Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Family History and DNA: Genetic Genealogy in 2013 Conference, Burbank, California

Thursday, June 6, 2013, at the Los Angeles Marriott Burbank, 2500 Hollywood Way, Burbank.

The first ever public conference of its type, jointly sponsored by the Southern California Genealogical Society (SCGS) and ISOGG, is more than 75 % sold out. Attendance is limited to 350 people.

April 30 is the last day for reduced prices and the hotel is filling up.
Hotel reservations can be made at http://tinyurl.com/JamboreeHotel2013. Use code jamjama.

See Keynote speaker Spencer Wells of the National Geographic Project and Luncheon speaker Henry Louis Gates, Jr. plus many other well known names in the field. Program details are at


Registration is at http://www.scgsgenealogy.com/catalog/index.php?cPath=71 and the Early Bird Registration has been extended until May 7th.

The event is followed by the 3 day Genealogical Jamboree and many of the registrants plan to stay for both conferences.

Hope to see you there.

Alice Fairhurst, SCGS President and ISOGG Y-DNA Tree

Monday, April 22, 2013

Family Tree DNA: DNA Day Sale


This year we began our commemoration of National DNA Day on April 19th. This coincides with the celebration by the National Human Genome Research Institute and the Smithsonian Institution's National Museum of Natural History's partnership to celebrate the 1953 discovery of the double helix and the 2003 completion of the Human Genome Project, which was April 19th.

However, DNA Day is celebrated worldwide on April 25th. Therefore, we've extended our sale! The usual conditions apply - orders must be made and paid for by 11:59 p.m. CDT on Thursday, April 25th.

Remember, we’ll offer a promotion on Y-DNA upgrades around Father’s Day, so be on the lookout for those details.
Click here to see and order all of our substantially discounted items!

Tuesday, April 09, 2013

Have a 23andme genetic test? Read this: Learning more from your 23andMe results with Imputation

From Genomes Unzipped:

Suppose that you’ve had your DNA genotyped by 23andMe or some other DTC genetic testing company. Then an article shows up in your morning newspaper or journal (like this one) and suddenly there’s an additional variant you want to know about. You check your raw genotypes file to see if the variant is present on the chip, but it isn’t! So what next? [Note: the most recent 23andMe chip does include this variant, although older versions of their chip do not.]

Genotype imputation is a process used for predicting, or “imputing”, genotypes that are not assayed by a genotyping chip. The process compares the genotyped data from a chip (e.g. your 23andMe results) with a reference panel of genomes (supplied by big genome projects like the 1000 Genomes or HapMap projects) in order to make predictions about variants that aren’t on the chip. If you want a technical review of imputation (and the program IMPUTE in particular), we recommend Marchini & Howie’s 2010 Nature Reviews Genetics article. However, the following figure provides an intuitive understanding of the process.

Continue reading ‘Learning more from your 23andMe results with Imputation’.

Friday, April 05, 2013

Human Reference Genome Build 37 and FTDNA

It appears that the conversion to build 37 of the Human Reference Genome has been completed by Family Tree DNA. I say this based on the following:

In Build 36 I had 483 matches in Family Finder;
After the first stage of the conversion I had 423 matches, then 438 and finally 443. This week I have 538 Family Finder matches.
I have identified the common ancestor/s with 14 matches.

At 23andme I have 1825 matches and have identified the common ancestor with 16.

At AncestryDNA I have 4100+ matches and have identified the common ancestor in the pedigrees with over 100 matches. I am looking forward to getting segment location and sizes from AncestryDNA so I can make a better comparison with FTDNA's Family Finder and 23andme's Relative Finder.

All three autosomal DNA raw results are now reported in Build 37.

Wednesday, April 03, 2013

DNA testing for genetic genealogy: some new prices

Family Tree DNA, FTDNA, has changed the price of the 12 marker Y chromosome test to $49.00 as of 1 April 2013. This is the first test a male might take in determining his male line genetic ancestry. 12 marker test should be upgraded to 37, 67, or 111 markers for greater accuracy in determining the correct male line. This test gives a haplotype and a haplogroup for your male ancestry.

FTDNA has announced they will have a lower priced mitochondrial, mtDNA, test later this year.

The cost of their autosomal DNA test, Family Finder, has not been reduced. The test can be taken by both males and females and can find genetic connections back around 6 generations. At the 6th cousin level you will share less than 1% of your DNA with a 6th cousin.

23andMe has reduced the cost of their autosomal DNA test, Relative Finder, to $99.00. People outside of the United States should look at the shipping cost before placing the order. The reduction from $299.00 has made this a more affordable test. The results of the Relative Finder test are similar to Family Finder.

AncestryDNA, a part of Ancestry.com, has reduced the cost of their autosomal DNA test to $99.00. It is not available to persons outside of the USA. Using the pedigrees uploaded to Ancestry.com and a phasing formula developed by them, they are able to match DNA segments to pedigrees in their database. However, unlike FTDNA and 23andme, they do not provide a chromosome browser so you can see where your matches are on each chromosome. This means you could find a pedigree match but that person may not be the one you share DNA with.