Archiver > GENEALOGY-DNA > 2005-05 > 1115046087

Subject: Re: [DNA] Editing help
Date: Mon, 2 May 2005 11:01:27 EDT

In a message dated 05/01/05 5:55:39 PM Pacific Daylight Time,

> A newspaper reporter is writing an article on the
> Bahamas DNA Project. He has sent me a draft and I'm
> unsure about one of his paragraphs:
> "Random mutations to DNA, which happen naturally and
> are usually harmless, are called markers. Once a
> marker has been identified, geneticists can go back in
> time and trace it to the point at which it first
> occurred. In this way, they are able to determine when
> and where a new lineage began. These lineages can be
> used to track prehistoric migration patterns."
> Please let me know your suggestions on how it should
> read to be accurate and yet still understandable to a
> layman.

Wow! A reporter who is checking with you -- I'm impressed.

I could quibble a little bit: the definition of marker is actually broader,
and he seems to imply more precision than is possible. But that's not a bad
description for SNPs and haplogroups. Is this paragraph in that context, or is
the article meant to be more about the surname time frame? STRs are markers,
too, but we can't trace their origins in the same way as SNPs.

For various ways of defining marker, try the special syntax for searcing
glossaries at Google. I often find that I can relate to one turn of phrase better
than another. Of course marker is an ordinary English word, but you can easily
pick out the glossaries related to DNA.

define: marker

Ann Turner - GENEALOGY-DNA List Administrator
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