Archiver > GENEALOGY-DNA > 2004-11 > 1101826249

From: "Whit Athey" <>
Subject: RE: [DNA] Caveat emptor - Trace Genetics
Date: Tue, 30 Nov 2004 09:50:49 -0500
In-Reply-To: <>

I ordered a series of SNP tests through Trace Genetics, potentially down to
the most derived state of a particular haplogroup, but I specified the order
in which they were to be done and asked that they stop if they encountered
negative results. They did the two that I wanted done regardless, and when
they found both negative, they let me know and stopped. I believe that if
that is what you intended, then you needed to say it up front. If someone
ordered every subclade test of a particular haplogroup from me, including
several that could not possibly all be positive, I would assume that the
testee wanted the tests done regardless, and the order was just a matter of
convenience for the lab. If you want to go through the haplogroup structure
in an ordered manner (i.e., in a logical series, rather than all in
parallel), then it will necessarily take longer. They probably thought that
because of the way the order was placed, time was more important than money
for you in this case.


-----Original Message-----
From: [mailto:]
Sent: Tuesday, November 30, 2004 5:35 AM
Subject: [DNA] Caveat emptor - Trace Genetics

I have heard through the grapevine & occasional postings that Trace Genetics
has quit offering their custom SNP tests. I ordered mine on August 30 -
today's date is Nov. 30 (13 weeks exactly) & I have no results & none in
sight, after an email I received from Trace Genetics yesterday. Let me
restate that & explain. I was tested for SNP P25 long ago by FTDNA, so I
already knew with certainty that I am R1b. On Aug. 30 I ordered 9 SNP
markers tested - M269 & all of it's downstream markers, as listed on the
2003 YCC Phylogeny Tree (the 2005 tree had not yet been published). My
reasoning was pretty simple - by ordering M269 & all of its downstream
markers, with one fell swoop I would test for all the published subclades of
R1b, however unlikely they might be for my haplotype , i.e. - hard data vs.
prediction. I certainly expected that the probability for being positive for
M269 as being reasonable, while not having any great expectation of being
positive for the rather rare SNPs !
downstream of M269. I thought that I might as well test them all so as to
leave no stone unturned, since I expected to be positive for M269 & would
then have an immediate answer about whether I might be positive for any of
the markers downstream. In sending my request to Trace Genetics, I
specifically stated my objective in these terms, & thought that should be
rather obvious to the professionals. About 5 weeks ago I got a new kit in
the mail & a request to send two more DNA samples, as they were having
problems getting enough DNA for testing. I returned them to them immediately
& again waited. Last week I contacted them by phone & was told that 6 of the
SNP markers had been tested & were negative - nothing on paper, just a phone
conversation. She also said that M269 had been tested but needed QC review
before results could be released. My observation here is that, by
definition, I will be negative for all the SNPs downstream of M269 if I am
negative for M269, so why would t!
hat be one of the last SNPs to test?? Why wouldn't they have tested it
first?? Today (after phoning) I got an email saying that the lab had decided
to run that test again because of ambiguous results, so now I'm back at
square one. My understanding of the current technology is that there are
quite a few sequencing machines in current use that use multiple assay kits,
quite suitable for this type of testing. Am I off the mark on that??
Secondly, I can run a blood gas at work in about 3 minutes. I know that DNA
sequencers are a lot more complex & time consuming than that, but let's get
real - 13 weeks & counting?? The only way you can make sense out of that is
that these folks have very limited contracted (or borrowed) access to the
machinery (or they are doing it all manually??). I have had four Y-STR tests
done by FTDNA & Relative Genetics (total of four samples for two different
individuals, & never been asked to submit additional samples. Does this mean
that their PCR ampl!
ification doesn't work either?? Have any of the rest of you who have tested
with them been asked for additional samples?? In closing, I will point out
that if they had simply done the work in a reasonable fashion (test them all
at once as a kit, or if manually, test M269 first, I would already have my
results for M269, & would have had no further issues waiting for all the
rest of the results. I knew very well that I was quite unlikely to be
positive for the downstream markers, but was willing to pay the extra $22
dollars per marker to get all the answers all at once. Well, I got the
answers I expected for the downstream SNPs, but after 13 weeks, the critical
SNP is back to the drawing board, with no end in sight. I know that there
are a few geneticists on this list. You can send me a reply in private if
you prefer. As for other Trace Genetics customers, how many of you have
gotten POSITIVE results for ANY SNP test?? Trace Genetics certainly does
include a warning with thei!
r collection kit that no time period is specified for completion of the
testing - apparently they were very serious about that warning. In a
competitive market, that's probably not a particularly good approach to
attracting new customers. Maybe I have gotten what I deserved for throwing
caution to the wind?? After spending $268 & waiting 13 weeks, I am not much
closer to getting an answer to the question "M269 - negative or positive"?
Patrick Tagert

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