Genetic Genealogy at the BBC

Megan Smolenyak of Roots Television (have you checked it out yet?) and Megan’s Roots World recently wrote a piece for the BBC’s Family History website, in association with their wildly popular Who Do You Think You Are? series.  “Genetic Genealogy – What Can If Offer?” is a great article for anyone who might be interested in learning about the opportunities and limitations associated with genetic genealogy.

And, you might see a familiar blog mentioned in the “Find Out More” … Click to read more!

4

A List of Books for the Genetic Genealogist


A lot of people write me to ask me questions about genetic genealogy, and a few have asked if there are any books on the subject that might help them learn more about it.  I thought I should provide a list of great reading material to help someone who might not have time to ask (but keep the questions coming!).
Great beginner books which are specifically about genealogy and DNA:

Trace Your Roots with DNA: Use Your DNA to Complete Your Family Tree by Megan Smolenyak and Ann Turner (Published October 7, 2004):

The Seven Daughters of Eve: The Science That Reveals Our Genetic Ancestry by Bryan Sykes (Published July 9, 2001):


How to Interpret Your DNA Test Results for Family History & Ancestry: Scientists Speak Out on Genealogy Joining Genetics by Anne Hart (Published December … Click to read more!

1

Dr. Kirk M. Maxey Shares his Expertise with Members of the DNA-NEWBIE Mailing List

The DNA-NEWBIE mailing list is a great resource for people who are new to genetic genealogy or genetic testing in general. The list provides a forum for questions while promoting education and the sharing of ideas. I primarily use the mailing list to follow current trends or concerns in the field of genetic genealogy so that I can share them here on the blog.

The recent deluge of media attention regarding J. Craig Venter’s diploid genome sequencing prompted one list-member to quote Dr. Edward Rubin: “It’s not clear whether it’ll be 10 years or 50 years, but in our lifetime, [individual DNA sequencing ] will happen.” The list-member goes on to say that it will probably not happen in his lifetime since he turns 75 next month.

Interestingly, the list-member’s … Click to read more!

4

Y-STR Conversions


The results of a Y-DNA test are either a string of plusses and minuses, or a series of numbers. The plusses and minuses are the result of a SNP (single-nucleotide polymorphism) test and denote the testee’s Haplogroup, while the string of numbers are the result of a STR (short tandem repeat) test and denote the testee’s haplotype.
To learn more one’s haplotype, or to compare it to other’s results, most people enter those results into a database such as Ysearch, Ybase, SMGF, YHRD, or the Y-STR Database. To do this, however, it is sometimes necessary to ‘normalize’ the numbers. For instance, one testing company might find a result of 27 for DYS481 while another finds a result of 23 on the same individual. This is typically due to different sequencing primers used by each company to characterize … Click to read more!

48

Gene Genie #13: Into the Future

gene_genie_logo_4002.jpg
 
Welcome to edition #13 of the Gene Genie. There were many interesting and exciting submissions for this issue, so I hope you do a little exploring and learn something new about genes, personal genetics, and personalized medicine.

Splicing Genes. Let’s start off with something fun. I don’t know if we’ll ever try to splice our genes with those from famous or successful people, but here’s at least one conversation that might result!

With new genetic discoveries being announced every day, how does one keep up-to-date? Well, luckily we have a few helpful suggestions from our fellow bloggers. Scienceroll gives us 7 Tips: How to be up-to-date in genetics/genomics? And Clinical Cases and Images – Blog adds to the discussion with 6 Tips on Staying Up-to-Date in Genetics (and Any Specialty).
Genetically Naked? Berci at Scienceroll wrote a wonderful overview of the Personal Genome Project and gathers together many of the recent discussions about the Project. Reading the post, we are reminded of what a … Click to read more!

11

Mitochondrial Eve and Y-chromosomal Adam

In the past decade, scientists have repeatedly referred to ‘Mitochondrial Eve‘, the (hypothesized) source of mtDNA for all humans alive today.  She is believed to have lived approximately 140,000 years ago in Africa.  There is also ‘Y-chromosomal Adam‘, the (hypothesized) source of every living man’s Y-DNA.  He is also believed to have lived in Africa, but more recently, between 60,000 and 90,000 years ago.  Thus, Mitochondrial Eve and Y-chromsomal Adam were not a couple – they were not the source of all human genetic material on the planet today.  Instead, the terms refer to the founders of all the mtDNA and Y-DNA respectively.

For a wonderful description of some of the genetic behind Mitochondrial Eve and Y-chromsomal Adam, go to “The Questionable Authority“, a blog which is part of … Click to read more!

Interviewed at EyeonDNA


        I was recently interviewed by Hsien at EyeonDNA.  She asked some great questions about the field of genetic genealogy, and I hope you’ll check it out.
          I consider my new friendship with Hsien and other fellow bloggers to be one of the great successes of this blog, and I thank her for the opportunity to share my enthusiasm for genetic genealogy with her … Click to read more!

12

What do the results of a Deep SNP test mean?


Often, at least at the current stage of genetic genealogy, DNA sequencing does not reveal enough information to identify a person’s particular Y chromosome or mtDNA haplogroup. The example I will be using in this post is Haplogroup E. Haplogroup E split into E1, E2, and E3 about 28,000 years ago. Current tests offered by many sequencing companies are able to place a person in the general “E” Haplogroup, but might be unable to determine exactly which subclade of E a person descends from. In such a situation, a “Deep SNP” test can be used to fill in that information.
A SNP is single nucleotide polymorphism, or a change in the DNA sequence at a single nucleotide. For instance, the switch of a C for G, a cytosine for a guanine. You can see a … Click to read more!

2

Interview with Katherine Hope Borges at ISOGG

The following is an interview with Katherine Hope Borges, founder of ISOGG (The International Society of Genetic Genealogy), done at the 2007 SoCal Genealogical Jamboree. ISOGG has about 5,000 members and is growing rapidly. ISOGG has MANY great services on their website, including the “Founding Fathers DNA Page”, and an up-coming Presidential DNA page.

If you liked the video, there are lots more at Roots Television!! If you’re interested in genetic genealogy and haven’t checked out Roots Television yet, you don’t know what you’re missing.

Thanks to Megan for letting me snag this … Click to read more!

2

The DNA Network

the_dna_network_logo1.jpgThe Genetic Genealogist has been invited to be a member of the new genetics blogging group The DNA Network, founded by Rick Vidal of My Biotech Life and Hsien Lei of Eye on DNA. The group is “a network (double helix?) composed of life science enthusiasts with specialized views in areas such as genetics, biology, biotechnology, health care, and much more.”

Not only is the network a great way to discover new blogs, but it is an opportunity to stay current on events and developments in the field of genetics. The following blogs are currently members of the network:

My Biotech Life
DNA Direct Talk
Epidemix
Epigenetics News
evolgen
Eye on DNA
Gene Sherpas: Personalized Medicine and You
Genomicron
henry: the human evolution news relay (genetics)
Mary Meets Dolly
Microarray and Bioinformatics
Omics! Omics!
ScienceRoll
And me, The Genetic Genealogist.
If you’d like to subscribe, the feed is available … Click to read more!