Dateline: Houston Texas, 10-11 November 2012
Although we make history daily, only at monumental times do we realize it. This year at the Family Tree DNA Conference, every one realized the history being made.
Other statistics for Family Tree DNA is that have purchased 1.5 million vials for testing since conception; they are processing 500 samples a day and sometimes through the weekend; is involved in Next-Generation Sequencing; will have easier to open vials; and have new automated machines to remove tedious tasks for workers.
|Dr. Spencer Wells|
One of the most exciting features of Geno 2.0 is that citizen scientists can conduct a “community led events”. If you have a group, such as the Mennonites or other particular cultural group, you could apply to Genographic for conducting a study under the community led event. Dr. Wells would not indicate how many kits have been sold so far as this is still the initial release (soft launch), but mentioned that significantly more than 10k kits have been sold and significantly less than 100k.
|Judy Russell, JD, CGSM|
Judy Russell recommends we check the disclosure on the Melungeon Core project at FTDNA as it is a good example of disclosure and have something similar for all of our projects.
GINA (Genetic Information and Non-discrimination Act of 2008) is very limited and broad in protecting us with regard to DNA testing. It only covers employment and health care. It does not apply to life insurance, disability insurance, and long-term care.
Some DNA companies (ex: Connect DNA) uses CODIS values and even suggests you put your results on Facebook! Some states arrest for misdemeanors which put your DNA in CODIS and some states now use familiar DNA such as in the Grim Sleeper case. The UK uses familial DNA.
Other tips she shared: Do NOT sign release forms for others; don’t test someone without their consent. If caught, this will cause regulation by the government. Remember that any piece of legislation can be repealed or modified. Testing your whole genome and disclosing it discloses information for your relatives who have not given consent. In summary: Make ethical decisions, respect privacy of others; do informed consent; and educate the public regarding DNA testing. The bottom line is: If we don’t make better decisions, others will do it for us.
Question to Judy on testing dead relatives who had a previous test prompted the answer that if there is a child, you are not the heir to decide further testing. (FTDNA does have a page which allows a beneficiary for your DNA, but that email must be updated. There are forms which can be signed by a notary before a tester dies to give permission to someone to manage their DNA. Email me for a copy.)
I had the opportunity of speaking with her at the ISOGG gathering Saturday night and she is a commonsense and knowledgeable person. Such a delight!
|Dr. Thomas Krahn|
|Dr. Tim Janzen|
Dr. Krahn mentioned that no one from haplogroups B, D, M, and S have done Walk The Y and they would really like to get someone from each. There have been 494 WTY participants and only 198 did not find a new SNP. Some of these presentations will be available at FTDNA, perhaps all.
|Dr. Tyrone Bowes|
In the Question and Answer period included these:
1. Drugs, alcohol, radiation, etc. are more likely to cause a null (no marker results) than a different allele. Blood transfusions would require you to wait weeks to test UNLESS you are VERY careful in scraping to not get any blood on the swab. It’s really safer to wait.
2. If you have few or no matches it is probably a coincidence so wait until the database grows. The database does have gaps as you can’t get DNA out of some countries, such as China. DNA has been sent surreptitiously from Russia so that is another area of concern.
3. When Geno 2.0 is eventually offered through FTDNA for existing samples to be used, there needs to be an unopened vial.
4. Geno 2.0 is the closest thing to the full genome (for now), but does not have as high resolution ad would not show private mutations.
5. Niall of the Nine Hostages has four sub-groups and Geno may show which is the dominate line
6. FTDNA is going to Build 37 in the next two months or so which adds 3-4,000 new SNPs in the Family Finder chip and the X-chromosome browser is coming.
7. FTDNA has 500,000 vials in storage currently, and transfers from other companies are going great.
8. FTDNA anticipates uploading Ancestry raw autosomal data when Ancestry allows customers to download their raw data.
9. In the next version, Palendromic matches will be counted as one mutation event as it actually happens as one event.
Sunday's presentations and historical news will follow...
16 Nov 2012