DNA Consultants’ blog

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

MYSTERY HERITAGE: Andrea Louise Martin is an actress, singer, author and comedian

They’ve been implicated as the hidden genetic and geographic source of Ashkenazi Jews, and they’ve been put forward as one of the mystery strains in Cherokee Indians and Melungeons. Their position in Christianity is shown by their being one of the keepers of the keys to the City of Jerusalem. The entertainer Cher supposedly belongs to this ancestry on her father’s side.

Slaying the Dragons of Genetic Dogma

Can genetics distinguish between a Jew and a non-Jew? On the basis of genetics alone, can anyone tell you if you are Native American, or part Native American, or what part or percentage? Is there a DNA signature for people of Cherokee descent?  What about other tribal varieties? These and other fundamental questions are once more in the forefront of DNA research as “next-generation ancestry testing” emerges in the direct-to-consumer marketplace.

Tucson Artifacts’ Story Verified by Archeology

An April 10 article by Tara MacIsaac in the Epoch Times (“Tucson Artifacts Suggest Romans Made It to New World in 8th Century”) is the latest in an emerging portfolio of proof that the conventional history of the Americas is fundamentally flawed and, well, just wrong. At the center of the case for Old World contact before Columbus is a treasure trove of lead artifacts excavated under the nose of the University of Arizona in the 1920s but largely dismissed as elaborate hoaxes since that time.

What Would It Take?

What would it take to unseat the belief that Columbus discovered America and the New World had no visitors or colonists before 1492? DNA evidence? Archeological evidence? Literary evidence? Historical accounts? All proofs but DNA are present in the so-called Tucson Crosses, and the moment everyone was waiting for occurred on December 13, 1925, when New Yorkers opened their Sunday morning newspaper and read a cover story about the Jewish and Christian settlement in Arizona that began in 775 and lasted until 900. The controversy has raged ever since. Most believe the Tucson Crosses are fakes. But they are kept in a public repository today at the Arizona Historical Society Museum in Tucson and you can go view them and judge for yourself.

Anomalous Mitochondrial Lineages (II)

This installment in the series describes the sample and summarizes haplogroup findings.

Procedure and Methodology

The purpose of the Cherokee DNA Project is to sample and investigate the genetic heritage of persons who may be of Cherokee descent and establish a reference collection of their DNA results and genealogies.

Do You Know Your European Origins?

Most people who buy a DNA test want to know what countries in Europe their ancestors came from. But the favored approaches of major companies like 23andMe have so far not yielded entirely satisfactory results, at least to judge from consumer feedback. This review article explores the reasons for this failing and proposes that DNA Consultants’ EURO DNA database based on forensic population data may be a more accurate measure of nationalities in our background than complicated and expensive microarray genotyping.

Jewish Descendants Return to Iberian Roots with DNA

“The story of the crypto-Jews is still the biggest secret in the Jewish and general community,” said Rabbi Stephen A. Leon of the Conservative congregation B’nai Zion in El Paso, Texas. His remarks about the phenomenon of Sephardic descendants rediscovering and reconnecting with their Jewish ancestry were part of a long article on the b’nei anousim  or children of forced converts in Hadassah Magazine this month.

Admixture in Pima Includes Greek and Sardinian

By Donald N. Yates

As shown by an explosive article inScience last year, “A Genetic Atlas of Human Admixture History,” the genetic signatures of historical admixture events are persistent, even on a fine scale. Among 100 cases of historical admixture involving two distant, separate populations coming together, the authors detected the genetic impacts of the Mongol empire, Arab slave trade, Bantu expansions and European colonialism in the Americas.