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Family Tree DNA Offers 12-Marker Y-DNA Test for $39 (Limited Time Only)

Yesterday, Family Tree DNA announced that their 12-marker Y-DNA test, normally $99, will be only $39 for a limited time only (until February 28, 2013).  Although I typically will recommend a minimum of 37 markers to clients and readers, this is a great way to get someone’s DNA into FTDNA’s system for future upgrades.  For example, I have at least two lines of my family that I’ve been wanting to get tested, but it’s really just for curiosity’s sake rather than any pressing genealogical question.  This would be the perfect opportunity for this type of testing.

See what others have written about the sale:

From the Press Release:

HOUSTON, Feb. 20, 2013 /PRNewswire/ – FamilyTreeDNA.com, the genetic genealogy arm of Gene By Gene, Ltd., is dramatically lowering the price of one of its basic Y-DNA tests to … Click to read more!

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Thought For the Day – Crowdfunding Genealogy

Wouldn’t it be fun to review detailed proposals about new genealogy projects and be able to provide funding to support those projects that you think are especially worthwhile?

Crowdfunding might be one way to do just that.  For those not familiar with “crowdfunding,” it is essentially a way for people to contribute a varying degree of money to a project they are interested in, usually in exchange for a special perk.  Wikipedia describes crowdfunding as:

Crowd funding or crowdfunding (alternately crowd financing, equity crowdfunding, or hyper funding) describes the collective effort of individuals who network and pool their money, usually via the Internet, to support efforts initiated by other people or organizations. Crowd funding is used in support of a wide variety of activities, including disaster relief, citizen journalism, support of artists by fans, political campaigns, startup company funding, movie or free software development, inventions development and scientific research.

Some of the more popular crowdfunding platforms already in existence are Kickstarter and indiegogo, among many others.  One of the advantages of crowdfunding is that contributions can be as low as $5 or as high as you want to contribute.

Rewards for contributing would be priority in receiving the results of the research, an … Click to read more!

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National Genographic 2.0 Results Received

I received my results from the Geno 2.0 test from National Genographic tonight.  The results align fairly well with what I already know about my DNA.  For example, I knew I was haplogroup A2 (a Native American haplogroup), but the A2w is new so I have to do some research there.

Even more interesting is my paternal haplogroup designation.  The NatGeo tests lists the terminal SNP instead of a haplogroup that will typically encompass multiple SNPs.  I am listed as R-Z306, which is R1b1a2a1a1a3a1 on the current ISOGG Y-DNA tree.  However, my results indicate that I am L1+, which is associated with Null439 (I previously knew I was null439).  Many believe that L1+ is downstream of Z306+, but these types of questions are exactly what the NatGeo 2.0 test will help determine.

I … Click to read more!

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Finding Family: My Search for Roots and the Secrets in My DNA

This weekend I had the privilege to review an advance copy of “Finding Family: My Search for Roots and the Secrets in My DNA,” a new book by author and genetic genealogist Richard Hill.  The book is currently available at Amazon only in paperback (link here: Finding Family: My Search for Roots and the Secrets in My DNA), although eBook versions will be available soon.

Many genetic genealogists are already familiar with Richard Hill and his website DNA-Testing-Adviser.com, where he shares information about using genetic genealogy to learn about your family, especially for adoptees and birth parents.  You may also be familiar with Mr. Hill through the front-page 2009 Wall Street Journal article detailing his search for his family, or from the 2009 article in the Grand Rapids Press (“Rockford man uses DNA testing, Internet searches to find his birth father“).

Finding Family

Mr. Hill’s fascinating new … Click to read more!

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The Genographic Project Announces Geno 2.0

Today, The Genographic Project officially announced the launch of their new Geno 2.0 project, a significant update to the type and quantity of genetic information that will be collected and analyzed by The Genographic Project.  The new project will use an entirely new SNP chip (the GenoChip) designed specifically for Geno 2.0 in order to provide the world’s most detailed information about Y-DNA and mtDNA haplogroups (using SNP information) as well as detailed biogeographical estimates and ancient population (Denisovan and Neanderthal) estimates.

As of today you can pre-order a Geno 2.0 kit, which is expected to ship no later than October 30th (although you can probably expect it earlier than that).

Once again Family Tree DNA will perform all the testing, and The Genographic Project has worked very closely with FTDNA to design, troubleshoot, and use the … Click to read more!

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Problems with AncestryDNA’s Genetic Ethnicity Prediction?


I’ve received a number of emails and comments (see, e.g., here) complaining about Ancestry.com’s new test, AncestryDNA.  Specifically, several test-takers believe that the Genetic Ethnicity Prediction provided by Ancestry.com does not reflect the numbers that they expected based on their own research.
For example:

“I just got my DNA test results back from Ancestry.com and I am concerned. I was born in England and I have gone back many generations and have found that all my ancestors as far back as the 1600′s in most cases are English.  According to the results I have no British Isles DNA. It states that I have 60% Central Europe, 30% Scandinavian and 7% Southern Europe. I also have 3% unknown. How can this be?”

“Just received my results: 21% Southern European and 79% Central European which doesn’t follow years of work on my family history.”

Do these comments reflect errors in AncestryDNA’s Genetic Ethnicity Prediction, or are there other factors at play?

Caveats

Although I am not privy to the ‘behind-the-scenes’ at Ancestry.com, I don’t believe that there are serious issues with AncestryDNA’s Genetic Ethnicity Prediction.  Ancestry.com’s DNA arm has a solid scientific team and a large and valuable reference database.

Indeed, Ancestry.com is well aware of the limitations and challenges that their Genetic Ethnicity … Click to read more!

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The Genetic Genealogist Listed Among Top 50 Genealogy Blogs by Inside History Magazine

I just discovered today that The Genetic Genealogist was recently included in a list of 50 top genealogy blogs by Inside History Magazine.
Inside History Magazine is a periodical “for people passionate about Australian and New Zealand genealogy, history and heritage.”  The current May-June 2012 issue has an article entitled “Entering the Blogsphere” in which author Jill Ball (of Geniaus) writes about the prevalence of genealogy bloggers.  As part of the article, she compiled a list of 50 blogs that “every genealogist needs to follow.”
I’m honored that The Genetic Genealogist was included in this list, especially considering the others blogs, many of which I’ve been reading for years!
Be sure to check out Inside History Magazine and the many terrific blogs listed in the article.  Also, Jill just included a nice … Click to read more!

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AncestryDNA Officially Launches

I’ve written about Ancestry.com’s new autosomal DNA product, AncestryDNA, a number of times (see my review of the product at Ancestry.com’s AncestryDNA Product ).

Today, Ancestry.com announced the official release of AncestryDNA (see press release below).  It is initially available only to Ancestry.com subscribers, at a cost of $99.

The launch page is here.

Press Release:

Ancestry.com Launches new AncestryDNA Service: The Next Generation of DNA Science Poised to Enrich Family History Research

Affordable DNA Test Combines Depth of Ancestry.com Family History Database with An Extensive Collection of DNA Samples to Open New Doors to Family Discovery

Ancestry.com (Nasdaq: ACOM), today announced the launch of its highly anticipated AncestryDNA™ service, a new affordable DNA test that enables purchasers of the DNA test and subscribers of Ancestry.com to combine new state-of-the-art DNA science with the … Click to read more!

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Genetic Genealogy and Personal Genomics in the Classroom – Part I

Today begins the first in a series of articles about the use of genetic genealogy and personal genomics in the classroom, ranging from high school to college-level.
Many scientists and health care experts believe that genetics will be a vital component to several facets of our lives in the future, especially in the field of medicine.  Indeed, some consider the study of genetics to be one of the most promising solutions to many of the health dilemmas facing society today, including advancing our understanding of interactions between genetics and the environment.  Accordingly, today’s students should have at least a basic grasp of genetics, and science educators must find innovative ways to share those concepts with their students.
A Need for Genetics Education
Unfortunately, some studies suggest that many of … Click to read more!