Monday, September 22, 2008

Genographic Project Update

From the Genographic Newsletter:
The Genographic Project has launched the blog Genographica on the Genographic website.
• The Genographic Project website and Public Participation Kit are now available in Spanish. Visit Genographic in EspaƱol at
• Genographic Project Director Dr. Spencer Wells will be speaking in Washington, DC, at the Sixth and I Historic Synagogue on Monday, October 27th at 7 p.m. The lecture will be followed by a book signing.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

The Jewish HapMap Project

What is the Jewish HapMap Project?

The Jewish HapMap Project is a collaborative endeavor of Albert Einstein College of Medicine, New York University School of Medicine and Jewish communities to understand the structure of the genomes in Jewish populations. It is an outgrowth of the Human HapMap Project.

Continued here:

Saturday, September 20, 2008

FTDNA's 5th Annual Conference on Genetic Genealogy Postponed

Dear Customers,
Here is the latest update regarding the Conference and our lab in Houston:

a) The 5th Annual Conference on Genetic Genealogy will be postponed until February or March 2009, as the Sheraton Hotel has just informed us that they will not be in an appropriate condition to host our conference. The positive aspect of this postponement is that we will try our best to arrange the schedule in order for Spencer Wells to be one of our speakers. As soon as we have the new date we will advise you.

b) Labs: First of all there has been no interruption in the processes related to the standard Y-DNA and mtDNA tests, which are performed in Arizona. The batch was successfully closed this week and transmitted, a couple of days later than normal, due to networking issues that were resolved Friday.

The Genomics Research Center (Houston Lab) processes the full mitochondria, autosomal, and deep clade, as well as the advanced marker tests. These are the only ones subject to delays. We are pleased to announce that due to the outstanding efforts of our lab team and the restoration crew in place at our site, we were able to fully restore the freezing capabilities of our DNA storage robot. Yesterday, we were also able to power one of our sequencing machines. Our lab team is working this weekend and we will be able to advise you of the integrity of the DNA samples stored in Houston by mid-week. As soon as this is confirmed, our Houston lab will resume the work on our customer samples, while we restore the full capabilities of the lab.

As we have additional news, we will keep updating you.

We also want to take this opportunity to express our sincere appreciation for the hundreds of emails of support and encouragement that we have received during this difficult time. There is no adequate way to express how much this means to us and our entire team. Thank you so much!

As always, many thanks for your continued support!

E-mail us anytime!

Bennett Greenspan
bcg [at symbol]

Max Blankfeld
Vice-President, Operations and Marketing
max [at symbol]

Monday, September 15, 2008

FTDNA in Houston after IKE

Dear Customers,
As a follow-up to our letter informing you of the level of preparedness Family Tree DNA established regarding the coming of Hurricane Ike to Houston, we are coming to you now to update you on our status post-Ike.

a) As you may know, all of our standard Y-DNA and mtDNA tests are processed at the lab in Arizona, and therefore, this processing has not been affected at all.
b) Also, as we advised previously, we have taken appropriate measures to safeguard and protect the data and our servers and therefore all computer systems are in place and functioning normally. You may have noticed that our web sites have been up, available, and are running normally as they were before and during the storm.
c) The building where Family Tree DNA's offices and Houston laboratory are located is without power, like most of Houston office buildings, and sustained damage, like so many other Houston office buildings. This means that the building will be closed for the next few days until it is ready for tenants to return. Despite this situation, several members of our staff have worked over the weekend to transfer equipment to other locations so that our normal office operations can resume on Monday, or at the latest on Tuesday, from an alternate location. All postal mail will be picked up normally at our local post office, so that kits can be checked-in and processed normally.
d) The coming days will allow us to have a better assessment of when our Houston lab will resume normal operations, at which point we will be back to you again with additional information about any delays in delivering results for the advanced tests that our lab processes in Houston. (Advanced panels, FGS and Deep Clade Y SNP's)
Please forgive us if in the next few days we don't meet our standard level of customer service as to e-mails and phone calls. We will be back to normal as soon as possible. We appreciate your continued support.
E-mail us anytime!
Bennett Greenspan, Max Blankfeld
President Vice-President, Operations and Marketing
"History Unearthed Daily"


Sunday, September 14, 2008

FTDNA DNA test discounts until 30 September 2008

FTDNA has announced the following promotional prices for NEW MEMBERS of DNA studies:

  • Y-DNA12 orders include a FREE mtDNA test (Y-DNA12+mtDNA promotion price of $99; normally $189)
  • Y-DNA25 orders include a FREE mtDNA test (Y-DNA25+mtDNA promotion price of $148; normally $238)
  • Y-DNA37 orders price REDUCED to $119 (normally $189)
  • Y-DNA37+mtDNAPlus orders price REDUCED to $189 (normally $339)
  • Y-DNA67+mtDNAPlus orders price REDUCED to $288 (normally $409)
  • mtDNAPlus price REDUCED to $149 (normally $189)

This promotion goes into effect immediately and will be available until September 30th, 11:59PM CST.

The Y DNA test is for males, and both males and females can take the mtDNA test. I recommend that males test their Y DNA and mtDNA to determine their genetic ancestry from their father and from their mother.

You can find out if there is a Surname Project for your surname at and use the search box.

I don't make any money from your tests.

These are the families I am associated with:

  • Ball:
  • Creekmore:
  • Kidd:
  • Manning:
  • Parkins and Perkins:
  • Phipps:
  • Strunk:
  • Swain:
  • Whitecotton:
  • Wyatt:

To get the special price, go to the home page for your surname and select the "Join this Surname Group" link on the left side of the page and answer the questions.

If your Surname is not one of these, go to and enter your surname in the Search Box. Select the link to your Surname that comes up.

This is a great opportunity if you are interested in testing.

Other fee-based testing companies:

A free testing company:

Contact me if you have any questions:

The Genetic Map of Europe

"By NICHOLAS WADE Published: August 13, 2008 Biologists have constructed a genetic map of Europe showing the degree of relatedness between its various populations. All the populations are quite similar, but the differences are sufficient that it should be possible to devise a forensic test to tell which country in Europe an individual probably comes from, said Manfred Kayser, a geneticist at the Erasmus University Medical Center in the Netherlands. The map shows, at right, the location in Europe where each of the sampled populations live and, at left, the genetic relationship between these 23 populations. The map was constructed by Dr. Kayser, Dr. Oscar Lao and others, and appears in an article in Current Biology published online on August 7." Continued at