GENEALOGY-DNA-L ArchivesArchiver > GENEALOGY-DNA > 2003-11 > 1069562640
From: OrinWells <>
Subject: Re: [DNA] Sorenson Molecular Genealogy Foundation
Date: Sat, 22 Nov 2003 20:44:00 -0800
To add to what Gailia Merrington wrote:
The Molecular Genealogy Project was originally started at Brigham Young
University funded primarily with a grant from James Sorenson who owns
Sorenson. I am not at all clear what caused the move from BYU to bring the
project into the Sorenson labs, but it was done about a year ago and has
been running from there since with many of the original people still
involved in one way or another.
The LDS church, as I understand it, has little to do with the actual
operation of the project. The goal was (and probably still is) to collect
100,000 samples from around the world and do appropriate testing on the
samples including Y-chromosome on men and mTdna on probably everyone. I do
not know for certain, but they may be doing testing beyond that used for
current genealogical testing.
While the project is not commercial in itself, all the testing is currently
being conducted by Relative Genetics, which is also owned by Sorenson. I
am certain that the database will eventually be available for matching by
samples run through Relative Genetics. Does that mean only people in the
lab will do the matching or will those who have run samples be able to
query the database? I don't know that answer and as far as I know they
have not revealed this.
Originally everyone who submitted a sample was advised they would not be
receiving the results of the testing because this is a research
project. Such projects seldom provide data to the participants. Anyone
who participated was also able to sit in on an orientation where this was
made clear to them and it was also on the consent form they signed when
providing their sample.
When the database is made available in whatever form it will be, queries
will not reveal the identity of the participants on matches. But no doubt
other useful information may be available because each participant was
asked to provide a 5 generation family tree including themselves. This
information included dates and locations. The objective of this was to try
to lay out a map of where certain dna patterns could be found at different
I suspect this database will be available for matching only to those who
are tested through Relative Genetics much the same way the FamilyTreeDNA
database is only available to their customers. The rest of the researchers
(FTDNA and RG) will only have access to the information in the event
clients cross post their results on ybase.org as many of us are doing
I know that Mr. Sorenson is not doing this to make a profit off of the
research. He has an intense interest in the utilization of DNA testing in
furthering genealogical research. The same objective we all have.
It is very likely that based on the results of this initial project, there
will be follow-on research conducted using DNA from chromosomes other than
the y-chromosome also solely for genealogical purposes.
Ken Brock wrote:
"I can't remember the board that governs legitimate research I think it was
called IRB (Internal Review Board) that would review the research
protocol and make sure it conforms to good research practices."
I checked with them on this at one point. They are required to comply with
the regulations and rules and are doing so and subject to audit. They make
sure all samples are secure and are coded in such a way that only the
director of the study, Dr. Scott Woodward, is able to identify the
participant who provided a given sample. The results will likely be
published at one point - not the specific 100,000 samples, but whatever
they discover during the project. I am aware of one discovery they have
made as a result of our Wells study having been an early special study
under the project.
Orin R. Wells
Wells Family Research Association
P. O. Box 5427
Kent, Washington 98064-5427
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