DNA Consultants’ blog

Read reviews of science articles, new research and news reports on ancestry testing, ancient DNA and popular genetics

What is a Megapopulation?


The dictionary defines “megapopulation” as a very large one, from the Greek suffix mega, the same element as in “megabyte.” In statistics, a population is the whole field from which you choose a sample or representative segment. Thus, to test American Hispanic/Latinos you might draw a sample of 400 people from a predefined population of everyone with a Hispanic surname in a telephone book.

When Wales Was Jewish


Short answer: pre-Roman times.
As is well known, Haplogroup E1b1b1 accounts for approximately 18% to 20% of Ashkenazi and 8.6% to 30% of Sephardic Y-chromosomes. This North African type appears to be one of the major founding lineages of the Jewish population.

Reconstructing Your Parentage and Ancestry


Every year in the United States about half a million paternity cases are performed proving or disproving whether an alleged father is the true parent of a child. Sometimes there is a court order to do this; at other times, it is sheerly for personal information. The determination of parentage is made based on a simple comparison of a small rock-hard number of genetic markers in the DNA fingerprint of the child and alleged father.

Rabbinical Court Recognizes Majorcan Conversos as Jews


Majorcan Jews belong to the Sephardic (Spanish) division of world Jews. The name of the island is Majorca in Spanish, Mallorca in Catalan (in whose orbit historically it fell). In 2011, a Rabbinical court recognized the Majorcan Chuetas and all their genealogically related families as Jews. It is possible that the Franciscan Majorcan Junipero Serra who founded California’s Spanish mission system was Jewish (Converso), as was probably the family of Christopher Columbus.

Two DNA Boards to Check


Dienekes’ Anthropology Blog is the grand ole man of genetic blogs, well-praised in all quarters with archives going back to 2004. It is run by Dienekes Pontikos (blogger pseudonym), a Pontos Greek whose family is from Turkey, and who describes himself, far too modestly, as “an anthropology dilettante.”

Melungeons Beginning to Emerge from Mists


Describing himself as “a cultural geographer by training,” Peter McCormick contributed an interesting chapter mentioning Melungeons to a recent volume of political science and anthropological essays.

Why Genetics is So Last Century: The New Science of Epigenetics


The sequencing of the human genome capped off the 20th century’s tireless search for genetic causes for all diseases.  But epigenetics is the hot new science now. Dr. Anne Marie Fine, a Scottsdale physician, certainly thinks so. Dr. Fine spoke in Paris recently on Epigenetics and Beauty and next month will present a paper called “Dining at the Epigenetic Cafe” in Monte Carlo, Monaco at the largest European physicians’ anti-aging conference.