Archiver > GENEALOGY-DNA > 2005-03 > 1111176470

Subject: RE: [DNA] Finding new USEFUL SNPs?
Date: Fri, 18 Mar 2005 20:07:50 +0000


I wish it was this simple, but generally a company signs a contact with a university lab for a set period of time. When the contract is up so is the agreement. Then comes a period of agonizing uncertainty. If you entirely tie your operation to one facility and then find that the lab's priorities have changed you are out in the cold scrambling for "alternative arrangements". If the "baby boomers" are so keen on all this stuff, why does one of our competitors after spending over $100,000 to set up and two years of advertising their product, end up with 3 to 4 orders a week? You may be misjudging the demand out there. We are fully prepared to cope with this possibility by "thinking outside the box". Lets just say that I want to get my Korean son in law busy cultivating an interest in non - traditional markets (regions).

Truly Bill, I have yet to see any clear indications that even the American market which should drive the push into uncharted waters is all that strong. Trace Genetics bowed out after two weeks. FTDNA seems to be in no rush. People should understand that without an expert geneticist running the show (and there are not that many who have the time or inclination to enter the commercial arena), a company is doomed to failure. We will soon get a sense of what the demand is - it is a huge gamble on our part, and there is no guaranteed pot of gold at the end of the rainbow - only uncertainty.

I hope I have given you some insights on a few of the problems that "get in the way" of all these supposed billions of dollars. I have confidence so will forge ahead full speed. Many of my colleagues are very very reticent to move into this market. Life is about taking calculated risks.

David F.

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

> Mike, Ken, David...
> I have another take on this... FTDNA and Arizona University
> seem to be cruising along with their splendid cooperative
> effort..
> What in the deuce are these other universities doing... There
> is a billion dollars or more out here with the boomers. That
> ain't loose change. If I were an younger person, and an
> academic about to loose a job...the FTDNA-Arizona model
> might be one to look at a bit closer.
> You can be reactive and die, or be proactive and creative.
> Bill
> -----Original Message-----
> From: [mailto:]
> Sent: Friday, March 18, 2005 12:05 PM
> To:
> Subject: Re: [DNA] Finding new USEFUL SNPs?
> David ...
> This meshes perfectly with the experience that Ken & I have had with Peter
> Underhill at Stanford. His lab is part of the Cavalli Lab, which is in the
> Genetics dept, in the Stanford hospital complex. Medical funding drives
> everything. I met with Peter last month, an hour after a going-away lunch
> for one of his
> employees who had just lost her job because of lack of funding.
> Not a pretty picture.
> I don't share Ken's apparent pessimism, tho: my impression is that Peter is
> listening to us, but hamstrung by lack of funding. He's also interested in
> "reconciliation" of the 3x ratio of genealogical f/s YSTR rates & estimated
> effective population YSTR rates. (another email to write :-)
> Mike ...
> ==========================================
> Potential SNP hunters have little incentive beyond their own curiosity to
> search for elusive single nucleotide polymorphism mutations that are "not
> private". The research money is pretty well dedicated to medical genetic
> screening
> and any other work must be "piggy backed" on this activity the granting
> agencies must give permission to use the samples in a way that is not
> directly tied
> to the intended use. I can assure you that Jim Wilson would love to be in
> a
> position to have free rein to go on a hunt for SNPs, but these days the
> analogy
> with police work may apply.
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