The following announcement was written by Family Tree DNA"
HOUSTON-- Family Tree DNA, the first company to make DNA testing available for genealogical purposes, is now taking the basic DNA test to determine genealogy a step farther. By performing an additional process on a test sample, the company will be able to add an anthropological component to each of its tests and provide all of its clients with data on deep family ancestry, becoming the first Genetic Genealogy company to offer a DNA test with guaranteed placement on the correct branch of the tree of mankind.
Until now, Family Tree DNA’s line of genetic tests have focused on providing data on heredity, allowing clients to discover fellow test subjects with matches to their DNA markers to determine close relationships. Using its database of samples tested for DNA sequence variations called SNPs (single nucleotide polymorphisms), Family Tree DNA already can predict haplogroups that can be used to geographically define genetic populations 90% of the time for Y-DNA test samples. The relative mutation rate for SNPs is extremely slow, making them ideal for marking the history of the human genetic tree.
For the other 10%, whose haplogroup cannot be predicted clearly and unambiguously through the conventional prediction process, a supplementary SNP test will now be given that runs the results through a series of SNP tests in order to correctly place the test subject on the phylogenetic tree. Family Tree DNA will now be able to provide “assurance” that all of its STR (short tandem repeat) marker tests will also include an accurate haplogroup prediction, or they will diagnostically test a sample when needed.
Already the world leader in Genetic Genealogy, Family Tree DNA is responding to the public enthusiasm for National Geographic and IBM’s five-year Genographic Project to study the migrations of mankind (Family Tree DNA is the designated testing company for public participation). Now in its second year of research, more than 170,000 test kits have been sold, the results from which place test subjects on the phylogenetic tree.
While some other DNA testing firms have made bold predictions of haplogroups, Family
Tree DNA has always erred on the side of caution and ordered additional testing before reaching what some would consider unsubstantiated conclusions. As example, a Florida professor recently was declared a relative of Genghis Khan because his DNA test, one that studied nine sites at which the DNA mutates between generations, matched the notorious Mongolian warlord on seven of those nine sites. Further, SNP testing by Family Tree DNA of slow-mutating sites on the Y-chromosome at the request of the professor disproved the conclusions reached by the other company and made news around the world.
“No one in the world offers both a genealogical and anthropological test together,” says Family Tree DNA President Bennett Greenspan. “Years ago, we introduced the concept of a connection between your family tree and the branch of the tree of mankind onto which you fall, and the time has come to make the formal connection to ensure you will be placed on the tree no matter who you are or where you came from. We are raising the bar, and we hope others in the business we started will follow suit in order to guarantee that mistakes like the one with the professor will be eliminated.”
Family Tree DNA, in an effort to further educate, also compared the markers mentioned in a paper on Genghis Khan in the American Journal of Human Genetics against their worldwide database that includes over 570 males from Mongolia and Kazakhstan. The findings show that the Haplogroup C3 Mongolian test takers share all marker values identically as compared to the most commonly found Mongolian signature. In fact, 47 of these samples (8.2%) match exactly and that signature also matches, marker for marker, the values reported in the academic paper. To date, neither Western European nor North American male tested has exactly matched this signature.