Friday, February 22, 2013

$39 Sale Price Only Good in February

Although this was not clearly stated in the initial coverage, the price reduction of a entry level, 12 marker Y-chrome test by FTDNA is a limited time only event. It now appears that the price will only be offered through February 28th. This does not prevent you purchasing kits during the sale and using them sometime in the future. The kits have a good shelf-life. So if you have been contemplating whether or not this new offer is worth taking advantage of, you will have to decide and ACT before the end of the month. It is possible the sale will be extended; but there is no guarantee that this will be the case. To take advantage of such sales in the past, one must have ordered AND paid for kits by midnight Houston time in order to get the sale price.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Entry Level Paternal Line DNA Test Lowered Drastically

FTDNA drastically lowered the cost of it's entry level Y-chromosome DNA test today. This is a test that can be taken by men to trace their paternal surname line up their family tree. This test will allow men to determine their general haplogroup (ancient clan) but will not be specific enough to answer many family history questions. However, as Your Genetic Genealogist pointed out today, this will get samples stored for 25 years--or until it is used up by further testing. So this is a very economical way to collect samples from several members of the older generation of your family for future family research.

Also buried in the press release below is an announcement that a price reduction is likely to be in the offing for mitochondrial tests which can be taken by members of either gender to test their maternal lines:

 Toward Universal Access by Individuals to their Own Genetic Data

HOUSTON, Feb. 20, 2013 /PRNewswire/ --, the genetic genealogy arm of Gene By Gene, Ltd., is dramatically lowering the price of one of its basic Y-DNA tests to $39, making it the lowest-cost DNA test available on the market, in order to take a major step toward universal access by individuals to their personal genetic data.

By dropping the price of its basic Y-DNA test by 60 percent to $39, Family Tree DNA -- the world's largest processor of Y-DNA and full mitochondrial sequences -- is working to eliminate cost as a barrier to individuals introducing themselves to the insights and knowledge to be gained from personal genetic and genomic research.

Family Tree DNA pioneered the concept of direct-to-consumer testing in the field of genetic genealogy more than a decade ago, and has processed more than 5 million discrete tests for more than 700,000 individuals and organizations since it introduced its Y-DNA test in 2000.

The test investigates specific Y-DNA locations for males that provide individuals with their haplogroup, or the deep ancestral origin of the paternal line.  In addition, it can indicate if different individuals are likely to share a common male line.

Gene By Gene is also working to lower the cost of Family Tree DNA's comparable mtDNA test, which would be applicable to both females and males and provides data on the direct maternal line.  The company expects to unveil new pricing for this test in spring 2013.

As the sponsor DNA Workshop of "Who Do You Think You Are - Live" in London this February, Family Tree DNA expects that the reduced price test will add a great number of individuals to its already large database – the largest of its kind in the world.

"We believe the first step to unearthing your personal and family history is to better understand your DNA," Gene By Gene President Bennett Greenspan said.  "That's why we are continuously investing in new technology and experienced scientists at our Genomics Research Center, enabling us to conduct tests more accurately, efficiently and at lower prices.  Our $39 Y-DNA test is just the latest example of how we are working to help individuals gain access to their genetic data."

Customer Inquiries
Individuals interested in 
Family Tree DNA's $39 Y-DNA test, or any of its ancestral testing products, can visit for more information.
About Gene By Gene, Ltd.
Founded in 2000, Gene By Gene, Ltd. provides reliable DNA testing to a wide range of consumer and institutional customers through its four divisions focusing on ancestry, health, research and paternity.  Gene By Gene provides DNA tests through its 
Family Tree DNA division, which pioneered the concept of direct-to-consumer testing in the field of genetic genealogy more than a decade ago.  Gene by Gene is CLIA registered and through its clinical-health division DNA Traits offers regulated diagnostic tests. DNA DTC is the Research Use Only (RUO) division serving both direct-to-consumer and institutional clients worldwide.  Gene By Gene offers AABB certified relationship tests through its paternity testing division, DNA Findings. The privately held company is headquartered in Houston, which is also home to its state-of-the-art Genomics Research Center.

Monday, February 4, 2013

DNA and Genealogy Help Identify Richard III

The University of Leicester this morning in a press conference announced that remains dug up in a car park were beyond a reasonable doubt those of King Richard III, the last of the Plantagenet monarchs, who died in battle in 1485:

  •  Wealth of evidence, including radiocarbon dating, radiological evidence, DNA and bone analysis and archaeological results, confirms identity of last Plantagenet king who died over 500 years ago

  • DNA from skeleton matches two of Richard III's maternal line relatives. Leicester genealogist verifies living relatives of Richard III's family

  • For more information check the BBC site. That site is being updated frequently this morning with this breaking news.

    Ann Turner just suggested this University of Leicester site with more details of the DNA that was compared.

    CNN has additional details as well.

    Saturday, February 2, 2013

    Red Hair and Health Tendencies

    Back in September I posted to this blog an article that said red hair could only be inherited from a father who  was a member of the R1b haplogroup:
    Within my own immediate family this correctly predicts both the haplogroups of my first father-in-law and me. My first wife and my daughter were both born with rich auburn hair. 

    This morning my sister-in-law Michele Sanner posted a link on Facebook to an article that describes many of the health related tendencies inherited by those who have red hair:
    It will be of interest to those of you who have or love someone who has red hair.