GENEALOGY-DNA-L ArchivesArchiver > GENEALOGY-DNA > 2009-09 > 1253052317
Subject: Re: [DNA] 23andMe Discount
Date: Tue, 15 Sep 2009 18:05:17 EDT
Arch, your approach may depend on whether you have a particular interest in
one of the Research Revolution traits, but that product doesn't include
many of the features with genetic genealogy potential. Here's a comparison
The current discount is for the full product, and it only applies during a
beta test period for a new feature at 23andMe. The type of test offered by
23andMe doesn't replace Y-STR and mtDNA HVR (or FGS), although "deep
ancestry" results can help sort out some coincidental matches.
The potential breakthrough for genetic genealogy is the vast amount of
autosomal data: 550,000 SNPs, vs the couple of handfuls of CODIS-style STRs you
probably ordered at FTDNA. If this pans out, it means that projects
(surname/geographical/ethnic) don't need to confine themselves to the straight
paternal or maternal lines, but they can include people whose ancestry zigzags
back and forth between males and females.
Genetic genealogists just aren't dialed in to thinking about all the
"other" ancestral lines. In order to introduce and (hopefully!) demonstrate the
utility of autosomal testing for finding connections between people, discounts
were offered to a few project administrators.
For instance, one way to use autosomal testing in a surname project would
be to calibrate whether a Y-STR match represents recent ancestry (say 4th
cousins or so) or is likely to be more distant. Also, women who don't have a
straight paternal line could participate in a surname-oriented project if they
think they might share a recent ancestor with a male in the project.
Projects limited to a well-defined geographic area or ethnicity may be able
to identify multiple connections between people and assemble an autosomal
picture of the founders. Again, this would open up projects to people who
lack a straight maternal or paternal line.
Nothing like this has ever been attempted before, so we are just beginning
to explore the potential. It will also be important to understand the
I also have a code for obtaining 23andMe tests at a discount (good until
September 30th). I'd like to limit this to "mini-projects" for testing a
hypothesis involving two or a few people. Please write to me OFF-LIST and
describe the scenario. Examples:
Some of you may be investigating a medical condition that is found in your
extended family, like I've been doing for an autosomal dominant hereditary
hearing impairment where the gene is unknown. By testing 6 cousins, some with
and some without the condition, I've been able to narrow down the
possibilities to one region on chromosome 15. Some of you may even know the name of
the gene but wonder if you've inherited the same stretch of DNA as a cousin
with the condition. If you're interested in this, you don't need to tell me
what condition, but please describe who's available for testing and which
ones have the condition.
Some of you may have found some clues about an adopted great-grandfather
and wondered if you've really located a living cousin. The Family Inheritance
diagram at 23andMe would highlight an area of DNA that you share. (Anyone
can create a demo account and view various diagrams and reports for a real
family, the "Mendels".)
Well, you get the picture. There are many other hypotheses that could be
investigated with autosomal DNA once you begin to think about it.
Disclosure: I have a consulting arrangement with 23andMe, but the
statements expressed above are my own and not official policy of 23andMe.
In a message dated 9/15/2009 8:52:26 AM Pacific Daylight Time,
> I about choked when I saw the prices and was considering opting for one
> the 23andMe research projects. I' am just having a hard time parting with
> several hundred bucks when I invested so heavily into FTDNA tests with not
> much conclusion on them. I'm tested at over 80 markers and that doesn't
> include the frustrating autosomal tests and analysis. When 23andMe can
> their DNA testing to a more practical price range, I would reconsider but
> see no point in re-testing everything I have had done at FTDNA. Hoping
> 23andMe can offer itemized testing rather everything all at once. My
> would certainly appreciate it.
> "Free the SNP"