DNA Consultants’ blog

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

Autosomal Testing for Native Americans

If you think haplogroup testing for Native American DNA is in sad shape, you should look at autosomal testing. It has been practically nonexistent. Even the major 2007 study by Wang et al. has glaring gaps and methodological quandaries(1).

Why We Put Greek and Turkish Together

A recent comparison of medieval mitochondrial DNA from a Byzantine cemetery with modern populations in Southwest Turkey shows what we have assumed in our population analyses of atDNA 2.0.

Specific Autosomal DNA a key to geographical structure among population

Two reports in the European Journal of Human Genetics underline how specific autosomal DNA can be in revealing the geographical structure among populations. One uses genome-wide data from the Illumina Human Hap300 project to predict the village of origin of a person’s four grandparents given European origins. The other used genotyping from 3,367 individuals from seven different European, mostly British Isles populations to lay bare the detailed population structure and linkage disequilibrium patterns of Ireland, England, Scotland and Wales.

Regulation Unlikely in Europe

Personal genetics: regulatory framework in Europe
from a service provider’s perspective

Keith A Grimaldi, Markus P Look, G Antonio Scioli, Juan Coll Clavero, Stathis Marinos and Tassos Tagaris

European Journal of Human Genetics 19, 382-388 (April 2011) | doi:10.1038/ejhg.2010.189

Should the DNA Marketspace Be Regulated by the Government?

In a paper to be delivered at the American Marketing Association‘s meeting in Washington in June, Elizabeth C. Hirschman estimates that the number of people who have purchased a DNA test now exceeds 1.5 million. Her work suggests that the value of the market (excluding paternity testing) in 2011 will reach nearly $150 million in sales. That seems like too big an industry to escape government oversight, and it’s true that several scientists have targeted the direct-to-the-consumer DNA testing business for criticism, particularly personal genomics companies like 23andme.

Cornerstone DNA Studies Mature After 10 Years

Then:  Genes of Old Testament Priests (Cohanim)
Now:  Genetic Traces of Religions in Lebanese and Iranians

Then:  Rare Genetic Disorders in Finnish Mitochondrial Haplotypes (U)
Now:  Genome-Wide Association Studies in Saami

Evidence of human presence in Arabia during the last interglacial

The timing of the dispersal of anatomically modern humans (AMH) out of Africa is a fundamental question in human evolutionary studies. Existing data suggest a rapid coastal exodus via the Indian Ocean rim around 60,000 years ago. We present evidence from Jebel Faya, United Arab Emirates, demonstrating human presence in eastern Arabia during the last interglacial. The tool kit found at Jebel Faya has affinities to the late Middle Stone Age in northeast Africa, indicating that technological innovation was not necessary to facilitate migration into Arabia.