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Monday, October 09, 2006

Advanced DNA Tests

Family Tree DNA has now made some new advanced DNA tests available to existing customers. Soon, new customers will be able to order them, too.

You will now see two options when you go to the "Order Tests" section on your personal page. The "Standard" option will offer the Y-DNA and mtDNA tests that FTDNA have previously offered. For all of typical genealogy group members the Standard section is the one for them. The "Advanced" option will offer these new tests which leads into three different areas.
  1. Expanded Y-STR offerings. These new offerings are y-DNA markers that differ from the markers included in FTDNA's standard panels.
  2. Autosomal STR offerings. Autosomal tests can be used, with some interpretation, to provide information about your ancestors' geographical location and in evaluating close family relationships (paternity, maternity, siblingship, etc.).
  3. X-chromosome STR offerings. Currently useful for close family testing, but possibly helpful in intermediate-term (a couple generations) testing as well.

I won't say much about the autosomal or X-STR tests, because at the moment those tests don't play a role in the Italy DNA project. And I should say that, although the new Y-STR tests are not particularly expensive (they are sold a la carte and in panels), if you have not yet upgraded to the 37 marker tests then you should do that before ordering any advanced tests. The 37 marker panel is a great value and is very helpful in helping answer both genalogical and anthropological questions.

Still, some folks in the Italy DNA Project might be interested in some of the new Y-STR markers. They can help clarify your relation to other folks who are a close match at 37 markers and they can sometimes provide insight into your deep ancestry.

Folks in haplogroup E3b might consider looking at DYS413. This marker is highly mutative, and can be used to segregate E3b into some of its subgroups. Folks in haplogroup J2 might consider both DYS413 and DYS446 for the same reason. Folks in R1b might look at DYS413, DYS463, DYS464x, and Y-GATA-A10.

Also, some markers offered by Sorenson labs (e.g. SMGF, Relative Genetics, and DNA Heritage) are now offered as part of these new advanced tests. Ordering these markers can bring your FTDNA results into full compatibility with relatives who tested at these other labs. The markers that accomplish this are: DYS441, DYS444, DYS445, DYS446, DYS461, DYS462, DYS463, DYS635 (aka Y-GATA-C4), Y-GATA-A10, & Y-GGAAT-1BO7.


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