The annual International Society of Genetic Genealogy (ISOGG) meeting started today with a review. ISOGG was born out of the 2004 FTDNA conference. This self-supporting volunteer organization is free to anyone and only asks that you share your knowledge about DNA testing for genealogy. Katherine Borges, director, mentioned that the ISOGG Wiki page is very active and that there is a new page for administrators who wish to sponsor tests can be listed. Some DNA projects raise money to sponsor tests. The Wiki is a great source and you are welcome to use anything within its pages as long as you cite your source.
ISOGG has been a presence at Who Do You Think You Are? (WDYTYA) for many years. This is the world’s largest genealogical conference and is held in London every February. Besides this, ISOGG has had a table at Southern California Genealogical Society’s DNA Day held one day before Jamboree in June. Many ISOGG members gave presentations and the day was a great success. ISOGG also held a stand in Back to the Past (BOTP) in Dublin, Ireland this October. This was the first presence there and Family Tree DNA also attended. Again, another great success.
2006 – 436 SNPs
2008 – 790 SNPs
2010 – 935 SNPs
2012 – 2067 SNPs
Sept 2013 – 3610 SNPs
With the advent of the Big Y test which covers 25,000 SNPs, that number is now much larger.
The Journal of Genetic Genealogy (JOGG) was founded the same year as ISOGG, but has not been operating for over a year. Katherine is seeking to put JOGG under the ISOGG umbrella, if needed, in the near future.
A DNA conference will be held August 16-17, 2014 in Washington DC. Watch for coming news.
Michael Hammer’s presentation Implications of the 2014 Y Tree focused on the origins of some R1b subclades and with more testing the origins and migrations are altering. Dr. Hammer demonstrated that the current perception of R1b haplogroup migrations may have originated in the Near East before coming to Western Europe >5,000 years ago. Other haplogroups tend to show some other interesting patterns, although sample sizes are small at this time. Dr. Hammer called upon citizen scientists to help gather the needed data for further study by continuing to SNP test.
Engineering Update/IT Roadmap was presented by Elliott Greenspan after introducing Jason Wang, the new Technology Officer. The IT department of Family Tree DNA has grown greatly and will continue to grow in the next few months. With the acquisition of Arpeggi the time to produce results from DNA testing has been reduced. In 2012 Family Tree DNA processed 107.6 petabytes and by October 2013 413.7 petabytes. The Family Finder pages have started to be revamped and are now in Build 37 with Build 38 coming. A SNP Request Form has been established so customers can have a particular SNP vetted and made available to the public. mtDNA is now in Build 14 and they added Steps (formerly called Genetic Difference) as is seen in Y-DNA testing. Family Tree DNA states that having a difference on the mtDNA still means two people are related, but probably just further back in time. They have a case of a mother and child who have a difference of one. The next Build upgrade will likely jump to 16 or 17. Family Tree DNA has provided a $10 coupon to anyone who uploads their Gedcom. This coupon does not have an expiration date, but they do not know how long it will be provided. Thousands of Gedcoms have been uploaded over the last couple of months.
Family Tree DNA introduced the Big Y test which tests 10,000,000 base pairs and 25,000 SNPs, and if one person has a unique SNP it will be placed on the Y-tree. Sale price until Nov 30 is $495, reg $695. If you have tested the Walk Through the Y you will also find a $50 off coupon.
For the X-chromosome there is a new algorithm. This will be on an advanced feature which will also have a browser. With the uniqueness of the X inheritance, although matching is great, not matching someone may mean nothing. Launch date for the X is January 2, 2014.
Population Finder is being updated with a new outlook and new features so that when a new population is found it will take less time to be added to the system. There will be over 50 populations in Europe alone and the African population will improve.
Dr. Connie Bormans who manages the lab gave the following information:
Family Tree DNA, unlike its major competition, runs its own lab and are proud to announce they have the following accreditation:
CAP (College of American Pathologists) - This supersedes CLIA and is considered the "gold standard" of accreditation
NYSDOH (New York State Department of Health)
Although lab inspections are required every two years, given this list, the lab is audited yearly from some.
FTDNA also committed to renewing and improving communication between the customer and the Lab and the Lab to IT. For example with some new software it now takes half the time to upload new Family Finder results. There is better tracking systems in place, for example, if there is not enough of a DNA sample for an upgrade or traditional test so there is less turn-around time in requesting an additional sample when needed.
There are many future projects being planned with possibly a return to the Deep Clade test and the testing of trace DNA which means from hair, etc. if the demand is high enough. At least this is on their radar.
Dr. Maurice Gleeson reported on the Back to Our Past conference in Dublin, Ireland. Family Tree DNA sent some representatives there to swab the Irish and found several Americans attending who also tested. Dr. Gleason walked us through the marketing he did and the statistics showing the success of the marketing and of the conference. The whole affair was deemed a success for DNA testing. Presentations can be found on YouTube.
1. atDNA - Tim Janzen and CeCe Moore
2. atDNA Projects - for Saturday; Jen Zinck and Steven Perkins
3. Advanced DNA Tools -Rebekah Canada
4. mtDNA –Roberta Estes and Marie Rundquist
5. Y-DNA SNPs Mike Maddi and Charles Moore
I attended the Advanced DNA Tools (3rd-Party DNA Tools) where we discussed various tools which can be located on the ISOGG Wiki. Concerns for uploading DNA results to open access databases were expressed. Highlights of the discussion were the use of cladograms, Blaine Bettinger’s X-Chromosome charts, GEDmatch, and David Pike’s Utilities. The latter does not provide anyone with access to your data as you download the tools to your computer.
Questions and Answers period included many requests:
• When using dark colors from grouping project members, a request was made to use a color other than black for the text.
• Wish more time on the administrator pages before being timed out
• Can the raw atDNAand X-chromosome result be combined into one file.
The greatest announcement was that the Holiday Sale would begin now with an array of tests.
The sale ends 31 Dec 2013 and all tests must be paid by then.
With any test that includes the Family Finder test, you receive a $100 Restaurant.com gift certificate. Order from FTDNA now! A list of these tests is on the ISOGG Wiki.
Y-37 for $119 (reg. $169)
Y-67 for $189 (reg. $268)
Y-111 for $289 (reg. $359)
mtFull for $169 (reg. $199)
Family Finder for $99 and a Free $100 Restaurant.com gift certificate
Family Finder + Y-37 for $218 (reg. $268) and a Free $100 Restaurant.com gift certificate
Family Finder + Y- 67 for $288 (reg. $367) and a Free $100 Restaurant.com gift certificate
Family Finder + mtFull for $268 (reg. $298) and a Free $100 Restaurant.com gift certificate
Y-37 + mtFull for $288 (reg. $366)
Y-67 + mtFull for $358 (reg. $457)
Comprehensive for $457 (reg. $566)
Autosomal DNA Transfer for $49 (Reg $69)
Y-Refine 12 to 37 for $69 (reg. $109)
Y-Refine 12 to 67 for $148 (reg. $319)
Y-Refine 25 to 37 for $35 (reg. $59)
Y-Refine 25 to 67 for $114 (reg. $59)
Y-Refine 37 to 67 for $79 (reg. $109)
Y-Refine 37 to 111 for $188 (reg. $220)
Y-Refine 67 to 111 for $109 (reg. $129)
mtHVR1 to Mega for $149 (reg. $169)
Big Y – This is a new test for the Y-chromosome and tests 10,000,000 base pairs and 25,000 SNPs. This sale goes only until November 30, 2013 at the sale price of $495 (You will receive an additional $50 coupon if you have done the Walk Through the Y earlier). Regular price is $695.
The conference, once again, renewed our enthusiasm for genetic testing and in Family Tree DNA, especially this year with the Arpeggi merger. Only one day after the conference we already see that Family Tree DNA is listening to our requests. Family Tree DNA has a renewed commitment to serving their customers and listening to their suggestions. It has begun!
As Dr. Spencer Wells of the Genographic Project has said “The greatest history book ever written is the one hidden in our DNA.”
Time to jump into the gene pool!