DNA Consultants’ blog

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

20 Years of Melungeon Research


It has been 20 years since the genetic survey of Melungeons by Jones. This overview of studies of Melungeons from a genetic perspective by Donald N. Yates took shape first in 2002 and led to a chapter in Ancestors and Enemies: Essays on Melungeons (Phoenix: Panther’s Lodge, 2013).

Prayer during Time of Pestilence


If anyone thinks the ancient citizens of Mexico were dumb bunnies or primitive pagans, please read this prayer translated from Uto-Aztecan. Its rhetoric, wisdom and stylistic power is palpable today.

Native American Encyclopedia of Georgia: Book Review


Hundreds of antiquarian maps and the artist’s own colored drawings enhance the value of the work. An example is on p. 32, “Nagoochee Valley, Detail of Jacques LeMoyne Map.” An important map of the author’s own creation on p. 30 is entitled, “Ethnic Groups Living on the South Atlantic Coast before the Arrival of the Spanish.”

More Dirty Little Secrets of DNA Testing


More than 26 million DNA samples have been collected since the new field of commercialized personal genomics was announced with a big splash in the pages of the journal NATURE over thirteen years ago.

Calling All Cherokees


The Audience Given by the Trustees of Georgia to a Delegation of Creek Indians of 1734-35 illustrates a common pitfall of historical research. Clues to the big picture sometimes hide in the frame of history. Marginalized communities and fragile ethnic identities often have a role out of proportion to their small numbers.

Cosmos Mariner


The Savannah, Ga. poet Conrad Aiken and his wife saw a freighter in the harbor on their morning walk. The name of the ship was “Cosmos Mariner.” Looking it up in the day’s Shipping News, they learned it was bound for “Destination Unknown.”

The Odin Gene Tracks Ancient Seafarers


One of our most common seafaring markers is the Odin Gene. The name Odin may be related to Odysseus. The Odin Gene is centered on Scandinavia and extends to the Sea People and Phoenicians of the East Mediterranean and travels of Wotan in the Americas and Pacific Rim. It contradicts the supposition of geneticists that early man moved only across landmasses and waterways were barriers.