – January 28th 2009 – 23andMe, Inc., an industry leader in personal genetics, and Mondobiotech AG, a Swiss research … Click to read more!

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Colleen Fitzpatrick’s New Website

Last September, I interviewed Colleen Fitzpatrick here at TGG.  Colleen has been very busy since then!  She has launched a new website called Identifinders, which offers a number of forensic genealogy services.

Additionally, Colleen was featured in “Does Publishing Need Genealogists?” by Publisher’s Weekly for her work in researching the circumstances surrounding two recent publishing cases: Misha Defonseca’s Misha: A Memoire of the Holocaust and Herman Rosenblat’s Angel at the Fence. From the … Click to read more!

6

The Genealogy Market 2009

GenealogyMarket I’ve long been interested in the success and long-term outlook of the genealogy market.  Although altruistic genealogists have done immense amounts of work to transcribe and put records online, one of the strongest forces behind the digitization of genealogical records has been private profit-driven organizations.  And these organizations, of course, rely on the viability of the market.

FTM Media Kit

Randy Seaver at Genea-Musings recently linked to Family Tree Magazine’s 46 page 2009 Media Kit, which contains extensive information about the genealogy market and the Family Tree Magazine audience.  The report is filled with statistics about all facets of genealogy and genealogists, and the author(s) include links to all their primary information.

Genetic Genealogy Market

The … Click to read more!

1

Could You be a Chief Genealogy Officer?

As announced by Mark Tucker at ThinkGenealogy and Shelly Talalay Dardashti at Tracing the Tribe, CEO of FamilyLink.com Paul Allen tweeted the following yesterday:

“Starting job description for ‘chief genealogy officer’ who will help manage GenSeek–directory of all the world’s genealogy sources.”

You can learn more about GenSeek – a comprehensive genealogy website including the Family History Catalog 2.0 – at “What is this GenSeek of which you Speak?” from ThinkGenealogy.

This is an interesting development and suggests that innovative developments in genealogy are continuing and that they can be profitable (for instance, see Geni.com’s latest round of VC).  In the past few months, FamilyLink.com, Inc. has hired a new a new president (Steve Nickle), vice president (Jim Erickson), and chief technology officer (Allan Carroll).

For those who are not familiar with FamilyLink.com, the company’s recent press releases contain a great … Click to read more!

Stephen Pinker, The New York Times, and Counsyl

imageAlthough I can hardly hope to introduce or discuss these recent events any better than Daniel MacArthur has already given at Genetic Future, I will at least bring this new information to your attention.

Last Wednesday the New York Times printed “My Genome, My Self”, an article written by Stephen Pinker, one of the Personal Genome Project’s “First 10.”  In the article, Pinker talks about his experience with genome sequencing through the PGP.  It is especially interesting since Pinker analyzes the issue from the point of view of a psychologist.  I highly recommend reading this article if you are at all interested in personalized medicine or genetics.

Much of the article discusses the confusing results that are returned by genome/disease analysis, due to … Click to read more!

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More X-Chromosome Charts

Last month I wrote “Unlocking the Genealogical Secrets of the X Chromosome” and posted a few charts that show the inheritance of the X-chromosome through 8 generations.  I thought these charts might be helpful since inheritance of the X-chromosome can be difficult to understand without seeing it.

New Chart with Ahnentafel Numbers

Since posting the article, two new charts have been created using the originals.  I made one, and the other was made by Rodney Jewett (who gave me permission to re-post the chart here) and posted at dna-forums.org.

Mr. Jewett added the Ahnentafel numbers of contributing X-chromosome ancestors to the chart.  Using these numbers, an individual can simply create a numbered Ahnentafel report to identify X-chromosome contributing ancestors using this chart:

Note that Ann Turner also has a text file … Click to read more!

2

The Genea-Bloggers Weekly Genealogy Blogging Prompt #1

I don’t often post pure genealogy on this blog, but I thought I would take a break from genetic genealogy and join in on the Genea-Bloggers Weekly Genealogy Blogging Prompt, which was:  “Upload your favorite picture and talk about it on your blog. Answer the who/what/when/where/why of the subject matter and explain why it is your favorite.”

Although it is nearly impossible to pick a single favorite from my extensive photo collection, I chose the following photo as one of my favorites:

Three Generations of the Bettinger Family 2

People (L to R): Frank Bettinger (my great-grandfather), Angeline Taylor Bettinger (my great-great-great-grandmother born in 1815!), Ward Bettinger (my great-great-uncle), Melissa Albro Bettinger (my great-great-grandmother), Edgar … Click to read more!

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Humans Entered the Americas in More Than One Wave

image An international team of researchers have concluded that humans entered the Americas from Asia along at least two different paths.  By studying two rare mtDNA haplogroups found in Native Americans – D4h3 and X2a – the researchers conclude that D4h3 spread into the Americans along the Pacific coast while X2a entered through the ice-free corridor between the Laurentide and Cordilleran ice sheets.

From the Press Release:  “Six major genetic lineages account for 95 percent of Native American mtDNA and are distributed everywhere in the Americas,” said first author Ugo Perego, director of operations at SMGF. “So we chose to analyze two rare genetic groups and eliminate that ‘statistical background noise.’ In this way, we found patterns … Click to read more!

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Using Genetic Genealogy to Solve the Mystery of Benjaman Kyle

Bkcleanshaven I recently wrote about using genetic genealogy to potentially identify a male’s unknown surname.  Although I had in mind using DNA to find an adopted male’s biological surname, the method has numerous other applications.  For instance, it can be used in an attempt to identify the surname of a male who has forgotten his biological surname.

A Mystery Man

Just before 7 a.m. on August 31, 2004, an adult male was found lying next to a dumpster behind a Burger King in Richmond Hill, Georgia.  He was naked, beaten, sunburned, and covered in bites from fire ants.  Benjaman Kyle, as he has decided to call himself (note the BK connection), eventually recovered from his physical ailments but was unable to remember anything about himself or his past.  To this day, he cannot remember … Click to read more!

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Genetic Genealogy in the News – January 1, 2009

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Image via Wikipedia

HAPPY NEW YEAR!  I hope everyone is enjoying a relaxing start to the new year.  Thank you for reading TGG in 2008, and I hope you are as excited as I am about the developments in genetic genealogy that 2009 is sure to bring!

Here is a recap of some of the most recent news in genetic genealogy and personalized genomics in the end of 2008:

Personalized medicine covered in the New York Times.

Dr. Marjolein Kriek, First Woman to Have Her DNA Sequence Determined (HT: Megan Smolenyak).

DNA results show no link to ancient human remains – About 230 Native people participated in study to find Shuká Kaa descendants.  Dr. Brian Kemp, who I interviewed back in 2007, is attempting to find maternal relatives of 10,300 year-old remains named Shuká Kaa (Man Before Us) who is Haplogroup D.  Native Americans are often reluctant to donate their DNA, and this collection represents a … Click to read more!