Archiver > GENEALOGY-DNA > 2010-02 > 1265560424

From: "Ron" <>
Subject: [DNA] On reconciling contradictory statements and takingresponsibility [was: FTDNA admits to errors ...]
Date: Sun, 7 Feb 2010 10:33:44 -0600

On Sun, 7 Feb 2010 02:14:46 -0600, Rebekah writes:

> Now.... I am sure that Ms. Krause Murphy wrote what she did to Ian as
> the official representative of Family Tree DNA. You could, of course,
> check with Bennett Greenspan or Max Blankfeld to see what they say. I
> did but it was definitely not because I doubted Ms. Krause Murphy. :-)

I assume you're referring to Eileen's email reference (dated Wednesday, February 03, 2010 8:34 AM) to a "software problem which labeled these insertions for many customers as 524.1C 524.2A instead of 524.1A 524.2C or 523.1C 523.2A, either of which would have been correct." So, this answers the question above by Ludvik Urban on what to do with Sorenson's reporting. Nothing needs to be done, Ludvic, because THEY got it right.

To give a synopsis of the chronology, I became aware of the "software problem" the day before during a Skype conversation with Eileen, in which she basically said the same thing, but also admitted to her unfamiliarity with GenBank submissions "and how well they are reviewed and corrected or whether they need to be revised." When the software problem was recognized, probably by Dr. Behar, years after the software was being used, FTDNA sent a notice (7 October 2009) ONLY to admins about a "nomenclature" change, and it suggested that it would "affect a very small number of participants" (actually thousands of participants!). The notice did not mention a "software problem," so the cat had to wait for her exit from the bag during this conversation with Eileen. I replied that "the alert by FTDNA was not understood apparently by admins that if there were CA insertions at 524, the FASTA files are corrupt." At least, they are corrupt if they were generated from a mutation list prior to late October when the changes to "nomenclature" went into effect. Mannis van Oven at PhyloTree replied first to me, who apparently knew of the problem beforehand, sending a list of 38 affected GenBank submissions from FTDNA. Since then, I discovered another affected submission, of which Mannis added to his list. Ian Logan raced ahead of me to notify the Genealogy-DNA List on February 4 about the problem. Thomas Krahn, apparently unaware that the cat was out, replied to Jan [sic] that it " ... is important that you need to distinguish "erroneous" from reporting in non-standard format." Ian, BTW, is graciously handling the re-submissions of the affected FTDNA GenBank participants (Click on:

So, this has been what the previous thread is about, distinguishing between erroneous reporting (i.e., 524.1C 524.2A ... instead of 524.1A 524.2C) as FTDNA was doing for such a long time (corrected in late October 2009) and correct reporting of these insertions. On what "correct reporting" is, Mannis offered this in a subsequent email: "524insAC is the same as 523insCA (just as 523-524delAC is the same as 522-523delCA), it just depends if you think of it as an AC repeat or CA repeat. The forensic community prefers the first notation (AC repeat), whereas phylogeographic papers mostly employ the second notation (CA repeat). If you follow the guidelines for scoring mtDNA mutations by Wilson et al. 2002 (rediscussed by Bandelt and Parson 2007), indels should be placed 3' with respect to the light strand, so that means the AC notation is preferred. I also adhered to this notation in PhyloTree." (Thanks, Mannis!)

I suggested that maybe Connie might be the one to "reconcile" the contradictory opinions (or, rather, statements) of Eileen and Thomas, since you brought her into the thread. Actually, what is needed is for Bennett Greenspan, the President of FTDNA, to acknowledge the long-perpetuated "software error" and apologize for disguising it as a "nomenclature" change to admins on 7 Febuary 2009. Apparently, no one at FTDNA seems to think it's a big deal to misrepresent the truth! So, thanks, Rebekah, for letting us all know who is responsible for what.

Best regards,

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