Archiver > GENEALOGY-DNA > 2010-03 > 1268494587

From: "Terry Barton" <>
Subject: [DNA] Are the testing companies being guided to invest in thewrong things for genealogy?
Date: Sat, 13 Mar 2010 10:36:27 -0500
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Hi Andrew. I fully agree with genetic genealogy's need for a renewed focus
on y-str - both in testing more markers and in presenting the information.
I am open to simply over-powering the analysis with as many markers as
possible - as eventually, we should find more mutations to break apart our
large genetic families that are still can be laid into branches. However, I
suspect that we already have enough markers to confirm recent shared
ancestry - with the current 67 standardized report. I would definitely like
to see FTDNA provide reporting where we can view all of the y-str markers
that have been tested.

That said, my thoughts go to what I think of as a "Two Stage" approach -
where the first stage is to find recent shared ancestry - using the less
volatile markers and then to a second stage, where more volatile markers are
evaluated to find more recent shared ancestry and branching. It's likely
that 464, CDY, 557 and maybe some others would serve us better in the second
stage. Thomas Krahn told me in his DNAFingerprint days that his palindrome
markers were fast moving - and while I didn't find that to be our situation
in an exploration of 10 Barton Lineage I men, it may still generally hold.
I have heard that there are markers not in use because they are too volatile
- some of those might be candidates for stage two.

I laid out my early thoughts on this last fall in my blog, but didn't
publicize it. I see that my thinking has evolved slightly, as I hadn't
thought about pulling the current volatile markers into a "Stage Two"

We do have a "personal SNP" in our Barton Lineage I (that I found through
the "Walk through the Y") and I share your frustration at how the SNP
program is working at the edges, as this SNP doesn't become a part of the
standard Deep Clade testing until it is found outside our family and it's
hard to get folks to test it (or to know of them testing) when it's a
private SNP. The SNP does renew my hope that eventually the haplogroups
will extend down through Deep Clades, through "ancient" clusters, and right
into the Surname Genetic Families. At this time, being able to find all of
those who have tested my "private" SNP - regardless of result - would be a
gain. (And I hope for more insights as new SNPs are discovered)

On the other fronts - I am quite excited about the autosomal block testing
and hope that "Family Finder" will fulfill the concept. (Like others, I am
disappointed with results from my 23andMe testing) Finding "cousins" will
be great - but my highest hope is that Family Finder will give us a new tool
to find the branching within our large Genetic families. My thinking is to
go beyond the "5th Cousin" stage by working with the specific shared dna and
to try to correlate specific blocks with couples on our extended family
tree. I hope that the claims that autosomal block testing is the greatest
advance since y-str testing turns out to be correct. I don't begrudge any
focus that is on this program.

Best Regards,
Terry Barton


... HOWEVER, to come to the point, the fact remains that when genealogists
ask me whether such testing can help them I generally say no, and that it is
almost always better to spend your money on Y DNA testing: more STR markers,
and even (increasingly) SNP testing.

For now, Y DNA is the only type of testing which will consistently help a
genealogist. There is a lot more we can do with Y DNA, and much of what we
can do has been obvious now for years.

However, despite the fact that our market is driven by a demand for aids to
genealogy, the testing companies are investing in the opposite direction.

There is a market not being served. There is a business opportunity.

For genealogy we need:-

1. Short term. More STR markers, and those STR markers to more easily usable
in the lrgest possible databases.

2. Long term. The standardization of the use of SNP discovery as a part of

... Comments?

Best Regards

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