Updates on Family Tree DNA

At the recent Family Tree DNA 5th International Conference on Genetic Genealogy for Project Administrators, Bennett Greenspan (President and Founder of Family Tree DNA) and the staff from Family Tree DNA discussed new developments at Family Tree DNA.

Bennett Greenspan

Bennett Greenspan

SOURCE: Bennett Greenspan (Houston, Harris County, Texas). Photographed by Stephen J. Danko on 15 March 2009.

To finish up this summary of the conference, I’ve assembled a number of statements made by the staff of Family Tree DNA on new developments at the company.

  • The number of projects a participant may join was limited to six in the past, but is now unlimited.
  • After Hurricane Ike, the Houston facility was down for 10 days, mainly due to water damage.
  • The time to complete a full sequence of mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) is now down to six weeks.
  • The time to complete analysis of deep and extended single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) is three weeks or less from the time the DNA arrives in the lab.
  • Family Tree DNA is planning to seek certification with the American Association of Blood Banks (AABB) and the Clinical Laboratories Improvement Act (CLIA).
  • Family Tree DNA is offering “DNA Factoids” to those who attended the Family Tree DNA 5th International Conference on Genetic Genealogy for Project Administrators. These factoids include such genetic details as hard/soft earwax and freckling.
  • Family Tree DNA intends to establish a greater presence in the United Kingdom. The company will participate in next year’s “Who Do You Think You Are?” and the Gathering of the Clans.
  • Fractional alleles will appear later this year.
  • The “Walk Through the Y” project to sequence 100 kB of the Y Chromosome from a limited number of participants in an effort to discover new SNPs and establish new subclades is now underway.
  • About 4000 full mitochondrial DNA sequences have been completed by Family Tree DNA.
  • To get more matches, more people will have to test.
  • Emails to Yahoo e-mail addresses should no longer be blocked.
  • Family Tree DNA will move markers out of specialized panels so they won’t overlap with regular panels.
  • Family Tree DNA will offer markers offered by other companies that Family Tree DNA does not currently test.
  • A Y chromosome browser is available.
  • Family and Surname associated SNPs will be available in the future.

Copyright © 2009 by Stephen J. Danko

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