With the closing Q&A panel in Houston, Texas just an couple of hours ago, here are a few highlights of the conference from my perspective...
- FamilyTree DNA (FTDNA) has turned some attention to having a local presence in the UK. If they do establish a local presence, perhaps many of their American customers will have more UK family results in the database with which Americans might establish long lost connections. Also, FTDNA announced they will be the exclusive vendor of DNA testing services for the 2009 Gathering of the Clans of Scotland in July.
- Mike Hammer, Ph.D, University of Arizona, gave a talk updating the human Y-chromosome tree. They handed out a new poster with the updated three which inlcudes:
- New SNPs:
- 2 new SNPs for haplogroup E
- 7 new SNPs for haplogroup G
- 1 new SNP for haplogroup H
- 5 new SNPs for haplogroup I
- 4 new SNPs in subhaplogroup J2
- 1 new SNP in haplogroup N
- 12 new SNPs and 9 new subclades in R
- The new L21 SNP in R is at very high frequency in Ireland, Scotland and England, much lower in Northern France/Low Countries, and at very low frequency in the Iberian peninsula. Preliminary calculations suggest a 4,000 to 8,000 year age for L21. This blogger, who is L21+, contributed 23AndMe SNPs to a group of researchers this winter who identified is L21 downstream of M269. Now, we need more SNPs downstream from L21 to place men in Ireland, Scotland and England or on the continent.
- New SNPs:
- Roberta Estes gave a talk in an International Society of Genetic Genealogy (ISOGG), FTDNA chapter, session on Saturday after the FTDNA sessions finished. Here talk was titled "Were have all the Indians Gone?". Her talk was confined to the Indians east of the Mississippi River. She has been involved in the Melungeon Project, the Lost Colony Project and several others that involve the peoples in and around the coastal regions of southern Virgina and northern North Carolina. The story is generally one of extinction of many tribes, which is not new. She concluded by discussing the Malhi 2008 paper that reports a stunning introgression of European Y-chromosomes into the eastern tribes that strongly suggest very early contact with Europeans.
- Because your blogger has a fairly rare mtDNA haplogroup V2 sequence for someone of European descent, and he as contributed his full mtDNA sequence to the FTNDA mtDNA research effort, he was happy to chat with Doron Bahar, M.D., the mtDNA research scientist associated with FTDNA. A new paper on the macro haplgroup V is in the works, as well as a couple of other papers on other macro haplogroups. If you are a V, stay tuned.
- For FTDNA customers, coming soon:
- Smart Matching that allows haplogroups to take precedence over STR values for Y-chromosomes and HSV-1 and HSV-2 mutations in mtDNA when reporting matches. No more matches with people in different haplogroups. Yeah!
- More powerful group administrator tools. For those who want to stay with the current tool, they will be available for some indefinite time. The new dashboard widgets are graphical and allow administrators to organize their members and results in different ways. The dashboard seems like a step in the right direction for those who are very comfortable with graphical representations of data and don't mind working with data in new ways.
- Spencer Wells, Ph.D. of the Genographic Project talked about his recent work in Chad and to a lesser extent in Central Eurasia (last year's talk by his colleage). Since the research papers are not out yet, he did not have much to say in the way of specific sequence information. FTDNA performs the DNA analysis for the Genographic Project.
Ripan Singh Malhi, et al., Distribution of Y Chromosomes Among Native North Americans: A Study of Athapaskan Population History, Amer. J. Physical Anthro. 137:412–424 (2008)