DNA Group News – FamilyTree DNA sale

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Father’s Day Sale at FamilyTreeDNA - to June 17, 2014 the price for Family Finder autosomal tests is reduced to $79 from $99 and the BigY test is $595.

If you had tested for Y-DNA with Ancestry previously, given that that company has announced abandoning all but autosomal testing, you may want to transfer your results to FamilyTree DNA for $19 and then upgrading the testing for a low additional cost – or you could look at taking a new test there. Roberta Estes has an article about this,  Transfer DNA Results or Retest at Family Tree DNA? Her Y-DNA recommendation is to transfer Ancestry results and to upgrade Y-DNA results at FamilyTreeDNA - just as soon as possible.

You may also want to read Debbie Kennett’s article posted today 12 June 2014 – Genetic Genealogy Hits the Big Time FamilyTreeDNA has now marked the ‘million’ milestone.

Finding DNA terms and intialisms confusing or annoying? Check out the information on the International Society for Genealogy Genealogy’s (ISOOG) website. There’s a glossary and a beginning section for newbies, as well as wide resources for all interested in using DNA results for genealogy.

Mitochondrial DNA test on sale – only to April 1, 2014

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FamilyTree DNA will have its Full Sequence Mitochondrial (MtDNA) Test (or upgrades) on sale for a few days only, starting 28 March 2014.

Genetic genealogist CeCe Moore has an article today about this which includes some thoughts on benefits of MtDNA testing for genealogists.  Continue reading

BCGS DNA Group Update – Next meeting February 12 in Burnaby

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Already we are posting a DNA update to the original update. This can’t wait till February.

Family Tree DNA is sponsoring a series of genetic genealogy webinars  with Elise Friedman of Relative Roots. Since the first on Family Tree DNA’s new X matching feature is today, I hope this will be available later for viewing as some have been.

Family Tree DNA Feature Launch: X Chromosome Matches in Family Finder.
Time: Tuesday, January 7, 2014 @ 12pm Central
Registration: http://bit.ly/19Wohgg

The next webinars will be January 9 – Managing Your Personal Account; January 14 – Family Tree DNA Results Explained, Part 3: Family Finder; January 21 – Mind the GAP: Beginner’s Guide to the Group Administration Page at Family Tree DNA;  January 28 -Advanced Topics at Family Tree DNA, Part 1: Y-DNA.

For full details and registration links, see Shannon Christmas’ Through the Trees blog.

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The next BCGS DNA Group meeting will be at the February 12th BCGS General Meeting to be held from 7:30 pm – 10:00 pm at the Danish Lutheran Church, Downstairs Hall, 6010 Kincaid St., Burnaby, BC.

We’ll be discussing using charts to decide on and analyze DNA testing and we’ll, no doubt, be talking about the new Big-Y test from Family Tree DNA.

2013 was a very interesting (and sometimes frustrating) year for genetic genealogy and 2014 is likely to be similar.

If you’d like to review 2013, Roberta Estes has a recap at her blog, DNAeXplained, “2013’s Dynamic Dozen – Top Genetic Genealogy Happenings” (posted on 28 December, 2013).

One DNA genealogy related happening I’d add to her list is the decision that two of Henrietta Lacks’ descendants will now be in the United States National Institutes of Health HeLa Genome Data Access working group which approves research on Henrietta Lacks’ genome. Since her death in the 1950s, Henrietta Lacks’ cancer ‘HeLa’ cells have been replicated over and over and used in thousands of medical studies – without her or her descendants’ knowledge or consent. See the Nature article about this 2013 agreement, “Deal done over HeLa cell line” by Ewen Calloway (posted 7 August 2013).

For more about Henrietta Lacks, her story and the medical and ethical questions surrounding her HeLa cells, read The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot (2010). BCGS Library.

DNA News Update – 23andMe ordered to stop marketing?

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Please note the updates to this article below. Revised 12 December, 2013 and 26 November 2013.

DNA news today, 12 December 2013 -. Roberta Estes is now “sounding the alarm”. In her latest article, 23andMe Pulls Affiliate Marketing Program, she is saying that those of us who are 23andMe customers should be copying our “health results, downloading files and contacting your matches to be sure they have your e-mail”. I certainly hope that 23andMe will come out a stronger company – I can’t imagine the genetic genealogy world without them – but save your data.

DNA news today, 25 November 2013 – the United States of America’s Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has ordered 23andMe to stop marketing their Personal Genome Service “until such time as it receives FDA marketing authorization for the device”.  For more about this, see Roberta Estes post at DNAeXplained which includes a copy of the FDA letter from which the above quote is taken. Note that 23andMe has been ordered only to stop marketing. 23andMe recently launched a television advertising series which emphasizes only the medical related aspects of their testing. Perhaps this put a spotlight on the apparently protraced discussions between 23andMe and the FDA?

I recently had a conversation with another BCGS member about a genetic family medical story which we thought would make a good topic for a DNA group meeting. I know there are other members who are interested in genetic family health history, so watch for a meeting notice early in the new year.

Update – 26 November 2013

Roberta Estes has a new article, “Now What? – 23andMe and the FDA” at her DNAeXplained blog with views and advice too about downloading and printing genealogy and health reports – a wise move in any case, I think, and about ensuring contact with those new found, previously long lost cousins.

DNA Group Update – Nov. 2013

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Genetic genealogy is an ever changing field. Yesterday’s news from the Family Tree DNA conference is an example of that, but interesting articles and updates to DNA genealogy testing services (and prices) appear regularly.

A few of the more recent articles and links -

First, the biggest news from FamilyTree DNA‘s conference this weekend is the new Y-DNA test available – the ‘Big Y DNA’ test – a full Y sequence test, replacing ‘Walk Through the Y’ testing. This will begin at $695, but previous customers are being offered a reduced price through November. Have a look at Debbie Kennett’s compilation of news about this which was posted yesterday and has links to other articles, and check the FamilyTreeDNA website which should make details public soon. ( If you are a male FamilyTreeDNA customer already, sign in and you may see more now.) If you are on Facebook, check out FamilyTree DNA’s Facebook page.

And, in case anyone thinks DNA testing for genealogy is brand new, FamilyTree DNA announced 10 year DNA Pioneer awards at the conference. More on that at Roberta Estes blog, DNAeXplained. Roberta is one of those Pioneers: http://dna-explained.com/2013/11/10/10-year-pioneers-recognized-by-family-tree-dna/

For anyone wanting to know more about autosomal DNA testing, here are links to a series of 2 recent archived podcasts with CeCe Moore and Shannon Christmas.These are archived from the ‘Research at the National Archives & Beyond’show with Bernice Bennett on BlogTalkRadio.

For those following  the identification of Richard III in England, there is an article in the most recent issue of the Society of Genealogists’ journal, Genealogists’ Magazine,  “Medieval DNA In Action: Richard III And The Family of Anne Spooner” by John Ashdown-Hill. Since there is a Canadian connection, this will be of interest to many here. Read this journal at the BCGS Walter Draycott Library [942 GM V31 #3 Sep/13, pages 91-97].

The UK Personal Genome Project  is underway.  Read more about this project and its implications in this BBC article, “Massive DNA volunteer hunt begins” by James Gallagher, posted 6 November, 2013: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-24834375

Hoping to find your Irish ancestors and family connections with DNA? See the on-line articles and videos from last month’s Genetic Genealogy Ireland conference in Dublin.

The National Geographic’s Genographic Project has dropped the price for its ancient DNA Geno 2.0 testing for a limited time to $159.95: https://genographic.nationalgeographic.com/

DNA News Update posted by M. Diane Rogers, British Columbia Genealogical Society DNA Group facilitator. Comments and news on genetic genealogy and DNA happenings are  welcome here. Watch for information soon on upcoming BCGS DNA Group meetings for 2014.