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Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Peer Review and SNP discovery

Yesterday, I encouraged folks who have a haplotype that resembles what I am calling "Eastern I1" and/or who have tested P38+ but are negative for downstream SNPs to engage Ethnoancestry to test EA's proprietary S23 and S31 SNPs. And I stand by that encouragement.

I failed, however, to mention that while these SNPs have been reviewed by ISOGG they have NOT been published or subjected to scientific peer review. Today, I was reminded of this fact by email.

Peer review is an important step in the scientific process, and anyone who undertakes a novel test like these S-series SNPs should be aware that they are ahead of the scientific community. The risk of being in this position is that these tests, which are not inexpensive, could be proven later to be a complete waste because they do not demonstrate what they purport to demonstrate.

As I said, I still hope that at least a few more folks have S23 and S31 tested but I want those folks to know that they are guinnea pigs. I don't mind being at the bleeding edge, and I know that many of the folks I correspond with don't either. It is important that we all remember that the bleeding edge is where we are.


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