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A Quiz – Test Your Genetic Genealogy Knowledge

How much do you know about genetic genealogy testing? Take The Genetic Genealogist’s quiz!



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The 2010 Census

At 12:01 on April 1, 2082, millions of genealogists around the solar system will be able to instantaneously download every image from the 2010 census into their neural storage chip, and within minutes these images will be linked to the ancestors in their 3D holographic family trees. Almost all of these genealogists will be able to find themselves in these census images and index.

Okay, maybe it’s a little premature to guess about the use of a census that hasn’t even been enumerated yet, but as most genealogists know, census results are the backbone of the genealogical world. Only one census has been released since the advent of the internet. In 2002 the 1930 census was released, and the countdown to the April 2, 2012 release of the 1940 census has already begun.

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Controversial Article About Genetic Tests At The Jewish Journal

An article entitled “Gene Test Kits – Can They Lead To Dating Services” by Annalee Newitz discusses the author’s thoughts on the implications of genome sequencing offered by the number of companies that have sprung up in the past year. As a genetic genealogist who is interested in the intersection of law, science, and ethics, I’m always interested in articles that examine the ethical issues associated with affordable genome sequencing. Unfortunately, this article turned out to have little substance behind some serious accusations.

“Snake Oil”?

Newitz begins by mentioning companies 23andMe and deCODEme, both of which recently launched genome scanning services. She then proceeds to her thesis, which is that these services are not only not useful, they are dangerous. She states:

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February In Review – What Can I Learn From My Visitors?

This post isn’t exactly about genetic genealogy. Rather, it is about what I can learn from my visitors in order to make The Genetic Genealogist a better place to visit. By analyzing statistics at the end of each month, I hope to continue to refine the direction of the blog to create and present the best content possible. Here are a few of the things I learned from my visitors this month:

The Top Ten Most Visited Posts:

  1. The Family Tree of Blue Eyed Individuals
  2. Where Was My Y-DNA and mtDNA in 1808?
  3. Family Tree DNA Launches DNATraints, A New DNA Testing Company
  4. 23andMe Revisited
  5. African American Lives 2 (February 2008)
  6. African American Lives 2 (A preview from April 2007)
  7. Buick And Ancestry DNA Team Up For a DNA Contest
  8. Genetic Genealogy is SO Mainstream – More Black History Month Events
  9. Famous DNA Review Part III – Niall of the Nine Hostages
  10. The First Personal Genomic Sequencing Test Offered for $985

What did I learn from this list? Well, here are a few interesting facts about these posts:

  • Only 5 of the top 10 articles were actually written in February 2008! This tells me that previously-written content is important, and that I should consider reviewing and updating popular older posts.
  • Four of the top 10 articles were about genetic genealogy and Black History Month. In addition to older content, new content about current topics (such as Black History Month) is equally as important.
  • The first two posts were popular among StumbleUpon readers. I’m not surprised by the first article, as it has obvious popular appeal – but I was surprised by the second article. You can never be sure what posts will be picked up and popularized by social media.

Top 15 Keywords in February 2008:

What can I learn from the keywords used by readers to find my blog?

  1. african american lives 2
  2. dna articles
  3. 23andme
  4. navigenetics
  5. genetic genealogy
  6. articles on dna
  7. genetic genealogist
  8. sorenson genomics
  9. africandna.com
  10. buick ancestry
  11. famous dna
  12. dnatraits
  13. genetic genealogy blog
  14. genealogy test
  15. megan smolenyak

Analytics allows me to track other information about these keywords, including (1) how many pages were viewed by people who came to the site via a particular keyword; and (2) the bounce rate of visitors who came via a keyword. Bounce rate is the percentage of people who exit a site from the first page they visit. So, for instance, for my first keyword “african american lives 2″, the average pages read was 2.4, and the bounce rate was 59% (which are both right around my average). What did I learn from my keywords?

... Click to read more!

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Watch DNA Videos From Roots Television Here at TGG

Thanks to Megan Smolenyak Smolenyak and her team at Roots Television, I am able to offer an assortment of incredibly interesting videos about DNA and DNA testing here at The Genetic Genealogist! If you click on the link here you’ll be taken to the new page with the permanent video player (with more videos being added all the time!). This new feature will be readily available to everyone at any time by clicking on the link in the header labeled “Roots Television – The DNA Channel”.

Right now there are videos about three different genetic genealogy success stories. Unfortunately, genetic genealogy has received a bit of bad press lately, and many people are unaware that the tool has been used by hundreds (if not thousands) of people to examine and answer important genealogical questions. As I’ve said many times, genetic genealogy goes best when it goes hand-in-hand with traditional genealogical research.

... Click to read more!

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Where Was My Y-DNA and mtDNA in 1808?

A few days ago I wrote about John Reid’s “Where Has Your DNA Been” post at Anglo-Connections a few days ago. This is similar to another meme which has been circulating the genealogy blogosphere for a few weeks now, including “Where was your family in 1908?” at 100 Years in America and “Where was your family 200 years ago?” at What’s Past is Prologue. Steve at Steve’s Genealogy Blog has also given the ‘Map Your DNA’ meme a try. I thought it was a fun idea, and had a number of potentially interesting applications, if I were a programmer and if I had any free time. Absent that, I thought I would at least try to replicate John’s idea by mapping my location in 2008 versus the locations of my Y-DNA and mtDNA in 1808, 200 years ago.

... Click to read more!

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The mitoWheel – Visualize the Mitochondrial Genome

A potentially very useful new tool for mitochondrial DNA sequences has just launched. The mitoWheel, announced today on Attila Csordás’ blog “Pimm – Partial immortalization” is a web-based graphical interface to visualize mtDNA. Attila is actually a member of the developing team for this project. According to the mitoWheel website:

“The mitoWheel is a graphical representation of the human mitochondrial genome. Use the left and right arrows to start browsing the sequence. You can also search for a nucleotide position, a gene, or a sequence motif by clicking in the search field, typing a term and pressing ENTER. Be sure to return soon for updates introducing further tools.”

According to Attila, “The sequence used is the standard Revised Cambridge Reference Sequence.” Here is a small screenshot of the tool:

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And The Winner Of The FREE Genetic Genealogy Test Is…..

DNA HeritageJasia of Creative Gene! Jasia’s winning entry was from a post she wrote about the contest. If Jasia accepts the prize, she will discuss her testing experience or her results either on her blog or here at The Genetic Genealogist, which should be a lot of fun and will help genetic genealogy newbies gain some insight into testing. Congratulations Jasia!

If Jasia doesn’t claim the prize, or decides she doesn’t want it, the runner-up for this contest is Yann of Yann Klimentidis’ Weblog.

Thank you to everyone who wrote about the contest on their blog, subscribed to my feed, subscribed to my mailing list, or left a comment at the original post. Overall, 34 people entered the contest with a total of 117 entries! I met some new readers and read some fantastic posts about the blog. At the end of this post is a list of all the blogs that mentioned the contest.

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The Genetic Genealogist’s Contest Reminder

This is just a last reminder that my contest to give away a free genetic genealogy test ends tonight at 11:59PM (EST). The contest rules are here. Don’t forget that you can enter multiples times by:

  1. Leaving a comment on the original contest post (here), or;
  2. Write a short review of the blog or the contest with a link to http://www.thegeneticgenealogist.com using the anchor text “genetic genealogy” and then leave a comment here with a link to the review, or;
  3. Subscribe to my feed and then email me (blaine_5 at hotmail.com) your name and the secret password found in the feed, or;
  4. Subscribe to my blog by email using the form in the far right sidebar.

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