The Potential Impact of Preimplantation Genetic Diagnosis on Discrimination of the Disabled: Analysis of Mitigating Factors

via This is a little off-topic for The Genetic Genealogist, but I thought I would share this paper which I wrote for a Genetics & Ethics class this spring. The paper examines all the biological and behavioral limitations on the ability of humans to create so-called “designer babies” solely from selecting embryos before in vitro fertilization. Although many are worried about the impact of being able to choose which embryo to implant, the paper argues that the impact is significantly limited by a number of factors. Note that this paper does NOT factor in the potential for creating designer babies by changing an embryo’s DNA; that’s a whole different can of worms! Posted via web from Blaine Bettinger’s Lifestream … Click to read more!

The mtDNA of Ötzi the Iceman: A New Subclade of Haplogroup K1

The mtDNA of Otzi, the Iceman discovered in the Alps, was recently re-analyzed. The results suggest that the previous mtDNA sequence was contaminated by a modern mtDNA source, and that the mtDNA belongs to a previously unidentified subclade of Haplogroup K1.  For more information, see Dienekes’ Anthropology Blog. via Posted via web from Blaine Bettinger’s Lifestream … Click to read more!


TruGenetics Offers Free SNP Scans

TruGenetics is a genomics company offering at least 10,000 free SNP scans to those who register at their website.  Unlike most other personal genomics companies, TruGenetics users complete a survey to create a “personalized risk assessment survey.”  Not surprisingly, the tests are currently not available to New York residents:

New York residents: We are currently working with your state authorities to receive permission to operate in New York. We cannot take your information at this time.

There is much more information at and Genetic Future, including insight into TruGenetic’s business model.  If you are considering this service, be sure to read and completely understand all the terms & conditions, as well as ALL potential outcomes.  You can also follow twitterer “achamedian” to learn more. Disclosure: I am a consultant for Pathway Genomics. Posted via web from Blaine Bettinger’s Lifestream … Click to read more!

BBC NEWS – Americans seek their African roots

via An article at BBC News – Americans seek their African roots – briefly discusses genetic genealogy in America. One interesting quote from the article: “Of the half a million Americans who have purchased DNA tests, around 35,000 of them are African American.” Interesting article, although I at a complete loss for where the “35,000″ number was obtained. The article also includes some criticism from Deborah Bolnick of African Ancestry‘s interpretation of their genetic genealogy tests. Via Anglo-Celtic Connections, where John provides some very cogent input regarding this topic. Posted via web from Blaine Bettinger’s Lifestream … Click to read more!


Family Tree DNA Discovers Y-DNA Signature That Might Represent the Prophet Mohammed

DNA An article in the United Arab Emirate newspaper The National (wikipedia) does a terrific job of highlighting recent research from Family Tree DNA.  The story – “DNA could illuminate Islam’s lineage” – discusses research that has attempted to elucidate the Y-DNA signature of Mohammed.  Although Mohammed did not have a son, he had a daughter who married her paternal second cousin, thus passing to Mohammed’s grandchildren the same Y-DNA.  From the article:

“For almost 1,600 years, the title Sharif, Sayyed, or Habib has been bestowed on Muslims who have been able to trace their roots back to the Prophet Mohammed through intricate family trees, oral histories and genealogical records. But now an American DNA lab says it may have identified the DNA signature of descendants of the Prophet Mohammed, and perhaps the prospect of a direct, more accurate means of confirming or identifying such a connection.”

The caveat, as the story briefly mentions by the phrase “if their oral tradition is accurate”, is that no one has an authenticated DNA sample directly from Mohammed.  If there were, this type of research would not be needed.  Instead, the conclusion that it might be Mohammed’s Y-DNA is based on testing individuals who … Click to read more!


The Latest in Genetic Genealogy and Personal Genomics News

A quick digest of some of the most interesting news and developments in the field:

10 Great Blogs for Genetic Genealogists

I made this list of 10 Great Blogs for a few months ago.  It contains 10 blogs that I believe are vital reading for anyone interested in personal genomics, including genetic genealogy.  Here are my picks, but check out the link for my description of each blog:

  1. DNA – Genealem’s Genetic Genealogy
  2. Dienekes’ Anthropology Blog
  3. European Genetics and Anthropology Blog
  4. Eye on DNA
  5. Genetic Future
  7. Megan’s Root World
  8. The Daily Scan
  9. The Personal Genome
  10. The Spittoon, deCODEyou, DNAction

Genetic Genealogists Assist Studies

In addition to the articles published in the Journal of Genetic Genealogy (the Spring 2009 issue was just released), genetic genealogists have often assisted researchers publishing studies in other journals.  This reinforces my suggestion to researchers that they interact with the genetic genealogy community to facilitate research.  For instance, here is a quote from a new … Click to read more!