GENEALOGY-DNA-L Archives

Archiver > GENEALOGY-DNA > 2008-06 > 1213463455


From: Robert Stafford <>
Subject: Re: [DNA] How could we tell?
Date: Sat, 14 Jun 2008 10:10:55 -0700 (PDT)
In-Reply-To: <48530E8F.4020506@storm.ca>


It is hard to tell what the lab error rate is, since most errors are not reported publically. However, I suspect there are a lot more than people think. I have seen about 20 posts about errors here and on Genforum. I have also private reports from people about errors. One big problem seems to be clerical errors. I am not clear where they occur, unless the firms post results to their web sites manually.

There are probably many actual lab errors on single markers that have not been discovered. They would probably not arouse suspicion and would be discovered only if the person retested. DYS464 seems to be a big problem, because the relative peak heights are used. I think it is a good idea to retest at www.smgf.org, if there is a mutation from the ancestral haplotype. It is a worthwhile project anyway.

One of the biggest problems, according to a person who works at a lab, is sample switches, often on just one panel. I have seen several cases posted. For people working within a documented genealogy, they immediate arouse suspicion. However, a loner might get bad results and never know.

Bob Stafford








Martin Potter <> wrote:

Diana, in your experience, would you say there are more NPEs than lab
errors or vice versa? How many more?

... Martin



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