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!

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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!

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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!

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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!

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Ask a Geneticist

geneticist3.JPG

Do you have a burning question about genetics that’s been keeping you up at night? Ever wonder why the combination of red hair and brown eyes is so rare? There are two great resources currently available online for anyone who is curious about genetics.
AsktheGeneticist is a partnership between the Department of Human Genetics at Emory University and the Department of Genetics at the University of Alabama at Birmingham. The mission of AsktheGeneticist “is to answer questions about genetic concepts, and the etiology, treatment, research, testing, and predisposition to genetic disorders.” AsktheGeneticist has a genetic genealogy section, but it’s pretty sparse.
The Tech Museum of Innovation in San Jose, California has partnered with the Department of … Click to read more!

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Top 5 Reasons to Save Your Grandmother’s DNA


1. You got those big blue eyes from your grandmother, but chances are you inherited less desirable genes as well. We inherit our DNA from our parents, who inherited it from their parents. Since we all possess genes that can cause or contribute to disease, knowing one’s DNA and family medical history can be a great resource for someone who learns they have a genetic disorder.
2. Full genome sequencing is right around the corner! The X-prize quest for the $1000 genome will lead to efficient and affordable whole-genome sequencing. As commercial companies crop up and compete for customer’s business, leading to even lower prices.
3. Your grandmother’s DNA contains clues to her ancestry. X-chromosome, mtDNA, and … Click to read more!

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Is Genetic Genealogy A Scam?

If you’re a regular reader of this blog, then you know that I am a strong proponent of genetic testing for genealogical purposes. I believe that when used correctly genetic testing can serve as a valuable tool in the genealogist’s toolbox.
A recent visitor found my blog with the search term “is genetic genealogy a scam?” When I recreated the search, I discovered that a previous post on this blog is the leading link for this search. The process made me think about the many people who are skeptical or wary of genetic genealogy. As a scientist, I appreciate and encourage healthy skepticism. After all, genetic genealogy has been available for less than a decade, and it has changed considerably since it was first offered. I believe that anyone who forays into the … Click to read more!

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Ten Videos for Genetic Genealogists

Want to know more about DNA, DNA replication, and mutations? Here are few videos that I thought might be helpful. Seeing a 3D animation of a biological process can be even more informative than reading about it.

1. DNA Structure I

2. DNA Structure II (a little more technical)

3. DNA Replication

4. PCR – Polymerase Chain Reaction

5. DNA Mutation

6. Genetic Diversity

7. SNPs

8. Haplotypes

9. Mitochondrial DNA Inheritance

10. Mitochondrial Eve:
Click here to view.

And finally, because it’s just too cool not to include:
11. The Inner Workings of the … Click to read more!

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Genetic Genealogy Reporting by Non-Scientists – Be Cautious!


The Guardian, a newspaper based in England, recently published an article about genetic genealogy entitled “The appliance of science.” It’s an interesting article that looks at the pros and cons of genetic testing for genealogical purposes.
The journalist quotes Chris Pomery, author of the up-coming book “Family History in the Genes: Trace Your DNA and Grow Your Family Tree.”
“In specific cases, genetics is a very useful tool, but it is not a panacea,” he says. “We’re not even close to the situation where, if you’re starting to research your family history, you should begin with a DNA test. At £100 or so a throw it’s a lot of money, and you can progress your research a long way first for free.”
I agree completely. Genetic genealogy is most useful for researchers that are attempting to verify a … Click to read more!

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Genetic Genealogy Advice for Newbies, Part II

Yesterday we began to look at an email conversation I had recently with Jasia from The Creative Gene about genetic genealogy.

Jasia began by asking whether she should test both her and her mother’s mtDNA (I advised her no, because they would be the same sequence), and then we talked about testing her father’s mtDNA. Since her father could not be tested directly, Jasia wondered if her brother could provide a sample of her father’s mtDNA. I explained that although her brother could provide a sample of her father’s Y-DNA, she would have to find other sources for her father’s mtDNA, including her father’s sisters or brothers, or the children of her father’s sisters. She responded:
“Fortunately, my dad came from a large family including 6 sisters 4 of which had children. … Click to read more!