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Subject: Re: [DNA] Newbie: National Geographic, Relative Genetics, DNA
Date: Tue, 03 May 2005 21:18:36 +0000


Malcolm, you appear to be confounding your anger with one testing company and the way they describe SNPs in their literature with both myself and SNP testing in general. Your rationale for jumbling these four elements eludes me.

It is troubling that even academics seem to get involved in this issue, but the ones who rely on Y-STRs tend to be in the forensic field, and those who rely on SNPs plus Y-STRs are generally population geneticists who realize that both are essential for profiling a population or region. I am sorry that your experience with one company has been frustrating, but others have found their services to be without parallel. That "stale primer" concept is mine and I regret using this as a generic term for all the things that can go wrong with the SNP process. Errors can occur anywhere from the construction of consumables (primers - we make ours from scratch since we don't trust others to do this delicate work) to the sequencing process to the reading of the output. Despite the recent primer difficulties, the company in question and their academic partners have an excellent track record and to focus on the occasional fumble does not do justice to the overall picture.

David F.


-------------- Original message --------------

> On this List David F says,
> >Only FTDNA's wonderful SNP tested databases from the Hammer lab at the
> U of Arizona could have done this for me. They are the only firm that
> offers the world - wide SNP tested databases that are automatically
> compared to our Y-STR scores so we can see the present day geographical
> distribution of our haplotypes.<
>
> "Wonderful" they may be, but for 9 months some of the participants in a
> surname study have not been given the correct information - due to
> so-called 'stale primers'.
> A study of the scientific literature indicates that the haplogroup may
> possibly be H1, yet 10 months later that test remains to be done.
> David F is adamant that only a SNP test can definitively make the
> determination for the 4 poor innocent souls who paid their money to
> discover their haplogroup.
>
> The closest match is 8 out of 12. Let us put this "wonderful"
> information into context.
> My I1a matches include 11 out of 12 - 2 at J2.
> My I1a matches include 10 out of 12 - 2 at J2.
> My I1a matches include 9 out of 12 - 1 at Q, 1 at I1b, 3 at I1a1 and 4
> at J2.
> My I1a matches include 8 out of 12 - 1 at R1b, 3 at I1b and 10 at J2.
>
> So I should tell these innocent participants that they can take their 8
> out of 12 match and conclude it is as correct as my 8 out of 12 matches
> (Q, R1b, I1a1, I1b and J2). Wonderful!
>
> Ken and I have pointed out the rubbish quoted on the FTDNA STR
> haplogroup page. I requested the company amend this some 2 years ago!
>
> This is what I am told - remember that my ancestors are Anglo-Saxon
> (thanks Ken for identifying that fact)
>
> Haplogroup Descriptions
>
> I The I, I1, and I1a lineages are nearly completely restricted to
> northwestern Europe. These would most likely have been common within
> Viking populations.
> I1a1 This line was derived within Viking / Scandinavian populations in
> northwest Europe and has since spread down into southern Europe where it
> is present at low frequencies.
> I1b This subgroup of Haplogroup I is found within the Balkans countries
> at it's greatest frequency and diversity. These countries probably
> harbored this subset of Haplogroup I as a refuge during the Last Glacial
> Maximum.
> J2 This lineage originated in the northern portion of the Fertile
> Crescent where it later spread throughout central Asia, the
> Mediterranean, and south into India.
> Q The Q lineage is the lineage that links Asia and the Americas. This
> lineage is found in North and Central Asian populations as well as
> native Americans.
>
> Where is my Anglo-Saxon in this wonderful rubbish!
> Malcolm


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