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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!

DNAPrint Genomics Introduces Doggie DNAPrint


Dogs, just like humans, have interesting genealogical histories. And a new DNA test unveiled by DNAPrint Genomics will help you examine your dog’s genetic past. The test is aimed at uncovering the relative percentages of four ancient ancestral breeds in a modern dog – wolf-like, herders, hunters, and mastiff. The test, which will retail for $99, examines 204 canine Ancestry Informative Markers (AIMs) in the dog genome. For more information, go to www.doggiednaprint.com (not working as of 08/18).

“The test will contain a consent form, mouth swabs, swab envelope, as well as a return envelope. Simply fill out the consent form, follow the step-by-step cheek swab instructions and send the completed consent forms and test swabs in the enclosed return envelope. Within six to nine weeks, participants will receive the results of their dog’s DNA test. These will include raw genetic data, a graphic depiction of the animal’s DNA plus information on how to interpret the results of this DNA test.”

The test also represents a new venture by DNAPrint – a DNA database. Pet owners will be allowed to compare their dog’s score to DNAPrint’s database of purebred and mixed breeds to allow accurate breed identification. I think … Click to read more!

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NYT Article – Latest Genealogy Tools Create a Need to Know

An article in today’s New York Times discusses some of the major players in genealogy, including the Generations Network, a brief mention of DNA testing, and the Family History Library in Utah.
Although the article, “Latest Genealogy Tools Create a Need to Know” is hardly groundbreaking or thorough, it might be interesting to those who are new to genealogy.

HT: Tim at Genealogy Reviews Online.  Thanks Tim! … Click to read more!

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Spencer Wells on the Colbert Report – Genetic Genealogy Goes Mainstream

Earlier this week, there was a lot of coverage of Spencer Wells’ interview on the Colbert Report. Spencer Wells, of course, leads the Genographic Project.

Epidemix has the video on his blog, along with the video of last month’s interview with Craig Venter. EyeonDNA has a brief review , and it got a mention on Megan’s Root World. If you have a moment, hop over and watch the … Click to read more!

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The YHRD Database

One of the steps in analyzing the results of a Y-DNA test is to search through Y-DNA databases to look for potential matches. These matches, depending on how well they match, might be relatives, either close or distant (in recent genealogical terms – we’re all distantly related, of course).

One of those databases is YHRD (Y-STR haplotype reference database). The project has two main goals:

  1. The generation of reliable Y-STR haplotype frequency estimates for minimal and extended Y-STR haplotypes to be used in the quantitative assessment of matches in forensic and genealogical casework, and;
  2. The assessment of male population stratification among world-wide populations as far as reflected by Y-STR haplotype frequency distributions

According to the YHRD website:

“To this end, a growing number of diagnostic and research laboratories have joined in a collaborative effort to collect population data and to create a sufficiently large reference database. All institutions contributing in this project, participated in an obligate quality control exercise.
“This database is interactive and allows the user the search for Y-STR haplotypes in various formats and within specified metapopulations. Related information i.e. STR characteristics, mutations, population genetic analyses etc. is documented.”

The YHRD database is contantly being updated, and on August 10th, Release 22 was added:

“Release 22 is out with 52,655 haplotypes in 464 populations. 50,867 haplotypes of these are completely typed for 9 (Minimal haplotype) and 23,981 for 11 loci (Extended or SWGDAM haplotype). Twenty populations were added or updated today: two Amerindian tribal populations from the Formosa province in Argentina (Pilaga, Toba), one from Venezuela (Caracas), two from provinces in Colombia (Boyaca, Cundinamarca), three from Siberian nomad populations (Western and Central Evens, Iengra Evenks), one from Belarus (Pinsk), three from Ukraine (Kiev, Lviv, Lugansk), three populations from Capetown in South Africa, three from Ravenna, Rimini and Val Marecchia in Italy, one from Hungary, one from Peru and one from Oran in Algeria. We would like to thank the following colleagues for submissions and updates: Daniel Corach and his group (Buenos Aires, Argentina), Brigitte Pakendorf and her group (Leipzig, Germany), Neal Leat and his group (Capetown, South Africa), Susi Pelotti and her group (Bologna, Italy), Pamzsav Horolma and her group (Budapest, Hungary), Ignacio Briceno Balcazar and his group (Bogota, Colombia), Lisbeth Borjas and Tatiana Pardo (Venezuela), Sergey Kravchenko and his group (Kiev, Ukraine), Gian Carlo Iannacone and his group (Lima, Peru) and Carlo Robino and his group in Torino, Italy. Please refer to the section YHRD contributors to get more information.”

HT: … Click to read more!

RootsTelevision & Megan Smolenyak at the FGS Conference

For all you lucky people that live in or near Indiana, note the following, from DearMYRTLE:

Roots Television at FGS
Roots Television would like to invite you to join us at exhibit booths 318 and 320 at the Federation of Genealogical Societies (FGS) 2007 Conference from August 15-18!

Come meet Megan Smolenyak Smolenyak, Dick Eastman and a special surprise guest (on opening day) in Fort Wayne, Indiana at the Grand Wayne Convention Center, 120 West Jefferson Blvd. Throughout the conference, we’ll feature the latest and greatest programs from the Roots Television website. Visit us to be among the first to learn about our Societies & Libraries contest ($1,000 prize to the winning organization!) and to watch Dick Eastman and our surprise guest conduct interviews (or maybe even be interviewed yourself!). Be sure to come by to share in the excitement!

And while you’re there, don’t miss … Click to read more!

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Gene Genie #13: Into the Future

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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!

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Argus BioSciences Now Testing Y-DNA

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Argus BioSciences is now testing Y-DNA:

“The Y-chromosome test looks at 96 key single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) to determine your paternal haplogroup. Your report includes a phylogenetic tree of global Y-chromosome haplogroups. The SNP assays are carried out in collaboration with Marligen Biosciences, a leader in the development of cutting edge multiplex assays.”

“These kits employ a two tiered strategy that efficiently detects 96 polymorphic markers in multiplexed PCR and detection reactions. Samples are first analyzed with a screening multiplex (A-R) that determines the major haplotype group of each sample. Subsequently, samples are analyzed with one of the haplogroup-specific multiplexes (AB, CD, E, FGHI, J, KLMN, O1, O2, PQ, R1 or R2) to determine the precise haplotype of each sample.”

I reviewed Argus BioSciences back in March. Congratulations on their new … Click to read more!

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Beothuk DNA in Newfoundland


Yesterday I wrote about a study that used SNPs to haplotype the Y chromosomes of ancient DNA obtained from skeletons found along the Yangtze River in China. The ability to extract and use SNP data from ancient Y-DNA is a relatively new scientific development. Indeed, the author’s of the study I highlighted yesterday stated: “The first reported ancient Y SNP data was typed from a Native American sample of an extinct tribe (Kuch et al. 2007).” I thought I’d briefly mention this earlier study as well since it contains a lot of interesting information.
The Beothuk were a Native American group that lived on Newfoundland at the time of John Cabot’s arrival in 1497. Although estimates vary widely, they may have been as few as … Click to read more!