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Friday, January 26, 2007

Two Hundred Members!

This week the Italy DNA Project hit a new milestone with the addition of our 200th participant. As I write this, the project has over 140 Y-DNA participants and 68 mtDNA participants! It seems like just yesterday that our participation reached 150.

I've been working on a lot of new research, and I hope to finish it up soon so I can share it. Let me say now, though, that the Italy DNA Project is one of most genetically diverse projects at Family Tree DNA. We have a tremendous variety of haplogroups represented, including some subclades not yet reported in any other group. Even within the most common European haplogroup, R1b1c, we have greater haplotype diversity than just any other project I've seen.

For example, among R1b1c in Europe, the most common value for DYS393 is 13. In fact, in many projects DY393=13 is present in over 90% of all R1b1c haplotypes. By contrast, in the Italy DNA Project DYS393=13 is present in just 64% of all R1b1c haplotypes. We have far more DYS393=12 than other projects and far more DYS393=15 than other projects.

This could reflect the persistence of some ancient forms of R1b1c, remaining in Italy from the Upper Paleolithic age, or it could reflect the multiple migrations into Italy over the millenia from Balkan or Asian sources (which are not generally well reprsented in FTDNA projects). My bet is on a combination of both factors.

Regardless, the testing our participants are involved in is exciting and the results will almost certainly help shape the future of population genetics.

So, thank you everyone.


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