Thursday, November 15, 2012

Man vs. the Ape

A newly discovered "brain gene" appears to be the key to the unique ability of man to think, remember, and create. Apes do not have this gene. See  and

Y-DNA Adam

Newly discovered SNPs reveal that the earliest Y-DNA ancestor lived 338,000 years ago, not 70,000 to 130,000 years as previously thought. Since it is known that the earliest mtDNA ancestor lived much earlier, it will be interesting to learn how the new timeline develops.

This is pre-publication news so watch for the paper that should be published over the next months.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

How FTDNA has Grown

Some of you may know that the parent company of FTDNA is Gene by Gene. Today, after a reorganization in September, Gene by Gene has four divisions: Family Tree DNA for genealogy and ancestry tests, DNA Traits for diagnostic tests, DNADTC for scientific research, and  DNA Findings for paternity tests. The company's website is

DNADTC is especially remarkable because it is offering, for the first time to the general public, the Full Genome Sequence test ($5,495) and the Exome test ($695). The human genome was first fully sequenced in 2003 at a cost of $3 billion. The exome consists of your 20,000 genes.

As a long-time customer and advocate, I am very pleased to see how strongly positioned this company is for continued growth. Its leadership in the field of genetic genealogy is unrivaled.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Holiday Sale on DNA Tests

Family Tree DNA (FTDNA) has announced its 2012 holiday sale prices on almost all tests. What a wonderful gift for the family!

There are four different types of DNA testing available to the general public today. What you want to learn determines which test to take.

1. Y-DNA: Males only can test their paternal line -- father to his father to his father... to his fatrher. This is the first test  for genealogy and all males, especially the oldest in a line, should have at least 37 markers tested. There are surname projects at FTDNA for you to join in order to make best use of these tests and to join others with the same or similar surnames in learning about common ancestors. You also learn on which limb of the tree of mankind you fit.

2. mtDNA: Both males and females can test their maternal line -- mother to her mother to her mother... to her mother. The HVR1 test determines the maternal line haplogroup; HVR2 cab help you find others who may share a common maternal ancestor many hundreds or thousands of years ago; FGS (also known as Mega or mt Full Sequence) can help you find more recent cousins in that line. With any of these tests, you learn a little about your deep maternal ancestry.

3. atDNA: Both males and females use the Family Finder test to find cousins who are related up to about the 5th degree. These autosomal tests rely upon how much actual DNA you and your relatives have inherited from a common ancestor as a result of the random inheritance that occurs in each generation. (We inherit approximately one-half from each parent, 1/4 from each grandparent, 1/8 from each great grandparent, etc.) atDNA tests are also offered by 23andMe and with some differences.

4. Geno 2.0: While not offered by FTDNA directly, this test is sold by the National Geographic as an advanced test to determine geographic origins. (It was developed by FTDNA scientists in conjunction with the National Geographic/Genographic project and tests are run in the FTDNA labs.)

Note that orders must be placed and paid for by December 31st to obtain the prices shown below:

New KitsCurrent PriceSALE PRICE
Y-DNA 37$169$119
Y-DNA 67$268$199
mtFullSequence (FMS)$299$199
SuperDNA (Y-DNA 67 and mtFullSequence)$548$398
Family Finder$289$199
Family Finder + mtDNAPlus$438$318
Family Finder + mtFullSequence$559$398
Family Finder + Y-DNA 37$438$318
Comprehensive (FF + FMS + Y-67)$837$597
UpgradesCurrent PriceSALE PRICE
Y-Refine 12-25 Marker$59$35
Y-Refine 12-37 Marker$109$69
Y-Refine 12-67 Marker$199$148
Y-Refine 25-37 Marker$59$35
Y-Refine 25-67 Marker$159$114
Y-Refine 37-67 Marker$109$79
Y-Refine 37-111 Marker$220$188
Y-Refine 67-111 Marker$129$109
mtFullSequence Add-on$289$199
To order this special offer, log in to your personal page and click on the Order An Upgrade button in the upper right corner. A link to the login page is provided below. ALL ORDERS MUST BE PLACED AND PAID FOR BY MONDAY, DECEMBER 31, 2012 11:59:00 PM CST TO RECEIVE THE SALE PRICES.

Log In to Order an Upgrade.
Click Here to Order a New Kit.

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